Music

Anand Bhaskar Collective’s latest music video tells the stories of unsung real-life heroes

Anand Bhaskar Collective

Anand Bhaskar Collective  

Titled ‘Main Hoon Zameen’, the song experiments with pop rock, a deviation from the band’s musical style

When you think of the Anand Bhaskar Collective, you think of Carnatic blending with rock; of a classically trained voice showing off its abilities to violin notes and electric guitar riffs. What you do not expect is a pop rock-esque experience with an accompanying choir for the final chorus, telling the tales of unsung real-life heroes, which is what the band’s recently released music video, ‘Main Hoon Zameen’, delivers.

Though finalised and released this Tuesday, the song itself had taken shape three years ago, with the melody by Bhaskar and lyrics by his erstwhile boss, Anand Karir of A Glass Of Whisky Productions. “The melody came first. I thought it is quite evocative; it creates this urge to reach new heights and new horizons. And that is what prompted the lyric,” says Bhaskar.

With the passionate lyric came the idea of telling the tales of people who live up to it, “The brief is simple: give us the ability to choose. For example, if today someone wants to be zameen (land), and tomorrow he chooses to be asmaan (sky) — two polar opposites — it’s his or her choice to make. That thought led us to people who actually do this in real life; people who don’t wait for their ambitions to be facilitated by external factors. They just go out and do it.”

After some research and going through a string of recommendations, the team zeroed in on three living examples of this attitude: Prayas Foundation co-founder Ramesh Raut, animal rescuer Reshma Shelatkar, and environmentalist and Turning Tide Foundation creator, George Remedios.

Raut’s Prayas Foundation has been providing free tuition classes to hundreds of underprivileged school children for nearly 12 years now, in addition to providing them with daily meals. Remedios’ Turning Tide Foundation diverts biodegradable waste to the creation of urban food forests amid the bustling metropolis. Shelatkar has been feeding and caring for hundreds of stray animals for the past 15 years, from her own income as a tutor.

Or so, found the team — Anand Bhaskar Collective and A Glass Of Whisky Production House — after some exhaustive research. “We discussed a number of case studies, and these three were shortlisted. Some others weren’t available. We also had in mind an LGBTQ activist who is doing a tremendous amount of good work for the community, but the change that she is bringing about is not something we could show in the video. We wanted to shoot people doing what they do.”

For instance, shots like those of Remedios digging soil and watering saplings; a young boy’s face lighting up as he slowly understands what Raut is trying to teach; a cat scrambling down a wall and across the street towards Shelatkar as she passes by. All these visuals are the result of the crew following these changemakers and shooting their everyday activities for weeks —“They were not enacted for the video,” clarifies Bhaskar. The scenes are interspersed with performance visuals of the band, for which “the crew had travelled with us to three different shows: Calicut, Hyderabad and Pune.” The entire process, he says, took 18 months.

‘Main Hoon Zameen’, says Bhaskar, also marks a shift in the band’s musical style. “It’s part of an EP called Ufaq, which means ‘horizon’ in Urdu.

“Sonically, we are usually very heavy rock. With this EP, we are moving in the direction of pop rock. We are ditching the heavy feel for a while; maybe we will do it again in the future.”

The four-song EP also features a folk-rock song called ‘Dholaa’. “This is the first time we have ventured into the folk space. It also features our very first collaboration with another artiste,” says Bhaskar. That artiste is the famous Mame Khan, a playback and folk singer from Rajasthan. Clearly, this is an EP of many exciting firsts.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 10:46:38 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/music/anand-bhaskar-collectives-latest-music-video-tells-the-stories-of-unsung-real-life-heroes/article31227407.ece

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