Music producer-composer Sourav Roy talks to SHAlINI SAKSENA about working on projects like Sonu Ki Titu Ki Sweety and the Dutt biopic
You are from a family of classical singers. How did Bollywood happenIJ
My mother was a gold medalist in Rabindra Sangeet. Classical music has been part and parcel of my life. At seven, I learnt how to play the tabla. But when I was in Class VII, I fell ill and was detected with rheumatoid arthritis. I had to drop my class and stop playing the tabla too. Then a family member gifted a casio to me and I started playing it. Once I recovered, I took formal training in western classical music. Class X was a transformation year for me as I started listening to Yiannis Chryssomallis, a Greek music composer. I also started listening to rock, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and the like. This is when I started arranging music for people and it propelled me towards Bollywood.
Did your parents discourage youIJ
My parents told me to follow my dream, though my mother was insistent that I learn vocals and become a singer. She even made me join training classes for vocal modulation. But I lost her when I was in Class X, that was a major setback. My father let me pursue whatever took my fancy.
You have given music for Sonu Ki Titu Ki Sweety, Race 3 and the Dutt biopic. How difficult was it to jump from one genre to anotherIJ
When you are in Bollywood, one thing to be kept in mind is that you cater to the director’s vision. I also arrange music for composers and every movie has a different concept due to the script. The producers have a view. I need to keep the audience in mind too as they are the end consumers. Any experimentation needs to be done within these parametres. I have worked with stalwarts like Vishal-Shekhar, Amit Trivedi and Pritam. They have taught me to maintain a balance and be able to jump genres and differentiate between commercial and not so commercial cinema. So I have been able to give music for tracks like london Thumakda (won GIMA Award) and out and out party song like Kar Gayi Chull.
The Dutt biopic is totally different. Any challengesIJ
Working on it is taking a lot of time since the chapter is so vast. Raj Kumar Hirani, the producer, is very script-oriented. When the team came to me, the challenge was that the songs needed to be woven into the script and were more in the story-telling format. The arrangement, introduction of the film and the interludes have to be different and folded into the story.
How is music production different from composingIJ
With my background, I don’t find it difficult to move from being an arranger to a composer or giving background scores. When I am composing, I work on the tune and then go for arrangement. When I am arranging, I already have the tune, all I have to do is get the music instruments correct.
Any singer you would like to work withIJ
It has to be AR (Rahman) sir. He is the best. Singer has to be lataji or and even Ashaji. I have grown up listening o them. The sad part is that there are very few projects that will suit them and bring these living onboard. So the chances are greatly reduced. I would love to work with Arijit Singh and Sonu Nigam as well.
Did you have to struggle to get a breakIJ
The struggle was more in terms that I didn’t know many people in the industry. My friends (in Mumbai) helped me and introduced me to Raju Singh, a senior music composer-director. He gave me my first project in Kidnap back in 2008. I did a small amount of music score and later worked on other projects with him. later, I worked with Amit Trivedi. Aafaton Ke Parindey for Ishaqzaade (2012) got me a major break. Financially, there was a bit of a pressure as my family had moved with me to Mumbai.
What else is keeping you busyIJ
I am working on some projects in the South. Then there is Race 3 and Student Of The Year 2 for which I have arranged the music.