On a Tuesday morning when we reached a rain-drenched Filmcity in Goregaon, a recording session of Coke Studio@MTV — Season 3 was in full swing. The stage was set, literally, and the melodious voices of Aditi Singh Sharma and Usri Banerjee wafted down the corridor as we strained our necks to get a good look at them. Ram Sampath, one of Bollywood’s leading lights when it comes to music composing, is the producer of the particular episode, we’re told. While Papon, Clinton Cerejo and AR Rahman have done their recordings already, Hitesh Sonik, Salim-Suleiman and Amit Trivedi’s recordings are in the pipeline.
There’s a multi-producer episode too.
The third take of the song Komola Sundari, a fusion of Bengali folk and hard rock, is in progress and we’re quickly ushered inside the lounge area from where we can witness all the action. The lounge, we’re happy to see, is well stocked with Coke cans and bottles, in case we feel thirsty while the singers exercise their vocal chords.
The third season will kick off in mid-August and just like every year, will see a vast variety of musicians from various genres coming together to create original music. Over 200 musicians are expected to be a part of it, and some talented lot are already in the studio today. While Sharma and Banerjee are already on stage, Sona Mohapatra comes and joins us in the lounge area. She’s next to go up on stage. “There’s no hope in hell that I can do four to five takes of the song I’m singing,” she says with a sigh. And when she does go up to sing, we totally get what she means by that. Her solo performance, a song called Piya Se Naina, is a heavy-duty piece, which requires all the force her earthy voice can muster up. A few technical hitches and couple of takes later, the song is okayed.
The unit breaks up for lunch.
And the break is what we had been waiting for, as we get a chance to catch up with Sampath. The music composer, who’s part of Coke Studio for the first time, says he was excited about being a part of the show as he had a concept in mind for his episode. “My episode is called Devi, and it’s based on the various forms of the feminine divine. We’re depicting the various energies of feminity through music,” he tells us. The need for a theme, says Sampath, came because he felt a collection of six songs needed to have a connect to give it some shape. And while we were not going to stay for the rest of the session, Sampath tells us what we’re going to miss. “There’s a gospel qawwali. There’s a Rajasthani hip-hop track featuring Hard Core and Bhanvari Devi. Carnatic vocalist Aruna Sairam does a song Paiyada, which is the music of the courtesans of the 16th century. Sona and Aruna get together for a song called Aigiri Nandini, that’s my take on superheroes. For me, Devi is the ultimate superhero,” he adds. An all-female team for this episode? We like it already!