Writer-comedian Varun Grover discusses a new collaboration in the indie space and the challenges of working in the industry
Varun Grover grew up across Himachal Pradesh, Lucknow and Dehradun, and started out writing poems for children's magazines
Being a writer and comedian, Varun Grover's life is a repositary of words and thoughts. The 37-year-old is also a social visionary. He marked his arrival as lyricist after winning the National Award for Moh Moh Ke Dhaage (Dum Laga Ke Haisha) last year, but donated the Rs 50,000 prize money for the welfare of the farmers in Maharashtra. Known to spring surprises, the latest offering from Grover is Beete Dino Ke Geet - a song in collaboration with US-based producer Krishna Chetan - for the Indie music space.
The alliance happened earlier this year through Songdew, an online music streaming website for independent artistes. It offered musicians a chance to work with Grover, and Chetan raised his hand. "I liked the idea because in this case, words came first. Krishna had to work around my lyrics. In Hindi films, I have to weave my lines around a tune. There was creative freedom," says Grover, who has also written songs for Masaan and Gangs of Wasseypur I and II.
Out of a bag full of poems, Grover chose the ghazal-like track for the essence of nostalgia. "The song reminisces about the time that has gone by. It revolves around the loss of innocence and the acceptance of the world as an illusion. Krishna coloured the track with a haunting mood, which was necessary," he adds.
Grover stresses on the balance between independent music, cinema and his career as a stand-up comedian. "Both Indie music and cinema are tough nuts to crack. It suits people who have patience. But if you are talented, you will do wonders," says Grover, citing the success stories of Indian Ocean, Raghu Dixit and Nucleya. "They all have made it happen."
Grover draws inspiration from the work of AR Rahman and Vishal Bharadwaj. He is also an ardent follower of Coke Studio Pakistan.
It's comedy that helps him connect the best with his audience. "It gives me instant feedback, which writing doesn't. I can also speak my mind and make people laugh."
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