Ram Sampath: Can't recall a single enjoyable experience of working with producers in Bollywood

Updated: 06 August, 2020 08:36 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Bollywood music composer Ram Sampath talks about the scathing and severe contracts that exist in the industry and why he cannot recall a single enjoyable working experience in his career so far.

Picture Courtesy: Official Instagram Account/Ram Sampath
Picture Courtesy: Official Instagram Account/Ram Sampath

Ever since the unfortunate demise of Sushant Singh Rajput, Bollywood actors, filmmakers, and even music composers and singers came out and spoke about the aching experiences they went through in terms of rules, regulations, and even rejections. Music maestro AR Rahman, one of the best in the business, even revealed how he was not allowed to work by a certain gang.

And now, in an interview with Hindustan Times, another master of music and melody, Ram Sampath, talks about how brutal some Bollywood contracts can be and why it is difficult for him to recall any enjoyable working experience. Talking about the industry, Sampath said, "Bollywood is essentially a bunch of clans and as a music composer, you end up working for one of them because they are the ones who get to make the movies."

He added, "Unlike the West where there are studios, professional executives, a pipeline to launch trained talent and a pride in the systems that nurture future stars from all fields and reward the truly meritorious, here the shots are called by a few interconnected families with a few rare exceptions." Sampath has been composing music for more than 16 years now.

But he says something that comes across as a surprising revelation, he said, "I cannot recall a single enjoyable experience of working with producers in Bollywood outside of Aamir Khan. Everyone else either has some horribly draconian contract that takes away all your rights before you have played a single note, or are constantly shopping for third party music behind your back, or have limited budgets and unlimited changes."

He continued, "To top it all, one has to deal with a lot of egotistical non-musical people talking rudely and with entitlement while evaluating creative work which becomes a soul and spirit destroying process." He also had something to say about mental health and a message for the coming generation.

He stated, "Mental health is a silent epidemic. I think it’s crucial that we allow the next generation some room to breathe because the pressure to succeed is unrealistically high. True innovators only develop in a culture that allows you to fail without shame."

Sampath has composed music for films like Khakee, Family: Ties of Blood, Peepli Live, Delhi Belly, Game, Talaash: The Answer Lies Within, and Raees.

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First Published: 06 August, 2020 08:35 IST

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