Vishal-Shekhar: Now, songs mostly used for promotions

Updated: Feb 17, 2020, 07:44 IST | Sonia Lulla | Mumbai

Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani -- who made Dus Bahane a hit, not once but twice -- on changing tastes in Bollywood.

Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani
Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani

For an artiste who has been rather vociferous about his displeasure with the ongoing trend of rehashing old ditties, Vishal Dadlani took us by surprise when, along with co-composer Shekhar Ravjiani, he agreed to remix Dus bahane [Dus]. On probing, we learnt that the duo would have preferred if the track wasn't meddled with. Their decision to intervene was taken to merely "save" their celebrated chart-buster. In an interview with mid-day, they reveal how they got the makers of Baaghi 3 to let them helm their composition.

When did you learn of the remix and what was the discussion you had with Bhushan Kumar and Ahmed Khan [Baaghi 3 director] about it?

Vishal: We heard about it over a month ago. After I tweeted [discouraging] musicians from relying on old songs, Ahmed, an old friend, called and said they [team of Baaghi 3] had used Dus bahane for his film. We spoke to Sajid Nadiadwala [producer], and both of them were gracious enough to say that they had shot it, but we could change it if we didn't like it. They even said that if we wanted it to be deleted, they would do so. After that, of course we wouldn't do anything that could cause them losses. Bhushan came by our studio, and asked us to help them out. So, we did what we could, given that it had already been shot to a very generic 'remix' track.

We had two options; we could either take the legal route, and cause everyone pain and losses, or try and salvage an unfortunate situation. We chose the latter, because we have worked with, and are friends with everyone concerned. We only wish that they had come to us first.

What were the instructions you gave Meghdeep [Bose, producer] for the remix?

Shekhar: Unfortunately, we were stuck with the tempo and the verse of the version that had already been shot. So, we told Meghdeep to try to [make] it as close to the original as is possible, especially the [vocals] and the groove.

Are you happy with the final result? Would you say you enjoyed the process?

Vishal: The original is the original, and honestly, it didn't need [to be] revamped. It wasn't [created] that long ago anyway. Also, we would have probably [approached it] differently if we hadn't been brought on-board at such a late stage. Still, we're glad that this one will certainly send a lot of new people searching for the original.

Twenty years into the industry, what according to you is the biggest change you have seen in film music trends?

Shekhar: The film music-business used to set trends. Now, it seems to follow them. Filmmakers seem to have forgotten the value that a unique tonal quality [brings] to the entire film, and of songs that tell stories alongside dialogues. Songs now are mostly meant to promote films, and are not necessarily part of the narrative. The tragedy is that songs like those from Jhankaar Beats, Om Shanti Om, Tashan or Tiger Zinda Hai have become rare. Those are the songs that people remember films by, even after the films have left theatres. Movies may make more money today, and songs may stream in millions, but, now [we rarely see] audiences re-living the emotions of a film through the songs. Thankfully, the few true filmmakers left, value this.

At this stage, what can you tell us about the compositions of your future projects?

Vishal: We're doing two films right now, one for YRF and the other [Khaali Peeli] for Ali Abbas Zafar [producer]. We are also writing music for two international projects based out of the UK.

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