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“Keeping It Simple”

Lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya, the man behind successful songs from films such as Dangal, Raees, Bajrangi Bhaijaan and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, is all set to wow us with his latest outings —  Jagga Jasoos and Tubelight. Bhattacharya shares his experiences while working on different genres of films, with Komal Sharma

Amitabh Bhattacharya image

Amitabh Bhattacharya says his success formula is – keep it simple and let it resonate with everyone. He’s been using this creative approach since the beginning of his career and it works, regardless of scripts. “It’s pretty simple. I write all the songs depending on the tunes created by the composers. Whatever I write is as per the tunes and rhythm of the song, which is why my inspiration primarily is the melody of the songs. These are my tools and triggers, which I have used in Jagga Jasoos and Tubelight as well.”

Bhattacharya says he tries to balance the mood when writing songs for a film. “When I choose a project… of course, we don’t work on one project, but on two to three simultaneously. I try to keep the mixture very smooth. If the film has an emotional melody, I try to strike a balance by doing some fun numbers. If I write on a particular genre, I could get bored. Since I have become a lyricist accidentally, my source material is the language we speak in everyday life. I try to keep my songs simple, which people can hum.”

On his latest songs for Jagga Jasoos and Tubelight, Bhattacharya says, “The song Ullu ka pattha is a completely different song, as the track was ready. The rhythm was already sorted out by Pritamda and Anuragda (Basu). Notice that Ranbir and Katrina are not lip syncing, they are dancing. The visuals are very unusual and the way they are behaving is little weird. So you need a song that suits all this, not a casual song. We needed quirky thoughts and offbeat thoughts to complement the rhythm and setting.”

He points out that, in Tubelight, most of the songs revolve around the theme of brotherly love as that’s what the film is all about. “The song Radio was set in the 1960s, in a small city, where there is a celebration underway. In those times, radio was a popular medium and that’s how people got to listen to new songs. I kept that in mind when I wrote the lyrics of that song. They are elegant and simple and anyone can sing this song.”

He says that the other song, Naach meri jaan, shows the love between two brothers. “I had penned most of the songs from both the films keeping these thoughts in mind. I believe that lyrics have a subtle but powerful impact, which is not immediate. When you are listening to a song again and again, you start humming it and enjoy it. Lyrics should have that kind of quality and should be presented in a way that is catchy and easy to understand for the audience,” he says.

But it’s not always smooth sailing, says the lyricist, who faced quite a challenge while writing for Jagga Jasoos. “Anurag Basu has a different kind of taste and it’s a little difficult to understand it quickly. I had to do a little brainstorming to pen the lyrics. I have worked with Pritamda and Anuragda many times, but Jagga Jasoos is a film where I had to put in an extra effort to set the mood and also to suit the attitude of the characters and the situations, which are not common like in others.”

Komal Sharma
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