When it comes to composing original music, Amaal Mallik has proven he’s got the chops. Now, with his Golmaal Again!!! hit song Maine tujhko dekha, a recreation of the iconic Neend churayi meri, he tells Bhakti Mehta how and why he put a new spin on remixing
It is nothing short of amazing for composer-singer Amaal Mallik to see his latest foot-tapping, chart-busting songs Hum nahi sudhrenge and Maine tujhko dekha from Golmaal Again!!! currently melting the airwaves. That is because it was just around 11 years ago when Amaal had seen the first Golmaal instalment in cinema halls as a fan. “I was about 15-years-old. I knew then that I wanted to be a part of Golmaal in some way. When Rohit Shetty told me he was keen on working with me for the fourth instalment, I was super excited!” he says.
A new genre
The film presented him an opportunity to work in a new genre, he says. “Both these songs belong to genres I have not done before. I have done movies like Airlift and M S Dhoni: The Untold Story, which were story-based films. Even in Kapoor & Sons, except for Kar gayi chull, the other songs like Buddhu sa mann hai, were very situational. However, in Golmaal Again!!!, I knew the context of the film, so I didn’t want the songs to pop up just anywhere,” he says.
Taking a chance
When it came to matching the singing voice for Ajay Devgn in the song Hum nahi sudhrenge, at first, Mallik was not sure if his brother Armaan was the right choice. “He is very young and has done songs for Varun Dhawan, Sidharth Malhotra and Arjun Kapoor. I thought his voice might not match the tall, tough personality of Ajay Devgn. But Armaan has captured it so well. I was going to use four different singers for Hum nahi sudhrenge but after listening to Armaan, Rohit Shetty decided to go with him alone,” he says.
On recreating the iconic song Neend churayi meri, Mallik shares, “When I was talking to Rohit sir about doing the recreation of Neend churayi meri, I told him that I didn’t want to do a flat-out remix. That’s why I got an entire eight-line mukhada in the intro. I wanted to add freshness to the classic track. I feel we are not experimenting enough in terms of music and that is why I got voices like Neeraj Shreedhar and Sukriti Kakar for Maine tujhko dekha. Their voices were perfect.”
Sure enough, the audience validated Amaal’s work. “I went to Chandan cinema with my friends to see the reaction of the audience. It felt good to see them loving the songs. We worked on these two songs for four to five months,” says the musician. The composer continues, “Today, I’m amazed how every kid relates to Hum nahi sudhrenge. They are using it as a message to say, ‘We will do as we please’. They are uploading cover videos and trying to create a revolution. Our lyricist, Kumaarji should be applauded for coming up with a line like that.”
The youngster is all praise for the Golmaal director. “Collaborating with Rohit Shetty was amazing. He gives you the space to do what’s right. I wanted to make an original Golmaal track. The makers understood and respected my point of view and so we stuck to Maine tujhko dekha and Hum nahi sudhrenge.”
Mallik also sheds light on his creative process. “Some directors take you through the story and that helps create good music. Like Neeraj Pandey did with MS Dhoni, Sunhil Sippy with Noor and Rohit with Golmaal. When a director understands how the music needs to be created, good songs are made. I like to know the story and create music according to the narrative and the characters. I think that makes all the difference,” he says.
Remakes can be original
Talking about the numerous song remakes doing the rounds, he remarks, “Recreations are tricky. For me, music has to have creativity and originality. When I try to recreate an old song, I have to add something to it that does not hamper the memory of the original.
“Gulabi aankhen in Noor was supposed to be an original song but was made into a remake on request. I tried to add a different touch because I have grown up listening to it and then there are other versions like Atif Aslam’s, that are so popular. Earlier too, we had old songs being rehashed like Parda parda, Bachna ae haseeno, Ae zindagi gale laga le etc, which were done tastefully. At a recent performance, Punjabi singer Hardy Sandhu sang my version of Soch na sake instead of his original, which makes me think that I am doing something right.”
Music to his ears
Mallik talks about what a successful song means to him. “For me, if the music stays with people even if they have heard it once, that’s an achievement. Like the song Tere mere from Chef… I went to perform it an event recently. Many youngsters sang every line with me, it felt really good.”
On his future projects, Mallik says, “I’m working on a lot of singles right now, collaborating with some international artistes, getting inspired by them and learning new things in music. As for movies, I will be doing the music of Bazaar.” He adds, “I want to take a break for a while and just breathe. I have been constantly working and I want to enjoy life too. I think that will help me create better music. I have always wanted to become somebody, to make my parents proud, and hopefully I have started on that track.”