With the music of Sanam Re topping the charts, we go behind the scenes with the film’s composers Jeet Gannguli, Amaal Mallik and Mithoon, and lyricists Manoj Muntashir, Kumaar, Manoj Yadav, and Rashmi & Viraj
Melody Man – Jeet Gannguli
I have two songs in Sanam Re – Tum bin and Chotte chotte tamashe. One day, Bhushanji called and said, “I want to give you a song, Tum bin, the title track of the film Tum Bin. Since you are good with melody, I want you to make it more historically melodic. Can you do that?” I said, why not? I composed the track in 10 minutes in front of Bhushanji and he liked it! The notes of the song are based on bageshri raga. For lyrics, we kept the same two lines of the original song and for the rest, we got Rashmi and Viraj on board to write the antara and mukhda. Once the track was composed, we showed it to Divyaji and she too liked it.
When I was told to compose Tum bin, I wanted to do it my way. I didn’t want to follow the old Tum Bin style, so I orchestrated the song in such a way that the entire song follows today’s sounds. I wanted to create passionate music with a long shelf life. This song has the ability to stay relevant for 20 years. Music directors can take the industry forward only when they take up challenges. After finalising the song and the composition, I wanted Shreya to sing it. I spoke to Divyaji and we got Shreya. I was so impressed, she is a very mature singer. While dubbing, she started crying as the song captures so many emotions.
Chotte chotte tamashe was very challenging for me because Divyaji was looking for a ‘50s-‘60s melody as it comes as a flashback and is filmed on Rishi Kapoor, who plays a grandfather in Sanam Re. The challenge was to mirror the loving yet mischievous relationship between a grandfather and his grandkids. I was sure about getting Shaan to sing this song because he has the power to introduce a jovial texture to a song. He has a knack of balancing the melodious yet playful tone of the track.
I am grateful to Bhushan and Divya for having given me these two songs. They have created magical moments in the song sequences, not only with picturisation but also with orchestration.
Three Cheers – Amaal Mallik
Sanam Re is my first film with T-Series, where I am leading the album and have been given the maximum number of songs to compose. I was given an opportunity to compose three songs and that showed Bhushan Kumar sir’s trust in me and my music. I have tried my best to deliver three very different songs. The title track composed by Mithoon sir is beautiful and I believe that the whole album works if the first song of the film catches on. Since his song became the rage, it helped my songs Gazab ka hai yeh din, Hua hai aaj pehli baar and Kya tujhe ab ye dil bataye.
My biggest challenge was that Divya Khosla Kumar had a super hit album with her first film Yaariyan, so her second film posed a challenge for her in terms of music. She was a tad sceptical when I met her because I am the youngest composer at T-Series. Bhushan sir was by my side throughout and he said to Divyaji, ‘I know he is young but just listen to him and see what you can get out of him.’ After I managed to do Gazab ka din, she grew comfortable with my work.
To compose Gazab ka hai yeh din, Divya ma’am showed me some shots of Alberta, Canada. I looked at those reference videos and came up with this song. It is a journey song. For this track, I got Arijit, who was very happy with it and thanked me because generally people offer him romantic songs. I have been friends with Arijit from the time I was assisting and nothing has changed. Today too, I compose eight to 10 tracks and let him choose. I have that kind of relationship only with my dad and my brother.
I thought of doing something different with Armaan’s song, Hua hai aaj pehle baar. It was also my tribute to the singers of the ‘90s. The song rides on a very simple tune and has Indian musical arrangements. Also, this was my toughest song in the film as I had to find a voice that would suit Pulkit Samrat. I strongly believe that the sound of a singer should suit the actor in the film even though that doesn’t happen nowadays. I have worked the longest on the lyrics for this song with Manoj Yadav, who gave me around 15 drafts because even he wanted to make sure that it stayed true to the ‘90s.
The track Kya tujhe ab ye dil bataye is very melodious. In fact, it is my ode to the style of Mithoon, Ankit and Arijit. This song is full of melancholy and separation, and I did an interactive composition for this track. Falak and I had jamming sessions for eight to 10 hours and we would toss ideas around, so we made this song together. I decided on Falak Shabbir as I had heard his song Mera mann from Nautanki Saala and I was awestruck. I called Bhushanji since Falak was a T-Series artiste as well. It was experimental and everyone wanted Armaan, Arijit or Ankit to sing it but Bhushanji and I chose Falak. I think his voice has an altogether different texture and he has taken my song to another level. The song just got better with Muntashir’s lyrics.