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A ‘Real’ Challenge

Amaal Mallik on composing music for the upcoming MS Dhoni biopic, for which the cricketer personally selected three tracks.

The year has started on a good note for Amaal Mallik as his first solo album Airlift is fairing quite well on the charts. Mallik now has the responsibility of composing the entire soundtrack for Neeraj Pandey’s upcoming film Dhoni: The Untold Story.

The biopic on cricketer MS Dhoni will be one of the biggest projects Mallik has worked on. When it comes to biopics of sportspersons, composing music is a challenge as there is limited scope for commercialisation. Mallik says, “The challenge was to deliver tracks that go along with the narrative. Composing for this film was first about the songs not being typical Bollywood-style tracks but still reflecting the character and his traits. Also, over here, the character is a real-life hero whom we all know.”

He says a clear perspective from the film’s director Pandey and Bhushan Kumar helped him overcome the hassles. “I used to make one song at a time and, by the end of that process, I had put forth 25 songs. Neeraj sir and Bhushan sir selected six tracks that went along with his script. If you follow Neeraj sir’s track record, his films are story-driven and don’t have much scope for songs. Here, though, he surprised me when he called me for the narration and asked for melodies that went along with the narrative,” reveals Mallik.

With music becoming a prominent marketing and promotional tool, Mallik says that nowadays it not enough to only compose for filmmakers as the opinions of even the actors and the music label are important while taking decisions. “During the making of Airlift, Akshay Kumar was actively involved in the entire process. Similarly, while making the Dhoni biopic as well, not only Neeraj sir and the producers but Dhoni himself was very involved in the entire creative process. In fact, he also selected three of the tracks for the album,” he reveals.

Meanwhile, Mallik will also be working with Dharma Productions on their upcoming venture Kapoor & Sons, for which he has created a fun track, which will be the first to release. He has also

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