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Jolly Good Fellas

Together, they are the leading musical jodi in Bollywood. Meet the ‘Meet’ Brothers – Harmeet Singh and Manmeet Singh. We speak to the dynamic duo as they bag yet another big-budget Bollywood film and their song has already become a hit

 How did you bag Jolly LLB 2?

We have done a lot of work with Akshay Paaji (Akshay Kumar). Whenever he needs a song, he calls us.  It all began with OMG – Oh My God. They wanted a song featuring Lord Krishna descending on Earth and looking at the condition of the Earth he had created. So we created Mere nishaan hain kahan, which did very well. They needed a flute piece for the song and we created it from scratch. 

They gave us Boss and gave us the title track, which also was very popular. Then there was Singh Is Bliing and Prabhudeva needed a song about a tough situation. It wasn’t easy because we had to sit down with Prabhudeva and understand the concept. Finally, we came up with Dil kare chu chen chu. It became popular with the masses, especially kids.

This time, they were looking for a title track and Akshay Paaji called me again. Along with Bhushan Kumar, they decided that they wanted to recreate the old song ‘Jolly Good Fellow’. We met Subhash Kapoor, the director, and came up with this.

What was the brief given to you?

We were told that there is a very good-natured guy who is very jolly and sometimes goes out of his way to make money. He is basically a ‘jolly good fellow’ and that’s what the song says.

What was your experience like, working on the song and the film?

Director Subhash Kapoor had come to the studio to explain to us a little bit of the trailer. We freaked out when we saw the trailer. Akshay Paaji’s entry in the film takes it to another level. It looked like a massy and a classy film. We are great fans of Akshay Kumar and his comic timing is perfect. So the writer Shabbir Ahmad told us to begin our work by saying ‘Jai kanhaiyalal ki’. Bhushan Kumar, Subhash ji and Akshay Kumar loved the line. Everyone at Fox too liked it and thought it went very well with the vibe of the film.

You have bagged some of the best A-list films in Bollywood.

We have believed in our songs. And, honestly, the bigger hits we have delivered, like Baby dollChittiyaan kalaiyaan andHangover were created when we had no idea where they were being placed. Some were used in big films, others in small films; and some films became popular because of those songs. Each song has its destiny and that is revealed only when it releases. Sometimes, songs that we really believe in don’t work out. For instance, we were not kicked about Baby doll but it became a hit not just in the country, but worldwide.

Which is your best work to date?

My favourite track is the Boss title track. It was amazing working with Tony D’Souza. It is not exactly Bollywood and has a nice hip-hop vibe. Then we had Honey coming in and rapping. We have enjoyed working and making music with Bhushan Kumar, who believes in us. High heels and Nachangey saari raat were his ideas. You always need someone who can tell you whether a song is commercially viable or not, and we have him. So it’s always fun working with him. He has a knack of knowing the shortcomings in a song and always guides you.

There has been a trend of recreating old songs. Can you comment on that?

We have recreated a few songs and they were great. There was a phase of remixes in the ‘90s and early 2000s, where you had all those songs by Harry Anand, DJ Aqeel, DJ Suketu and a few others. For a year and a half, you just had songs like Kaanta laga, etc. Bollywood music was not in trend in those days. So it is basically about a phase and a trend. Right now, people are bringing back an old song and giving it a new direction. And this is worldwide. There have been recreations of so many old English songs. It works if you do it right. The age group of listeners changes every five years.

Is there any song or piece of music you think you could have done differently?

We never analysed our music so much. Once we do a song, we get over it before it comes out because, by then, you are probably working on another song. You keep listening to it but you are not really into it. For example, people raved about Baby doll but when Chittiyan kalaiyaan released, people moved on to that. That happens with us too.

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