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Rooting For Punjabi

After the success of his latest album for Veere Di Wedding, singer, music composer and lyricist Shashwat Sachdev talks to Titas Chowdhury about his early music days, the Punjabi influence in Hindi film music and a lot more

Singer-composer-lyricist Shashwat Sachdev, who is known for his unconventional mix of music, is back with Veere Di Wedding. Rewinding to when he bagged the film, he says, “I came to Mumbai around three years ago from Hollywood, Los Angeles. Rhea Kapoor was the first person I met here. She really liked my work and wanted me to do music for her. Back then, Veere Di Wedding was to happen immediately but it was pushed back. We waited for almost three years to listen to the music.”

On the response that the album is receiving, Sachdev opines, “When I am done making it, I move away from it. It only matters when I am in the process of making it. But, of course, I am happy that people like it. The maximum feedback is for Bas gira de raja, probably because I wrote it myself.”

Describing the experience of composing the song, he states, “I made the whole track of Bas gira de raja in six hours; writing the lyrics, composing and recording it. What we kept in the end is exactly what I did back then. That was the first song we locked. We then worked for a couple of years and the other songs evolved.”

On the album being a unique fusion of Indian and Western music, Sachdev remarks, “Veere Di Wedding is about these girls who are getting married and who want to own our desi tunes. Bhangra ta sajda, for instance, is a bhangra track. It is also very modern and inventive.”

Commenting on the album of Veere Di Wedding and Punjabi music influencing Bollywood songs, he remarks, “I did four songs for the film. There is Aa jao na and then there is Bas gira de raja. There is nothing Punjabi about them. Then there is a song called Bhangra ta sajda. In the kind of production or in the kind of music it is, it is very unconventional. Only the melody, the singers and the lyrics are Punjabi. There is another song called Pappi le loon, which is very Rajasthani. I was born and brought up in Rajasthan. So, the arrangement is very Rajasthani.”

In a similar vein, Sachdev adds, “A large part of the audience is North Indian and you have to connect with your consumers. Veere Di Wedding is set in New Delhi, where the people are Punjabi and it has a Punjabi wedding too. It may have been a choice that I made subconsciously. So somehow, there is a Punjabi influence in my music.”

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