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Two Good!

Composer-lyricist Arko Pravo Mukherjee talks to Bhavi Gathani about his songs, Tere jaisa from Satyameva Jayate and Naino ne baandhi from GOLD

It is not often that two songs of the same composer from two different movies, both of which are releasing on the same day, get immense love from listeners. Composer-lyricist Arko Pravo Mukherjee is one of those lucky ones. His Naino ne baandhi from the Akshay Kumar-starrer GOLD and Tere Jaisa for John Abraham’s Satyameva Jayate have won the hearts of listeners.

Talking about how these songs happened, Arko says, “I wrote Naino ne baandhi about three years ago. It had more Punjabi lyrics at the time. Akshay Sir heard it and he wanted it for GOLD. When I met Farhan Akhtar and the director Reema Kagti, they showed me rushes of the film. It is set in Bengal in the 1940s. A Punjabi song doesn’t go with such a historic reference. They asked me to rewrite it and hence I wrote the entire song in Hindi once again.”

With Tere jaisa, it was an interesting journey. “Director Milap Zaveri called me to Nikkhil Advani’s office and told me about the film. ‘Ek tere type ka romantic thehraav wala gaana chahiye,’ he said. The film is an out-and-out commercial, action film where the protagonist can die any time. He is a good cop fighting evil. There was a need for a song about a girl’s submission in love. Coincidentally, I had signed Tere jaisa with T-Series earlier this year. It kind of fell in place and they loved it. When I told Bhushanji that I wanted to place this song in this film, he agreed.”

The song has vocals by Tulsi Kumar. Both of them had worked together in 2015 for a single. Talking about working with the singer again, Arko reveals, “She has sung modern love songs but not a song like this. This is more traditional. There is more thehraav in the composition. Initially, I wanted a slightly more mature singer for this, someone like Rekhaji (Bhardwaj). There is inherent pain in the composition. Tulsi loved the song so much that she called me and asked me to give her a chance. When we recorded the first time, I was not very happy. Then she went back and recorded again. She sent me the files a week later. She sounded completely different from her other songs, she sounded more mature. The song has come out well.”

During the conversation, Arko reveals an interesting tidbit about Naino ne baandhi. He says he had recorded a Bengali version of the song. “My mom has been upset that I am not doing Bengali films. But the Bengali film industry is very different. The logistics don’t match and one has to be there. It doesn’t work out from Bombay. But then Akshay sir and Farhan said ‘Let’s do a Bengali version of this song’. Singing in Bengali is great fun. Now let’s see if people love it as much as the Hindi one.”

Besides film songs, the composer-lyricist has some singles coming up. “There is one with Atif (Aslam), which is releasing in September. I have written and composed it. There are two more which I have sung. One is releasing in October and the other in December.”

Arko’s name is synonymous with romantic numbers. Talking about why he likes making ballads he reveals, “I am comfortable singing love songs. I do enjoy dance music. I love Badshah’s music, club music, but that’s not my natural style. Unless somebody puts a gun to my head, I will just make love songs.”

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