'I get very nervous when I play in Bangalore'

Alternative Sounds

'I get very nervous when I play in Bangalore'

Pure passion provoked Dhruv Ghanekar, a jazz guitarist-cum-composer, to get into the music industry. He’s been associated with it ever since he was nine years old, and Dhruv’s music really pushes the mainstream Indian audience out of their comfort zone.

And what’s really interesting is the fact that he managed to carve a niche for himself, even in a commercial industry like Bollywood, without having to compromise on his style of music.

The co-founder of Smoke Studios — an extremely successful venture that has created music for over 3000 ad films and alternate movies — Dhruv has given some wonderful tunes to films like ‘Bombay Boys’, ‘White Noise’, Drona and Arjun.

His band ‘Dhruv and Co’ recently gave an exclusive weekend performance at Windmills Craftworks, Bangalore’s first jazz theatre and microbrewery. The musician tells Metrolife that his quest for music is never ending. “One of the biggest reasons I moved from Indian classical to jazz was because as I was growing up, I had a lot of questions. By listening to different genres of music, I kept going deeper and deeper into the art form,”
he says.

Ask him if there is a difference between performing and composing, and he says that there is a vast one.

“When I am composing for someone else, or for a film, I call it commissioned work — where I am asked to compose within a framework, with a few parameters. But with performing, it’s all me, out there for the world to see,” he adds. But when it comes to performing in Bangalore, Dhruv reveals that he gets very nervous in the City. “This place is so deeply rooted in music. Besides, people are connected to all genres and can appreciate good music here. Hence, I get very nervous when I play in Bangalore — but in a very good way,” he says.

Dhruv has collaborated with all kinds of musicians. In fact, his own band comprises of artistes who have different musical influences. And that helps Dhruv create his own stance. Interestingly, he has managed to maintain that even in a commercial atmosphere like Bollywood.

“It was really not that challenging,” he says, adding, “If you observe, Bollywood music has changed a lot. People want to hear something different and are ready to experiment with sounds, which is great for composers like us.”

But for now, Dhruv is taking a break from movie music and concentrating on a line-up of gigs as well as his own album. This album fuses sounds from Africa, India, Europe and America.

“I am into African folk music right now and am really taken by their sounds and beats. I find them similar to Indian beats. I am looking forward to this album — let’s see what else is in store for me,” he sums up.

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