In the spotlight

Last Updated 23 August 2014, 15:15 IST

They are earnest youngsters who have been around as independent composers for five years, preceded by a long stint as assistants to Pritam (Chakraborty) and a shorter innings with Rajesh Roshan, besides specific work with others, generally as programmers.

Sachin Sanghvi and Jigar Saraiya are friends, and stand apart among the post-Pritam music makers.

“We have decided not to compose piecemeal anymore, but take up complete films, including, if possible, their background music,” Jigar declares, and Sachin agrees. Speaking in one voice, even when we happen to meet only one of them and talk with the other separately, they want to know whether if this is the right thing to do, or will they professionally lose out?

“Sachin-Jigar should be a recognised name,” they echo, as we reassure them that they are on the right track in an era of fly-by-night music makers. Not for nothing are they the only musical entity of their generation to have a small list of distinguished musical albums to their name — the Sachin-Jigar armamentarium, after their misplaced part debut in the 2009 fiasco, Teree (that’s not a typo!) Sang, includes their take-off film F.A.L.T.U (2011), Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, ABCD-Anybody Can Dance, Go Goa Gone, Ramaiya Vastavaiya and now, Entertainment.

The music label Tips has been most loyal to them (Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya, Jayantabhai Ki Luv Story, Ramaiya Vastavaiya), and the duo are upbeat about it. “They have a lot of trust in us. Akshay Kumar sir likes songs from different people in his films, but for Entertainment, the Tips people told him that he could surely get the variety from us!” they gleefully state. They are thus justifiably proud that they managed to make the superstar happy with their work, and that no other composer came in for any of the diverse songs that included a Punjabi wedding number, two comic tracks and a soulful romantic ditty.

Composition by part

Why have they composed in part for OMG – Oh My God! (also co-produced by Akshay Kumar) and the recent Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania? “There were different reasons in each case,” enumerates Jigar. “In the case of OMG!... we had composed the film’s original music — a Gujarati play that Umesh (Shukla) sir had directed — and he wanted us. But after composing a song, we stepped out because a certain kind of track was not our cup of tea. With Humpty... they wanted two tracks from outside that we did not wish to recreate.”

Right now, the two are gung-ho about their forthcoming assignments, including a song in Homi Adajania’s English film, Finding Fanny. “They are only two promotional songs in this film, and the English video song is being done by Mathias Duplessy. We are working on the Hindi track, which is very funky,” says Sachin.

A whacky assignment is Varun Dhawan-starrer Badlapur, in which they promise “way-out” music. A key film that they are excited about is Saif Ali Khan’s Happy Ending, produced by the actor and directed by Raj Nidimoru and Krishna D K, for whom they scored brilliantly in Go Goa Gone and in the song Saibo, composed for Shor in the City.

“What excites us most about Happy Ending is the presence of veteran actor Govinda in an important role,” they chorus. “He is playing his age, and if we can reflect his persona with a contemporary tune, it will be fabulous.” The duo has prepared a choice of “two strong tunes” for him. “Remember that Govinda is the only actor who could pull off yellow or pink trousers!” smiles Jigar.

The duo has turned down a few key films in the last few months, including a Yash Raj film offered after their work in Shuddh Desi Romance. What are their criteria for accepting or rejecting films now?
The main reason is time.

“Unlike the past, it now takes days or weeks to complete one song,” they say. “We need to give the work complete attention. There are variables within that. We are working on Salman Khan sir’s remake of Hero with director Nikhil Advani sir, and sometimes, both of them have different ideas and have to be convinced. That does take time.”

The second, equally prominent reason is budget. The duo likes to have a certain level of expertise in creativity and production, so cost-cutting can be an issue too. While they would work in the bigger bracket films, they know that smaller films can offer more creative freedom to explore themselves.
“We want to introduce things in a way that the people will accept them, like our songs in ABCD,” note the composers.

“In that film, we mixed hip-hop with Indian music, but not in the way that challenged the audience’s ability to understand. But we also like to experiment with the arrangements. Songs like Bezubaan and Psycho Re in a film that was India’s answer to Step Up, as Remo (D’Souza) sir pitched ABCD to us, are very much Indian.”

These three entities — Tips, Raj-DK and Remo — always get the best out of them, maintain the duo. What is their brief on Remo’s ABCD 2? This time, the composers let on that the director also wants two songs to be mass-oriented, along with other theme-related tracks.

Seasoned voices, young actors

Udit Narayan is their favourite among veteran singers and they have used his voice in Entertainment. But why do they not use such voices for  young actors? “We will certainly do that, if allowed to,” says Jigar, a shade lamely.” He does admit later  that it is also other decision-makers who have a decided say in this matter.

“We would love to work with more such people,” maintains Jigar, adding that they are using S P Balasubramaniam’s voice in ABCD 2.

Last year, Jigar married lyricist-singer Priya Panchaal, their professional associate, and the match-maker was Sachin, who had observed Jigar’s and Priya’s parents  hunt unsuccessfully for matches, and suggested that they wed each other! Jigar, now a father-to-be, heaves a sigh of relief and says, “It has stabilised me! I am truly grateful to Sachin!”

(Published 23 August 2014, 15:15 IST)

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