Making of a melody

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Making of a melody

Melody and soul are two most important ingredients in his recipe for music. And composer Jeet Gannguli swears by this formula, which has showered him with hit songs, earning him many awards and accolades.

In the last two years, Jeet has risen from oblivion, belting out one hit after another with movies like Aashiqui 2 (“Chahun Main Ya Naa”), Youngistaan (“Suno Na Sangemarmar”), Khamoshiyaan and the list will be incomplete without one of the best melodies of the recent times, “Muskurane”, from the film Citylights. And what possibly stands as a USP for Jeet’s music is his old-school approach to composing. Perhaps the reason for that is his musical upbringing in Kolkata. “I grew up in a family of musicians. I am the 18th generation musician in my family and my father has worked with some of Hindi film industry’s greatest composers including Salil Chaudhry, the Burmans, Madan Mohan and several others,” explains Jeet, who started his musical training at the tender age of three.

After having moved from Kolkata to the big bad world of Bollywood, he struggled to find his footing but remained undeterred. His association with Vishesh Films proved lucky for him. “Mukesh Bhatt is like a godfather to me. He gave me full freedom to create music my way. Mahesh Bhatt sahab is a musical director with an ear for good songs,” Jeet says. And Jeet has delivered yet another masterpiece for the production house for their latest film Hamari Adhuri Kahani. “Mukeshji called me one day and said he wanted a mature title track for the film. He didn’t give me any situation, but just asked me to feel a sad melody and create something memorable that can move the audience and remain with them for a long time,” the composer recalls.

This challenge made Jeet reflect on his life, his past and his love for his home that he left behind to chase his dreams. “The process of coming up with the song was also a period of introspection for me. It got me thinking about my parents, my friends and the life that I had sacrificed. All these pent up emotions helped me create the first two lines of a song, which I sang to Mukeshji over the phone late in the night. He was so taken by the tune that we immediately had a sitting with both Mohit Suri (director of the film) and Bhatt sahab. I can never forget that day, as Maheshji had tears in his eyes when he heard me sing. I have grown up watching Maheshji’s films and seeing the man feel for something that I had composed was the greatest compliment I could have received.”

But Jeet’s ardent critics are his parents and he had one more camp to please. “Every time I play my compositions for them, they give me pointers and tell me the tune can be made better. But this time around, they loved it instantly!” says a jubilant Jeet.

In this era of fast-paced songs where lyrics and music themselves have taken a backseat and are being replaced by staid compositions, Jeet’s melodies seem to have struck a chord with the modern audiences. “When the song ‘Hamari Adhuri Kahani’ hit the airways and went online, I was thoroughly surprised by the overwhelming response it received. On Youtube alone the song received around a million hits in a short span of time. It was heartening for me as a composer to know that people are still open to enjoying real melodies.” Jeet confesses that the biggest high for him is when he hears people humming his songs without even realising that he is the one who composed it.

With several of his songs lined up for release this year, does this busy composer’s creativity ever get affected because of his increasing demands? “I try to work on one film at a time. I don’t have a fixed target of songs I am going to compose. For me my reputation is important and the quality of tunes is critical. Being in the limelight is secondary. I want my songs to give peace and solace to people.”

Speaking about the one music director who inspires him, Jeet says, “I am a big fan of Illayaraja. I want to just stay with him for a day, observe him at work and soak in as much knowledge as I can from him.” A huge admirer of South Indian cinema, the composer is keen on working in films down south. Let’s hope he brings his magic to the south!

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