A strong entry

Bollywood debut

A strong entry

For an independent band to thrive in the music industry, the tag of a Bollywood film becomes necessary. However, what most bands argue when it comes to making music for Bollywood is that movie scripts and dialogues tend to affect their creative space in which they generally make music.

However, this has not been the case for the band Advaita, who made their debut in the B-town with Bejoy Nambiar directed Wazir.

 According to Abhishek Mathur, the band’s guitarist, if filmmakers want their music in the movie, they need to like the style of the music that they make.

Luckily for Advaita, Nambiar liked their track Mofunk so much so that he made changes to the screenplay of Wazir and created a scene to fit the song which comes out as a monologue by Amitabh Bachchan in the movie.  Mathur speaks about the band’s debut in Bollywood and the rigidity of not playing with their traditional style of making music.

How did Wazir happen?

Nambiar had heard Mofunk from our second album The Silent Sea. I think he really liked the meeting of the traditional and the modern features in this track, and a quality which most of our music has. He told us that he loved the rhythm and the energy of the piece. We eventually met him and took things forward, re-working the track and modifying it to create Khel Khel Mein, with Bachchan’s spoken word on the instrumental arrangement.

How difficult is it to create music for a movie compared to an album?

Well, in this case we worked with an existing track so that there was no issue. The only thing we had to do was make some edits and make it work with the spoken dialogue. It worked out really well in the end.

You got Bollywood offers earlier too but you had taken a back seat until now. What about Wazir made you say yes?

We have been approached in the past for some Bollywood projects but things didn’t work out for various reasons. It wasn’t that we said no. But we did make it clear we can’t change our sound – if a filmmaker wants us, they need to like our style of making music. That’s exactly what happened with Wazir!

Will we see more of Advaita in Bollywood now?

We would certainly love the opportunity. But as said earlier, it has to be a situation where we can make music in the Advaita sound. The new trend of films having multiple music directors is definitely one way in which non mainstream musicians like
us can be given a chance.

Do you keep tab on when your contemporaries like Indian Ocean and The Raghu Dixit Project get movie offers?

We don’t keep tab as such, but one always hears about musicians from the independent scene doing film work. Indian Ocean is a good example of a band which has been
approached for their identity and style.

Were you ever asked to make mainstream Bollywood music? What are your views about the Bollywood music scene?

These days a lot of experimentation is happening in Bollywood as well, though
not nearly enough. We were in talks a few times with certain film projects, but I think
the people concerned, understood that we weren’t the right band to make mainstream Bollywood music. We are a large group, so everyone has different tastes, but I think we all feel that too often mainstream Bollywood music can be formulaic and repetitive.

Would you ever experiment with music that has mass appeal?

No, we hope and believe that we can reach many more people with the kind of music we make. None of us has any desire to make music with mass appeal as the motive.

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