‘Melody is of utmost importance to me ’

Music composer Mannan Shaah has worked for all three parts of the 'Commando' franchise
Last Updated 24 December 2019, 12:46 IST

After delivering the soulful songs of the film ‘Namaste England’ last year, singer and music composer Mannan Shaah, has once again been successful in creating magic with his compositions for the film ‘Commando 3’. Starring Vidyut Jammwal, Mannan has worked with the ‘Commando’ franchise from the start.

The Punjabi track, ‘Akhiyaan Milavanga’, sung by Arijit Singh and Sruthy Sasidharan, garnered a lot of appreciation for its soothing music. His other song for the film ‘Main Woh Raat Hoon’, was sung by Ankit Tiwari.

Mannan who is known to give an unconventional twist to his songs, had recorded Armenian musician, Rasa-Lila Buniatyan, playing their folk instrument ‘Qamancha’ and used that sound in one of the songs for ‘Commando 3’. He is also known for using live recordings of Indian musical instruments for his compositions.

In an interview with Metrolife, the music composer talks about his earliest influences, working with Javed Akhtar and his love for independent music.

When did you start composing?

I started composing while I was assisting music composer Pritam Chakraborty for two years from 2010 to 2011. I always had an interest in composing music, which is why I went ahead and pursued courses in sound designing and music arrangements.

Who were your earliest influences?

I learnt classical music for 11 years from late Pandit Vinayak Vora. Now, I am training under Ustad Ghulam Mustafa Khan. I have been training in Indian classical music for almost 25 years. My mom discovered the talent in me when I was only four years old.

What are the challenges you face as a composer?

For me, every new song is a new beginning and I take every song as my first song. To compose a song is a challenge, especially nowadays. As a musician, I have to constantly upgrade myself, in terms of sound arrangements, construction of a song, and even lyrics. Having said that, melody is of utmost importance to me.

What do you keep in mind while composing a song?

I read the script before composing any song because I want to know the nuances and details of the film.

You have also worked with Javed Akhtar...

Working with him was a dream come true. He is a living legend. He understands the flavour of the young minds. He understands the pulse of the young music composers of today. And this is what has made him sustain in the industry and be on the top even today. When we worked together, he always took my suggestions into consideration.

You have previously composed music for ‘Commando’ and ‘Commando 2’. How does it feel to be associated with the third installment of the franchise?

It is absolute nostalgia. ‘Commando’ has always been close to my heart, right from its first installment. I have tried something new with the ‘Commando’ franchise. This film has given me freedom to experiment. Action and emotion go hand-in-hand and that has worked very well for me. I have thoroughly enjoyed working on the first two films and this one was a treat. Director Aditya Datt is tremendously talented and someone with a great sense of music.

What was different in ‘Commando 3’ that you haven’t tried in the first two installments?

This movie gave me the opportunity to associate with singers Arijit Singh and Ankit Tiwari in one album. This was one of the biggest factors that I was looking forward to. Arijit and I have been friends for eight years but ‘Akhiyaan Milavanga’ was our first song together. Their combination worked really well for us.

What is next for you?

Right now, I am concentrating more on independent music. I have about eight to 10 independent songs releasing next year as well as in 2021. I will be collaborating with artistes from all over the country. Currently, I am travelling and meeting new musicians. I’m on a journey to create wholesome music that is also light-weight, which has always been my USP.

(Published 24 December 2019, 12:39 IST)

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