'Folk music has always been relevant in B'wood'

'Folk music has always been relevant in B'wood'

Sitar maestro

For music composer Tushar Bhatia, who’s renditions like Ello ji sanam hum aa gaye in Andaz Apna Apna (1994) are still remembered and loved by people, his biggest challenge is to educate and expand the listeners’ base.

Through his organisation ‘Swardhara’ based in Mumbai, the composer, translator and sitar maestro is working on promoting diverse art forms, music and heritage. He is trying to reach out and encourage the connoisseurs, teachers, students of Indian classical music and dance forms.

“Educating people about consumption of certain genres of music is itself a huge challenge in this age,” says Bhatia. He mentions how even today, film songs stand on the structure created by maestros of 30s.

“The format of mukhdas and antras, existing with interludes, was something created by Pankaj Mullick. Songs like Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein and Jaane Jan dhundta phir raha are personal musical expressions of Khayyam sahab and R D Burman. They were musically learned composers and if we have music directors who are well trained in Indian music, then getting superlative melodies is not a difficult task,” he tells Metrolife.

According to Bhatia, background music is the soul of films. Action, emotional scenes and silent parts all get enhanced by background music.Commenting on the recent trends of music in the industry, he says, “Background songs have become very trendy and promos mostly focus on getting the song created. The number of instruments employed is much less and most of the music is created electronically. So songs are now less in number. Sometimes, full-length songs don’t even appear in the film now.”

Bhatia feels “folk” as a music genre has always been relevant in shaping compositions for Bollywood.“The medium itself offers limitless scope to blend genres, there are no rules here. In the blockbuster film Albela, music director C Ramchandra had given a variety of songs like Shola jo bhadke which is based on Goan folk, Bholi surat based on Gujarati folk and Dhire se aaja with influences from Rajasthani folk. Also, in the film, Naya Daur, the song Ude jab jab zulfein teri had strong Punjabi folk influence. It got O P Nayyar his first Filmfare,” he tells Metrolife.

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