Apart from making his mark as an independent musician, Ankur Tewari has written and composed songs for Hindi films and authored screenplays. In this interview, he talks about his new album 'Bachcha Party', collaborating with other artistes and forthcoming projects.
You have put together seven songs for this album 'Bachcha Party'. How did the idea of doing an album for children come to you?
You have collaborated with a bunch of artistes on this album. Actor Ranveer Shorey has written a song too.
Ranveer has written and composed a song for the album. It was a song I heard him sing at a party and when I was writing this album, I called him and asked me if I could use that song for this album. He was gracious enough to give us that song.
You mostly write, compose and sing your own songs but there are instances when you have worked as a composer or a lyricist only. You wrote the songs of 'Chef' which were composed by Raghu Dixit. How is the experience of collaborating with another musician?
In any kind of collaboration, it is important to understand and connect with the person who might be coming from a different space. While working with the person and trying to understand his personality, things fall into place.
Is it more fulfilling for you as an artiste when you do everything - written, compose and sing a song on your own?
It is a different process. When you are creating a song on your own, you are experiencing a new aspect of your personality. When you collaborate with another person, you discover that person, their process and the way they interpret art. I personally like writing songs that come from within me. So, I end up writing songs without an agenda. In films, you are given a specific situation to write about. It takes me a long time to understand that. I am a bit nowhere. I do not like putting deadlines to finish a song. Most of my songs come from my own experiences. Having said that, I do not classify a song as an independent song or a Bollywood song. Some songs find their space in films, some find it in a live arena and some find it in an independent album. You are a self-taught musician. I read an interview of yours where you said that you just know a few chords and you strum along. Do you think being an untrained musician is an advantage or do you wish you had learnt music? I do not see it as strength or a weakness. I just go with the flow. One of the things I do in my artistic endeavour is that I let things flow and happen on their own. I do not apply too much logic to certain things. Unlike other cuisines, in Indian cuisine people put ingredients andaaze se. There is no set rule about how you are going to cook Indian food.
Are you using the food reference here because you have been a hotel management student?
Yes, but I have never been good at cooking. I compensate for that by making songs.
You have written films like Tum Mile and Crook. How did writing happen?
I like writing screenplays. Apart from writing films like 'Tum Mile' and 'Crook', I was a script supervisor on Tere Bin Laden. It is another way of telling stories. It is a different medium and a different format. It is quite interesting to be in that space.
Your band has a very interesting name. It is called the Ghalat Family. How did the name come about?
We get along very well as a band. One of the things unite us is our sense of humour. We were shooting a band and we did not have a name. A friend told us you are like a ghalat family. We put the name on our van and it just stuck.
Everything is going digital now. People are not buying CDs anymore. Rhythm House, one of the most iconic music stores in the country, has shut down. How do you look at this trend?
I feel that change is inevitable. You have to make the environment healthy and make it work to your benefit. How we react to change is in our hands. Things keep on changing and we have to be comfortable with change. We have to keep finding ways to tell bigger and better stories.
Can you share something about your upcoming projects?
Currently, I am working on an EP. I have done music supervision for Zoya Akhtar's 'Gully Boyz' which is releasing next year.
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