Planet Bollywood
´Saiyaara is a soft romantic number that I composed bang in the middle of the night!´ - Sohail Sen
- Gianysh Toolsee           Let us know what you think about this feature article

Sohail Sen speaks to Gianysh Toolsee after the success of Ek Tha Tiger.

First of all, how are you doing? What have you been up to after the recent release of Ek Tha Tiger?

Well, I am doing very good, thank you. After Ek Tha Tiger, I have commenced work for my next project with Yash Raj Films, yet again called Gunday, directed by Ali Abbas Zafar.

Your second association with Yash Raj Films after Mere Brother Ki Dulhan has again been successful and by today’s numbers, Ek Tha Tiger is an All Time Blockbuster. How do you feel about that?

Well, I feel extremely happy and blessed to be part of an All Time Blockbuster like Ek Tha Tiger. It is very gratifying to know that people have appreciated my music and the movie, and that the hard work that everyone has put into the making of the film has paid off very well. Seeing the movie do so well is very rewarding indeed and makes everyone involved in it feel really good and happy about it.

Working with such big banners like Yash Raj films is in itself such an amazing experience. It just widens ones horizons in the music industry. And I am fortunate to have been associated with them at such a young age.

It has been written that Yash Raj Films wanted an international feel to the soundtrack. Did you have to work harder to add this touch to this assignment?

In a way yes, because I had to make sure that the various idiosyncrasies of the different locations (Dublin and Cuba) of the movie, were well incorporated into the music and background score of the movie. For example for “Banjaara”, I incorporated the Celtic music of Ireland produced by their instruments such as bagpipes, violin and flutes, thus ensuring that “Banjaara” got a typical Irish lilting touch to it. Similarly for “Lapata”, I worked with the local musicians in Cuba to incorporate a Latino and tropical feel to the song. Kabir and I wanted to make sure the music evoked the feel of the locale. Overall it was a lot of fun composing these songs.

“Saiyaara” is a gem and has been widely appreciated. Tell us about this song.

“Saiyaara” is surely my personal favorite too. A soft romantic number that I composed bang in the middle of the night so to speak. I wanted Mohit Chauhan to sing the male part, and I made sure that Mohit had his dates free to sing this number. As for the female part, I wanted Tarannum Malik, who has worked with me in "What’s Your Rashee" also, to sing it. Kabir was in accordance also, and so together, we made “Saiyaara” possible and watch it become so popular on the charts. I am extremely happy with the way people have responded to it.

How much was Salman Khan involved in the music making process?

Yes. He certainly has a very good taste in music and is very clear and direct about what he wants in a song. He would let me know what exactly he wanted the song to be like, And made me listen to gospel and world music.

Why was Sajid-Wajid roped in as guest composers? You were never in favour of multiple music directors in a movie.

I never was in favour of multiple music directors and I stand by it even today but for Ek Tha Tiger, Mr Aditya Chopra ji and Kabir had locked few options for the promo songs with me, but at the last minute the location and brief changed. Sajid-Wajid already had a song that suited the situation perfectly, so Adi sir requested me to let them do the song in the interest of time.

Tell us about the music of From Sydney With Love as the soundtrack is really peppy and the title track and Pyaari Pyaari are really well composed.

From Sydney with Love is directed by Mr. Prateek Chakrovorty, who is a new film maker and the grandson of late film maker, Mr. Pramod Chakrovorty, The film is based in Australia and is a fun family comedy (fam-com) with all newcomers. The music is really upbeat and peppy as per the storyline. There is some international influence and input to the music of the movie. The song you mentioned “Pyaari Pyaari” is one in which we have incorporated music by Brooklyn Shanti, whose music is very hip hop or fusion. It’s what I would call “music without boundaries”. It has been very well liked by people and has received good reviews. Some of the other songs are “Ho Jaayega” by Mohit Chauhan, “Naino Ne” and the title track that you mentioned. Everyone who has heard the soundtrack has liked the music. And yes, I would agree that the album has come out really well given the various musical insights I have received from very musically talented Prateek himself.

We see a great change in your singing style in “Tujhpe Fida" from Sirf to the recent “Feeling in Love with Sydney” of From Sydney With Love. Have you been working on your voice?

No, not really.

The music of From Sydney With Love is cool but it appears it hasn’t really caught up in a big way. Any thoughts?

Well, the music of From Sydney with Love is something that I really enjoyed composing. I mean it’s the same with all my movies. Now why it hasn’t caught on, is something to speculate about. It’s probably due to several reasons. It’s made by a debutante director. In a large country like India, the bigger banners are of course more well-known and the others do take time to assimilate within the masses. Even the multiplexes want to reserve their prime slots for the bigger movies. So such new movies have a tough time in the industry. So it will probably take some more time before it gets its due.

Have you ever been to Sydney?

No, I haven’t but you never know!

You are one of these rare music directors, who very early in your career have already worked with big banners and top directors. What are your next goals?

My next goal is to of course continue composing music, God willing, for all the projects that are in store for me. I would like to incorporate various flavours of music in to Hindi cinema songs, into Indian cinema, if need be and so am experimenting with the same. Working with different film production companies that would bring out my best, and basically just producing music are some of my future goals.

Would you like to score for a masala action movie with a masala score, with item songs?

I certainly would, why not. Considering my previous work "Mere Brother Ki Dulhan" which was an absolute masala score.

What are you currently listening?

Recently, I have been listening to lot of Coke studio stuff of Pakistan and India. I think those guys are pushing the envelope even further.

Your future release includes Ali Abbas Zafar’s next from Yash Raj Films. What are your other projects?

My next project after Ek Tha Tiger is another Yash Raj Film called Gunday. I must say that I have been fortunate to bag yet another movie under the Yash Raj banner. Gunday is being directed by Ali Abbas Zafar, who also directed Mere Brother Ki Dulhan. Gunday is basically a movie about a turbulent era in Calcutta, during the 70’s and 80's. Apart from this, I am doing couple of other movies which I think is too early to talk about.


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