After being one of the most sought after music producers in the business for years, Bharat Goel has now taken his first steps as a music composer. In the recent past, he has releases a bunch of singles like ‘Hun Nahin Jeena’, ‘Sarcastic Saiyaan’ and ‘Gud Khake’ which have received a good response from the listeners. In this interview, he talks about his journey in the music industry, working with Pritam, wish to compose for films and more.
You have done a course in audio production from the University of Westminster. Is that when your journey in music begin?
Actually, the journey started much earlier. I started learning tabla when I was a child. I learnt it for six years at a stretch. I got my first keyboard when I was in eight standard. When I decided I want to take up music professionally, I enrolled myself for a course in audio production at the University of Westminster. There, apart from learning about the finer nuances of music, I learnt a lot about sound designing in general. We were taught how to produce music for all forms of broadcast media be it television, streaming, advertising etc. Before I joined the college, I had produced an album which was released by a record label in the UK.
How would you explain audio production to a layman?
In music, there are three or four aspects. First the melody is composed. After that, all the instrumentation and arrangement is done by the arranger. Then, comes the mixing stage. If you look at the traditional music creation job, arranging, programming and orchestration everything comes under music production.
The music industry consists of both trained and untrained professionals. Do you think having a formal training in music helps?
It definitely helps but there is no hard and fast rule attached to it. I have met a lot of musicians who have had no formal training but are great at what they do. Then, there are trained musicians who are, perhaps, not very imaginative. I think if you are passionate about what you are doing, you will do it well.
You are the founder and director of Global Sound Lab. Tell me something about it.
I joined Pritam as an assistant in 2010 and assisted him for two years. I found a very good friend there in the form of Mannan Shaah who has composed for films like the ‘Commando’ franchise and ‘Namaste England’. There was a time when Mannan and I were assisting Pritam at the same time. I have been close friends with him since then. I have even worked with him on ‘Commando 2’ and ‘Commando 3’. Mannan is one of those few composers who are exploring Indian classical and raga based music in films. There is a joke we have about how most of his songs start off as major songs, transition into minor and then, come back to being major songs. Working with Pritam was a great experience. He is an institution in himself and there is so much you get to learn from him. In 2012, I started freelancing and working with different composers. This is when I started Global Sound Lab. I have also worked with Pritam’s A&R company JAM8. I produced ‘Sajan Bade Senti’ from ‘Badhaai Ho’ which was composed by Kaushik – Akash – Guddu from Jam8. Apart from films and advertising, I have also composed and produced theme songs and background scores for TV shows.
How did you think of transitioning into being a composer?
Since last year, I started composing music professionally. I think after being a producer for a long time, there comes a time when he wants to become a composer and create music on his own. One of the first songs I composed and released was this single called ‘Hun Nahin Jeena’. After that, we have released a couple of more songs like ‘Sarcastic Saiyaaan’ and ‘Gud Khake’.
The industry slots people into different categories. Was it easy to approach people for work as a composer?
Yes, all of it has to do with perception. When the industry sees you as a music producer, they do not feel you can compose as well. It is difficult to break that perception. But then, a lot of music composers like Amit Trivedi and Sachin – Jigar started out as music producers and branched out as composers.
Do you wish to compose for films?
Yes, I would love to compose for films. My versatility is my biggest strength. I started out as a DJ. When I was in the university, a lot of my pocket money used to come from DJing. I used to do a lot of electronic music. When I started working as a composer in Mumbai, I had to do all kinds of music from rock ballads to out-and-out classical numbers steeped in Indian melody. I am comfortable working across different genres.
Who have been your influences as a composer?
I am a big fan of A R Rahman and Amit Trivedi. I have studied their music as closely as possible. The best thing about composers like Rahman, Amit and Pritam is the vision they have. They always push their boundaries and try to create something fresh and unique. I hope to do the same through my music.
What are you doing next?
I will be releasing a couple of more singles in the coming months. I am working closely with Pritam and JAM8 and doing a couple of projects with them as a music producer.