Formed in 2014, Mumbai based music band Bombay Bandook’s music is characterised by a soundscape which amalgamates raga based melodies with a rock-heavy orchestral setup. While they started out as a band competing in college festivals, they have been performing at events and recording extensively in studios since the last couple of years. Their new track ‘Azad’ dropped a while back on their YouTube channel and has been getting a very encouraging response from the listeners.
Explaining the reason behind naming the song ‘Azad’, lead singer Sannidh Shah says, “The core themes of both the song and video are emotional and spiritual freedom. The video specifically focusses on an individual character and his journey towards escaping his dreams and/or reality, as a means to ideate and visualise a fairly abstract concept. We decided to name the song ‘Azad’ not only because it means freedom but also because of the way it sounds. The word is almost in an open syllable structure and it therefore properly captures the essence of the song”.
The song is accompanied by a well-shot video which is quite dramatic and metaphorical in nature. One sees the protagonist (Shreyas Porus Pardiwalla) in two completely different scenarios.
“The beauty of the narrative in the video is that it is open to interpretation. However, in order to give us actors an idea about the concept, we were told to look at it as a dream in a dream. Something you are extremely passionate about and want in life, manifests in the protagonist’s dream and in the same dream it is taken away and he finds himself back to square one, before he awakens from his slumber. On these lines, we wove in emotion, feelings and relationship and created this little tale.”, shares Shreyas.
The video features him in two completely different avatars – one, in which we see him as a happy, family man and the other, in which we see him in a dishevelled condition and running around in search of what is probably gone.
“A lot of character work had to be done in order to bring out the emotions in their purest form. From personalisation to the use of emotional memory as well as a deep internalised digging and mental stimulation was what I worked with. I had to literally dig deep to find such dark emotions to express. I was exhausted by the end of it. I remember my director literally allowed me to sleep in his car by evening before we resumed shoot as he, too, realised how mentally, emotionally and physically taxing this role was. But, what a learning experience it was! I think it was one of the best shoots I have ever been a part of”, he adds.
The video also features Urvazi Kotwal who plays the female lead.
Talking about her experience, she shares, “Depicting or expressing vulnerability is something all actors get conscious of or find difficult at some point in their journey. We have shot this video under some extreme circumstances and battled several odds in the process. My biggest take away from this project as an actor is to be as uninhibited as possible, whether emotionally or physically.”
“I have known Shreyas since we were in school together. Working with somebody you have known for a while does make things a lot easier. It is easier to share view points and arrive at a mutual understanding of what the scene or the director is demanding. Then, there is no question of ego and arrogance being a part of the equation. Knowing your co-actor beforehand also cuts out the nervous energy and makes your reactions more organic and instinctive.”
The video, directed by Ritvik Tyagi and Rhea Talati, has a very interesting concept. It is simple and complex at the same time and makes the audience think. The visuals are very appealing to the eyes as well.
“A dream, as a concept, merges well with the idea of an incessant search for ‘freedom’ to escape from the strains of our realities. Our motive was to wrap a narrative around this thought. I had realized this back when the song was still called ‘Patdeep’ (named after the raga the song is based on) and the word ‘Azad’ stuck with me. We try to define freedom here in a more spiritual and emotional form. As the song progresses, the dream festers into an isolated world, devoid of everything that our character desires – a calm serene landscape with a beautiful family living in a small humble home”, says Ritwik Tyagi
“Bombay Bandook manage to pull off something so unique and different with each and every song. The moment I heard Azad for the first time, I got extremely excited and started getting ideas in my head as to how we can shoot a video around it. It is strikingly addictive and such an empowering feel-good song. I fell in love with the song the moment I heard it and feel the exact same ever since”, Rhea Talati elaborates.
While the video is streaming on Bombay Bandook’s official YouTube channel, ‘Azad’ can be heard on all leading streaming platforms.