Posts Tagged ‘Indian Ocean’

Masaan Music

Neeraj Ghaywan‘s FIPRESCI winner at Cannes 2015, MASAAN releases in India on 24th July. Here, film’s screenplay writer and lyricist Varun Grover talks about the music of the film.

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Masaan  is the most difficult music album I have worked on till now. It has just 3 songs, out of which one (‘Bhor‘) is written by Sanjeev Sharma, and still the amount of distress and self-doubt I went through figuring out the lyrics for the other two was more than me and Sneha Khanwalkar felt on the mammoth ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ album.

Prime reason was the burden of being the writer of the film as well and hence this feeling that lyrics in this film should be ‘extra-special’. As I said elsewhere, “Jab halwaayi ke ghar mein hi shaadi ho toh mithaayi se expectations unreal ho jaati hain aur halwaayi ki zindagi haraam ho jaati hai.’

This self-doubt also made the choice of a music director for the film difficult and after meeting some really worthy composers, we decided to request Indian Ocean to come on board.

1. Tu Kisi Rail Si

As I was low on confidence and the film has an element of poetry (Shweta Tripathi’s character is a shaayari-fan), we thought of using some existing Hindi poetry for the love song. One poem by Uday Prakash saab (Kuchh bann jaate hainI loved in particular and we shared it with Indian Ocean who gave us strange looks as it’s in Mukd Chhand and nearly impossible to compose.

Then suddenly, these lines by Dushyant Kumar saab came back to me and I knew we have a starting point. I had heard these lines first many years ago at an informal kavi sammelan at a friend’s wedding in Lucknow. (Haan ji, Lucknow mein shaadiyon mein bhi kavi-sammelan hota hai.)

I wrote the rest of the lyrics, taking the first two lines from Dushyant Kumar’s ghazal ‘Main jise oadhta bichhaata hoon‘. After many tunes by Indian Ocean, we finally arrived at a consensus on one based on the footage, tempo, tone, and rhythm of the song. Since the footage was already shot and it had to be a celebratory number, these criteria were necessary to be fullilled.

We also got to meet Dushyant saab’s wife (Rajeshwari ji) and his son Aalok Tyagi ji who by a huge stroke of luck happened to live right across our editing studio in Versova! They gave us permissions and blessings for the song.

Dushyant Kumar ji

Swanand Kirkire recorded it in his grainy voice and we had our song ready.

Lyrics: 

Mukhda
Tu kisi rail si guzarti hai
Main kisi pull sa thartharaata hoon
Tu bhaley ratti bhar na sunti hai,
Main tera naam budbudaata hoon.
Kisi lambe safar ki raaton mein,

tujhe alaav sa jalaata hoon.

Antara

Kaath ke taaley hain,
aankh pe daale hain,
unmein ishaaron ki chaabiyaan laga.
Raat jo baaqi hai,
shaam se taaki hai,
neeyat mein thodi kharaabiyaan laga.
Main hoon paani ke bulbuley jaisa,

tujhko sochoon toh, phoot jaata hoon.

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2. Mann Kasturi Re

If the first song killed us, the second one did it twice over. This song is supposed to be the soul of the film, the theme that connects all the stories and characters which meant ‘Anthem jaisa kuchh chaahiye‘. Another problem was that the reference track on the footage was ‘Aik Alif‘ from Coke Studio Pakistan and it was too overwhelming a track to compete with.
For this one too, my first instinct was to run away and leave the job to some great. So we chose Nazir Akbarabaadi’s ‘Banjaranama‘ and Indian Ocean did a fantastic job of composing it into a stunning anthem. The only problem – the tempo of the footage was on another level. Marta kya na karta, I had to step in and attempt writing new words.

Like it happens most of the times, difficult to tell how/when this phrase ‘Mann Kasturi‘ popped in my head but the rest of the song became easy after that. Kabir and Banaras were constant in my head while writing it.

Lyrics

Mukhda

Mann kasturi re,
jag dasturi re,
baat huyi naa poori re!
Khoje apni gandh naa paave,
chaadar ka paiband naa paave,
bikhre bikhre chhand sa tahale,
dohon mein ye bandh na paave.
Naache ho ke phirki lattu,
khoje apni dhoori re,

Mann kasturi re!

Antara

Umar ki ginti haath naa aayi,
purkhon ne ye baat bataayi,
Ulta kar ke dekh sake toh,
Ambar bhi hai gehri khaayi.
Rekhaaon ke paar nazar ko,
Jisne phenka andhe mann se,
Satrangi bazaar ka khola,
Darwaaza phir bina jatan ke!
Phir toh jhooma baawal ho ke,
Sar pe daal fitoori re

Mann kasturi re!

For lyrics in Devnagari, click here.

Full album here:

Continuing with our Year-End series, Rewind 2014, in this post our music blogger Rohwit picks up the best sounds of the year – the songs that he loved and we played in loop. In no particular order, this post includes both films and non-films music/talent/songs/album.

(More from our Rewind 2014 series : Musical Gems We Discovered This Year is here, Kaali Zubaan’s bollywood wrap is here, 18 Film Fanatics on 18 Films That Stayed With Them is here, Best of 2014 – Script of Queen is here, Script of Ankhon Dekhi is here)

  1. Jagave saari raina (Dedh Ishqiya) – Much has been written about this underwhelming album from Gulzar-Vishal collaboration. However, Hamri ataria and Jagave saari raina were beautiful exceptions. No, the antraa of ‘Na bolu main to’ weren’t as good as the mukhda, so I won’t include that song here. Even before the videos were released, we knew this would be the song that would capitalize on Mrs. Nene’s grace and her dancing prowess. To hear Pt. Birju Maharaj just sweetened everything that much more. Did I miss mentioning about how charming was Rekha Bhardwaj in the song? Well, you knew that already didn’t you?

  1. Fandry bird theme (Fandry) – No words should endeavor to convey what this cute little piece did to us. Give it a try here. In fact the love theme here is equally good. The use of Oudh and Cello lent a solid, raw feel to the sound and two thumbs up for that! Aloknanda Dasgupta ji, take a bow!

  1. Indian Ocean – If you have been living under a rock, then perhaps you might not have noticed the release of ‘Tandanu’ by Indian Ocean which will go down as one of the best albums by the group ever! From what could be easily termed as one of the most important films of the year, Katiyabaaz, we got the track ‘Kanpoora’, a must hear if you haven’t heard it already! (and what a delightful video!)

  1. Sooha saha (Highway) – Bollywood is running from darkness towards even more darkness when it comes to giving us songs which mothers can sing to their little ones. ARRahman took cognizance of this problem and gave us this tender piece from Highway. While Alia was rightfully showered a lot of credit for this song, we mustn’t forget AR Rahman’s ‘mixing and tuning’ and a solid Zeb who made this song what it is. Heera from this album comes a close second because it’s a  delicacy of sorts when Kabir and Rahman are credited in the same song. Here is Sooha Saha…much of the song’s impact was experienced thanks to a superlative Randeep Hooda. The World would be unfair if it doesn’t acknowledge Randeep this year for Highway.

  1. Suno na sang e marmar (Youngistaan) – Now that the well deserved nomination to Oscar has been sent, it would be criminal not to mention the blockbuster Youngistaan to the list. When Jackkkkie decided to diss Mayawati’s hardwork involving sang-e-mar-mar with a song, it gave us this hummable track. Frankly, I thought it took a lot of guts to film the song right where a lot of public money was wasted on sang-e-mar-mar (wink wink). The song was perhaps too good for the film and when Jeet Ganguly and Arijit recreated the magic for the Hindi version, they added some grandeur to the sound. Here is the Bengali version and here is the Hindi version. My favorite is the Bengali version of course!

  1. Title song (Revolver Rani) – the film might have fallen flat on its face but the title track of the film was a riot thanks to the word ‘bhasad’ and Usha Uthup! Do give it a try. Had the film done well, it would have played in a the loop on ‘popular’ charts, just the way they played vomit inducing Kicks and what not! And trust me, it is much more fun than all the garbage music of  100 crore commodities. Watch this video.

  1. Sketches of Darjeeling (Bipul Chettri) – I came across this album when it was released in the month of July, 2014 but didn’t hear it because I was quite occupied with my day job. Then one of the many ‘anonymous’ people who share music with me sent me one track from this album, and I punched myself for about 40 minutes continuously for having sat on the album for so long! Do hear my favorite track from the album titled – Ode to my father here, and then buy the album. The track is free flowing and you will hear the free flowing water as well. Is the track in Hindi? No. Does it matter? No!! So do pick it up!

  1. Ding dong (Finding Fanny) – I  couldn’t make sense of fusing this Goa film with a Punjabi title song and a messy song at that, still this one oozed out a lot of love, and we love it for that! Cliched as it might sound to some of us, but the song painted a picture of an adorable Uncle ‘Pedro’, who is liked by everyone,  singing this song near a beach, on just another day in Goa. Loved Mathias for this one!

  1. Haider (Album) – It won’t be right to pinpoint a song that was good because this album was the best from 2014. The only underwhelming part was the song by Arijit. I still feel that song was composed FVBV (For Vishal, By Vishal), and Arijit came in as an afterthought. This album is the reason we wait for Vishal and Gulzar to get together more often. All songs are here. Imagine the ‘Aao na’ opening bit and now count your goose pimples. Also, while we are on the subject…here is the Roohdaar theme from Haider.

  1. Oopar oopar renn de – Tanishk and Baba Vayu gave us a laid back anthem this year and I can openly declare with no hesitation that this was the best non-filmi song by a new band I came across in 2014. Hear the song once and tell me if you aren’t of the same opinion. I do hope they put the song on sale soon and that they don’t fizzle out after setting the bar this *high*!

  1. Mikey Mccleary – We all love everything Mikey does. Why else can you explain people sticking to networks which don’t work? May be because their ads are oh-so-musical and cute! It was no surprise that the album Mikey came out with was instantly likeable. If you haven’t heard the album yet, do hear it once! Our favorite – The world is our playground (Sung by Mikey) and Just a little crush (Sung by Shalmali). That said, Mikey’s song in Sonali cable wasn’t bad either. The entire album is available here.

Let me know if you agree with my picks of the year. And yours?

@Rohwit

A new music video for Indian ocean’s popular song bula raha hai koi is out and it features actor Rajat Barmecha.

First came the desi version of Coke Studio, then MTV Unplugged and now The Dewarists. In a country where bollywood music has almost killed every other kind of sound in the mainstream space, it’s a refreshing change to see so much good television involving non-bollywood music.

Have been reading all kinds of reactions to all the three shows. Any kind of criticism is good as long as you are honest. But the point is, on indian television, for such a long time we had almost nothing to watch. Now when people are trying to create something, explore that tiny space for us, and that’s not really bad tv, let’s be little more encouraging, appreciate the efforts, and then bring out the knives. If it was completely worthless, then it’s fine to kill it. But let’s watch it and spread the good word first.

Here’s the third episode of The Dewarists, where Indian Ocean meets Mohit Chauhan to create Maya. Had no clue that Indian Ocean has a new address now. I used to like that old place – messy, old-world charm, the wooden chair and Beware Dogs. This is Indian Ocean’s first composition with the new team. Click the play button, hear their story, and let the music play.

(PS – While watching this episode, I was thinking it would be great if then can feature Agnee here. The band deserves more space, more visibility and more audience. And then i saw next week’s teaser. Those of you who are behind the show, time to pat your back. Great job with the show. And give us more)

Those of you who are Indian Ocean fans, probably already know about it. Those who discovered Indian Ocean recently because of Aamir Khan & Peepli Live, well, welcome to the club. Here is the good news. Illegal is all legal now! Download Indian Ocean’s songs for free. Become a part of the change!

Click here to go the Indian Ocean’s official website and download their new song Chand. Its from their new album 16/3330 Khajoor Road. It has seven songs and one song will be given away free every month starting 25th July 2010.  And later on, the whole album as a physical CD will be released.

Wondering why ? Because the music companies act like goons. They keep all the money, the royalty and even every right, and the band never makes any money from the sale of CDs. Whatever they make, it all comes from their live performances. So, better to use the middle finger for the music goons and reach to the fans directly!

And here is some more info about the track Chand – from the official release…

The first song to be given away is titled ‘Chand’, which means ‘moon’ in Hindi. We made this song for an eponymous short film directed by Anurag Kashyap, which unfortunately never saw the light of day. It’s a beautiful, touching twelve minute film about a young boy called Chand, who resides in a remand home in Mumbai, but lives in a world of his own. Sanjeev Sharma has written the lyrics for this song.

BTW, we have seen Anurag Kashyap’s short film Pramod Bhai 23, which is part of Mumbai Cutting, a collage of 11 short films by some well known directors. Its a heartwarming tale of a juvenile delinquent who is obsessed with the underworld and bollywood, and even quotes Gulzar. The film is yet to see the light of the day though its been ready since quite a while. Till then, enjoy the sound of Chand!

Because its Indian Ocean. Its their story. Its all about their music. And if you are not a fan of Indian Ocean, what are you listening ? Or what are you smoking, dude ?

From Kabir to Kashmir, Narmada to North-East, Indian Ocean’s music has the sound and soul of India. The roots that makes it an original and unique voice. And they just dont sing those songs, they believe in it, they live by it.

Jaideep Varma’s documentary Leaving Home starts with a really funny and smart line, the funniest I have ever read on a film’s opening credit. Actually even before the credit rolls. Am not going to spoil the fun by telling you the line.

The documentary unfolds in different chapters, based on their songs and tells the story of all the four band members, one by one. Susmit Sen, Rahul Ram, Amit Kilam & Asheem Chakravarty. How the band was formed, new members, entry, exit, girl in the band, girl gone, days of struggle, no money, first performance, first song, first album – many unknown and known stories are documented through family members and freinds.

Sometimes you cringe at the way the handheld shaky camera is used, you can spot the boom mike, its shadow, the lapel mike wires, the second camera in the frame while the first one is shooting and wonder why the makers could not cut it out at the edit or just be little more careful during the shoot. But if you are an Indian Ocean fan, you just sail through without wondering much about it. Because this is one untold story that needs to be told.

The tone is intentionally raw & rugged, the space has not been polished to make it look better, much like what the music of Indian Ocean is all about. Also, as a friend pointed out, there is enough drama in their story to convert it into a feature film but here everything has been kept subtle without hammering it down the throat with loud music and going extreme close up to record the tears rolling down, as the news channels intentionally do in their features.

At one tense moment, the camera remains on Asheem, when he is talking about his childhood and then he goes silent for few seconds and you wait and wait, not knowing what is he going to say next. But Jaideep holds it back without intruding his space for any kind of emotional manipulation.

The film was edited much before Asheem’s death but now it seems too uncanny. May be it was all written. The film opens with Asheem’s voice, it closes with his story and there is a clip of him singing “wahan kaun hai tera… musafir…jayega kahan…dum le le ghadi bhar…yeh chaiyaan payega kahaan! Gave me goosebumps all over. Still seems unbelievable that the man on the screen is not anymore with us.

Towards the end, at another point, the director even asks the band members about their future plans. What will they do when they grow old or are the worried about tomorrow ? what will happen next ? Then, they didnt. Now, we know something.

And thats why this documentary is important. We dont have the tradition of documenting our cultural history. Films, music, art, theatre…we never bothered. Lost it all. Its great that someone thought about Indian Ocean and documented their times and music because with one core member gone, it will never be the same again. I know that they got new members, they will continue with their music but somehow I already have a mental block. May be, am thinking too much. But there is some good news too. Have been told that there are many pending tracks that has Asheem’s contribution in many way.

So, three cheers to their music. And more cheers for documenting the tales of their music. Jaideep is trying to get a theatrical release for it. Hope it happens soon. And those of us who saw the film, were expected to talk about it, if we liked it, so that atleast twenty people would buy the ticket when it releases. I hope it goes much beyond twenty.

Do this favour to yourself. When it releases, buy the ticket. Its one ticket for lot of music. And if you know & love Indian Ocean, I know you will do it for sure.

For more about the film, click here.

PS – As always, Sudhir Mishra’s sound bites are priceless, with Che Guevara on the back wall and Hazaroon Khwashein Aisi on the side wall.

PS1 – Jaideep is also planning a four hour version of it with more music and more stories. May be for the dvd.

PS2 – A friend made a very relevant comment after the screening. If your kid is still feeling suicidal, forget Aamir Khan & 3 Idiots, go watch this film. Who said life is going to be easy. But see, there is way to do it. These guys did it, lived it, enjoyed it. And then you would not mind dying for it too. Just dont waste it.

Here is an excerpt from the documentary…Asheem and more…

Its more than 24 hours and its still sounds unbelieveable that one of the members of the band is not with us anymore. May be because the voice is so close to us, at the click of a button or mouse. Have been listening to Indian Ocean since morning. So, here is the video of the day – song excerpt from the film Leaving Home – the Life & Music of Indian Ocean. Its directed by Jaideep Varma and produced by Cartwheel Features. Hopefully it will get a theatrical release next year.