Bollywood’s new music mantra - multiple composers for one film

April 20th, 2009 - 9:27 am ICT by IANS  

By Ruchika Kher
New Delhi, April 20 (IANS) Bollywood doesn’t shy away from experimenting and filmmakers are always game to bring about changes in the industry to yield better results. After multi-starrers and director duos, hiring multiple composers for one movie is the latest trend in filmdom.

Recent releases like “Firaaq”, “Aloo Chaat”, “Aa Dekhen Zara”, “Raaz - The Mystery Continues”, “Golmaal Returns”, “8×10 Tasveer” and “Sikandar” among others had multiple composers for their soundtrack.

“There are different situations in a film and each situation demands a different genre of music. The composers today are not as dynamic as yesteryears music directors like Shanker-Jaikishan, S.D. Burman and R.D. Burman. So in order to have different melodies for diverse scenes, different composers are roped in,” Mukesh Bhatt, producer of “Raaz…”, told IANS.

“More composers add different flavours to the album,” added Bhatt, who roped in Raju Singh, Sharib Sabri, Toshi Sabri, Gourov Dasgupta and Pranay M. Rijia to create music for his hit thriller.

But Piyush Jha, director of “Sikandar”, said that bringing in more than one music director for a project doesn’t mean that a filmmaker doubts any composer’s capability.

“It’s not that a composer is not capable of giving good music and that’s why you sign more music directors. It is just that like one lyricist has a different thought process and approach from the other, similarly all composers have particular styles as their forte,” said Jha, who has earlier made films like “The King of Bollywood” and “Chalo America”.

“Also there is no harm to try various composers for your film. Different people bring different inspirations to a film, like all actors bring varied energies to the project. Its a good trend that adds freshness,” he added.

While filmmakers rope in more than one composer to give their movie and added flavour, some composers too feel that working with others for the same soundtrack helps in churning out a healthy cocktail of songs.

“Working with other composers for a film definitely helps since everyone gives their ideas and their inputs towards the music of the film. This helps make the soundtrack better,” said Uday of composer duo Justin-Uday.

Uday worked with Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Sandesh Shandilya for the “Sikandar” album.

“It is a positive thing and there is nothing wrong about it. It’s just that you should be confident. You shouldn’t feel that if you work in a multiple-composer film, your credit will go to someone else and you will not get your due. If you are good, your presence will definitely be felt,” he added.

In such an arrangement, is their scope for creative freedom?

“There is no confinement. Everyone knows what to do and works according to that. There is no overlapping,” said Sharib, one of the composers of “Raaz 2″.

Sharib is now working on the music of films like Madhur Bhandarkar’s “Jail”, Vishesh Films’ “Jashan” and Vikram Bhatt’s “Phir” besides others.

Uday also said there was no problem working with other composers.

“When you work with others on a film, you get ample creative freedom and breathing space. This is never a problem as such. As long as you are getting the credit of what you have done, there is no problem,” he said.

But there are some who don’t believe in this concept at all.

“We don’t do multiple-composer films. We are willing to be part of only OST (original soundtrack) compilations, where we retain full ownership of our songs,” said Vishal Dadlani of composer duo Vishal-Shekhar.

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Sandesh Shandilya, who collaborated in “Sikandar”, too normally avoid the multiple music director concept as they prefer not sharing credits with others.

“Sandesh and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy normally don’t work for multiple composer films. It was just a gesture and they decided to go ahead with ‘Sikandar’ because they liked the idea of the film,” explained Jha.

(Ruchika Kher can be contacted at

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