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RajeevKhandelwal Soundtrack-page 54 (Page 20)

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Posted: 04 September 2011 at 2:21am | IP Logged

Soundtrack' director relates to struggle of his character


Mumbai: Neerav Ghosh, who is making his diretorial debut with the upcoming 'Soundtrack', says he can relate to the struggle in show-business that is depicted in the film because he has experienced it first hand.


Neerav, a musician who switched to directing music videos at an early age, worked on documentaries and TV commercials before his Bollywood debut.

"I have worked on this film for three-and-half years, acquiring remake rights of the original film ('Its all gone Pete Tong'), adapting the story for the Indian audience," Neerav told PTI.

"It was emotionally exhausting. I know your first film takes time as you face some glitches like getting finance, etc. In my case the transfer of rights and getting finance for the film took time. But I just kept going."

'Soundtrack' is the story of a struggling musician (played by Rajeev Khandelwal), his rise to stardom, and his subsequent battle with hearing loss.

Neerav feels even the audience will be able to relate to the subject. "There are a lot of relatable things in the movie like struggle, getting back on your feet," he said.

The film also stars Soha Ali Khan, Mrinalini Sharma and Mohan Kapur. It also has a cameo by filmmaker Anurag Kashyap.

It will release on September 30.
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Posted: 05 September 2011 at 4:59am | IP Logged
Soundtrack is a commercial project, not underground and niche
Soundtrack is a commercial project, not underground and niche

An Indian fusion group comprising Delhi-based musicians, Gaurav Raina and Tapan Raj, MIDIval Punditz started a music production unit for films with longtime collaborator and friend Karsh Kale. Their first project under this banner was background score for Bollywood film Karthik Calling Karthik (2010), followed by Dum Maaro Dum (2011). In an exclusive interview, the duo talk about their debut as Bollywood music composers with the upcoming movie Soundtrack and more...

 

How did the music of Soundtrack come about?
Gaurav Raina (GR):
Neerav Ghosh, the director of Soundtrack, happens to be a very old friend of ours from Delhi. He called us about a year ago when he got the rights to the Indian adaptation of an English film called Its All Gone Pete Tong, based on the life of a DJ who loses his hearing because of the loud music he hears while DJing. So, we were Neerav's obvious choice because we've been DJing for 15-16 years now.

 

In the past, people have attempted to do movies on club cultures or life of a DJ. So how did you'll approach the music of a movie like Soundtrack?
GR: I feel all the past attempts have been quite Bollywood-ised. But, Neerav's tried to show how a DJ in India would actually be. So one main thing for the music was it had to be edgy, now and very Midival Punditz-Karsh Kale!

Tapan Raj (TR): But, of course Neerav did mention to us that Soundtrack is a commercial project, and not something very underground and niche. So, we just had to make the sound a little accessible.

 

GR: The music of Soundtrack is a very good representation of our sound. We have had songs  with Indian lyrics in all our albums, making them very Bollywood friendly. But, for the first time our songs have been put under a banner. We feel its a starting point/first attempt to talk to a much bigger audience. We just want to make people happy, and make them dance.

 

How do you integrate guest musicians in your music? Was there a particular reason for choosing off beat artists like Kailash Kher and Suraj Jagan? How was the experience of working with them?


GR: We chose Suraj for 'Ruk Jaana Nahin' because of his voice. We've known him on and off but it wasn't because of our friendship. It was purely professional. We needed the range, the throw. We wanted it to be sung with some attitude and power because the music goes into a very anthemic rock space. It needed a rock voice. We asked him to give us the performance of a rock-singer and yet be in the Kishore Kumar space.

Well, Kailash Kher is a different story. Neerav and Kailash have been working together since Kailash's first hit 'Allah Ke Bandey.' They're family friends and Kailash had always expressed his desire to be on Neerav's first film, so that's how it came about. We came to Mumbai, worked with Kailash. He practically wrote the whole track (lyrics and the main melody), except for the music. We just re-arranged it and put out the track 'Main Chala.' Big smileBig smile

The 'What the F' track has a very 80s synthpop kind of sound to it. Is it just us or is there any such underlining influence?
TR: This was the only track that Neerav said had to be a pop track. It had to be peppy. So we decided that it had to have a bass line similar to 'Another one bites the dust.' We wanted a rock number with pounding beats. But yes, the instrumentation we got inspired from was exactly the 80s synthpop.

Vishal Vaid is a relatively unknown name. How did the compositions 'Ek Manzil' and 'Fakira' with him come about?

TR: Vishal is a little unknown in India because he hasn't performed much over here but he's pretty well known in the US Ghazal scene. We've brought him down a couple of times and he's performed with us on our albums. In fact, he regularly performs with us in our shows in India and abroad. We know each other's strengths and weaknesses. As soon he hears a little glimpse of the song, he knows exactly what we want—even before we ask him. We just had to express what we wanted on the phone, and he recorded it in Atlanta and sent it to us.

Besides, he's also worked with Karsh. So, for us, it was a no-brainer. It was like a get together for a big family project!

Recently, there is a new trend of re-arranging old songs. You've done it with 'Ruk Jaana Nahin' and 'Yeh Jeevan Hai'. What's the reason behind that?
TR: We weren't following any such trend. Neerav is a big fan of Kishore Kumar, so he wanted to do these two Kishore Kumar tracks as covers. But frankly, we had an upper hand because Karsh was involved. We didn't take the original samples. We got it re-sung, and also re-approached the instrumentation from scratch.

GR: We love listening to Kishore Kumar! You can't get the real songs out of your head. However, for someone like Karsh—who comes from a different background, primarily Indian American living—he's got a different sensibility. So, he cracked those songs for us in an extremely interesting way.

'Yeh jeevan hai' is an ambient track, instead of having a male singer we got a female singer—who happens to be a really accomplished North Indian Sufi singer. Karsh was the one who got in the different flavor. Else, the songs would probably end up sounding very similar to what anyone else would do or we'd make a dance remix out of them.


Which mainstream Bollywood playback singer do you want to work with?
TR: We love Shankar Mahadevan! We worked on a track with him in our last album and we hope to keep working with him. He's a fantastic singer and a very grounded person.

GR: We were supposed to do an album with him. We had met up and he said lets do a project together so we were doing this concept that we can't really talk about but we hope to revive it at some point.

Films like Shaitan, 404 have dabbled with indie artistes like Suman Sridhar, Imaad Shah's The Pulp Society and Bhayanak Maut for their soundtracks. What do you think is the reason behind this sudden indie-mainstream crossover?

TR: I think it's because new kind of directors and producers are making their presence felt in Bollywood. We see a whole new style of film making post cult movies like Dev D (2009). We believe, that the filmmakers are opting for different music because they like certain bands themselves.

GR: In a country of over billion people, I'm sure there are more than six composers who compose for the entire industry. But because the industry has not really expanded creatively over the past decade, there is not enough diversity. That's changing now, and this crossover is a result of that.

Your favorite artist from Bollywood?

TR: Personally, I like Vishal Bhardwaj's work. He's a genius. His musicality is something that I find very exciting. He really finds the earthy stuff from Indian cinema and brings it out and makes it accessible to metros which is very cool.

GR: I am a big fan of Salim-Sulaiman's background score

How different is it scoring for films as compared to your own album work? Are there creative restrictions in making a film's soundtrack as opposed to doing a personal project?
GR: I wouldn't say restrictions. The playing field changes because they both are equally inspiring and exciting, but in different ways. When we're working on an album, it's a diary of sorts of our experiences from the last album to now. With a film soundtrack its a different ballgame because there are 20 different things like a narrative, a story, a theme etc. But it doesn't mean those restrict you. The visuals will guide and inspire you.

 

What is the common ground between electronic and classical? They don't seem to be too good as bedfellows?
TR: (Laughs) Well, we don't think so too. In 1998, when we were trying to find our sound, we tried a couple of things including merging electronics and classical. In the end, we decided to use ancient art that we have—folk, classical, Sufi or ghazal—merge it and create something new instead of just fusing it. We just wanted to create a new form so that it looks like they're a part of each other.

GR: These two styles could really merge, but no one has cracked the perfect formulae. In the era where lots of Buddha bar kind of compilations were released, people thought let's just put a flute, a few beats and some alaaps together and there you go!

Would you be open to playing your movie compositions at your live gigs? Or do you wish to go the purist way?

TR: Depends. Something we've created that we're really excited about and if it fits into the show, we will. All the tracks of this particular film Soundtrack are very different so 80 percent of it can be played on our shows.

GR: We're playing at the GIMA awards this year. So there's a big chance that Kailash may sing the song from the film itself, and we'd love for him to do it.

Have you managed to catch Coke Studio India episodes? What do you think of it?
GR: Personally, I don't like it. No offense, but its creatively boring. I've heard all the songs by the same people over the years in the same way. There's nothing new. We hope that they take it to the creative level that Pakistan Coke Studio did.

TR: I went and saw one of the episodes. It's interesting. Some of the people who haven't heard these artists might be exposed to them. People might not have heard Papon's Assamese singing, so they do get exposed to that side of his music. But that's the only positive that I really saw.

What are the future plans?
TR: Right now we want to finish our fourth album, which we're very excited about. Then, there's an ongoing project that we're doing with Shekhar Kapur. So Karsh and Punditz are doing the music and Shekhar Kapur is doing poetry, lyrics and the spoken word.




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Posted: 05 September 2011 at 5:03am | IP Logged

Bollywood goes to college

?
Leaving no stone unturned and no audience unexplored, Bollywood movie promotions have entered city colleges with celebs like Imran Khan, Prateik and Ranveer Singh attending fests to promote activities and judge events.

When Rajeev Khandelwal and Mrinalini Sharma came to judge events at Malhar, the college fest of St Xavier's College, the grounds featured promotional material of their upcoming film, Soundtrack.
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Posted: 05 September 2011 at 6:15am | IP Logged

How does Sudhir Mishra manage to be so relevant?'

?

Neerav Ghosh's first film Soundtrack, starring Rajeev Khandelwal and Soha Ali Khan, is all set to hit screens on September 30.

The director is busy promoting his film, which he says tires him, "but the times are such that hard selling your film is must!" Ask the director what he plans to do when the stardust of his first film settles down and he says rather simply, "I'll redefine my dream. My dream was to be a filmmaker. I started out making music videos and that was how I entered tinsel town. Now, I guess I'll have to set a new milestone and mull over my next film, which hopefully will happen soon! I believe that a director can sustain his good work for around 10 years. That's his shelf life!"

Elaborating on it he says, "From the time I began watching films, I've seen nearly all the works of N Chandra, JP Dutta, Subhash Ghai, Mahesh Bhatt and I've realised that for a decade or so, they give their best work to the audience. Then somewhere mid-way they lose the plot. This is not to cast aspersions on their talent, it's just the way the industry works. And then again, there are exceptions to this rule like Sudhir Mishra!" Speaking about this director, Neerav says, "Whether it was Yeh Who Manzil To Nahin, Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi, Chameli or the recent Yeh Saali Zindgai, he always manages to make relevant cinema. Yeah, maybe some of his films are not BO successes, but years later when you pick a CD and watch his film, his film seems to be telling a story of a relevant era, a burning issue etc., and how he manages to do this with such finesse is something I admire!"

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Posted: 05 September 2011 at 6:27am | IP Logged
Rajeev is the face of intelligent cinema EmbarrassedEmbarrassed


His film's name is Soundtrack and Neerav Ghosh is a happy that his debut film is based on a subject that's close to his heart.

Says the filmmaker, "Back in the 90s I was too part of a band in Delhi and I was the lead guitarist in that band. So, I've seen the life of a musician from pretty close quarters and am glad that my first film that happens to be on music. I was signed on for some other projects too, but things didn't work out then! Maybe since my heart and soul was in music it is only apt that my first film is on music."

Speaking more about his film, Neerav says, "When I started out as a musician, I'll confess the cool quotient of the profession was attractive and the thought of chics adoring you, alluring! But, when on stage amid while performing amid all that loud music of different instruments, a thought always crosses a musician's mind (and it did mine too) 'what if I go deaf?' And it is this fear that gave birth to my film. And playing the lead role is Rajeev Khandelwal."

Quiz the director on his choice of actor and he says, "He just seemed so perfect for the role. Also, he's the face of intelligent, urban cinema and I knew that he'll do justice to the character I have in mind." How did he steer clear of roping in big names for his first film? He says, "I always believe that a film is made in the pre-production stage itself. If the script is strong, the plan well laid out and locations chosen in advance, then the execution of plan, which is filming, is the last part and easiest. And if this is done well, your film does well too!"

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Posted: 06 September 2011 at 12:41am | IP Logged
nice article there...thanks for sharing puri...Smile

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