I don’t remix, I recreate: Tanishk Bagchi on composing for Simmba
The music composer talks about his 2018 journey that is bookended by Simmba
Four years since making his Bollywood debut with, Banno, in Tanu Weds Manu Returns, composer Tanishk Bagchi has established himself as a leading presence in Hindi film music. In 2018, he has contributed popular tracks to films such as Raid, Fanney Khan, Satyameva Jayate, Gold, Loveyatri, Badhaai Ho and Zero. In Rohit Shetty’s upcoming action-entertainer film Simmba — starring Ranveer Singh and Sara Ali Khan — Tanishk has composed three songs: Tere Bin, Aala Re Aala and Aankh Maare, which is a recreation of the 90s smash hit from the Arshad Warsi-starrer Tere Mere Sapne.
“Simmba was an opportunity given to me a year back. I was working with Karan Johar a lot, so he recommended my name to Rohit Shetty. Initially, I was asked to compose just the title track (Aala Re Aala), which everyone liked. Later, Aankh Maare was offered to me. I sat with our music supervisor, Azeem Dayani, and came up with five versions of the song. We didn’t like any of them and felt the necessary quirkiness was missing. Thus I suggested we use Tusshar Kapoor’s Golmaal voice and also get Kumar Sanu, the original singer, to be a part of the remix,” Tanishk recalls.
Speaking of remixes, the composer has to his credit tracks like the Humma song (OK Jaanu), Tamma Tamma (Badrinath Ki Dulhania), Hawa Hawai 2.0 (Tumhari Sulu) and Dilbar (Satyameva Jayate). Pointing out that there’s a difference between a ‘remix’ and a ‘recreation’, the Kolkata-born composer argues, “I consider myself to be an original music director. Whenever I recreate a song, I approach it like a fresh track, with a new sensibility and style. ‘Remixing’ per se is just taking an old song and adding a few beats to it — while ‘recreating’ takes innovation and a hands-on approach. I use a lot of Indian instruments in my tracks including tabla and dholak — as well as other instruments like the mandolin — so that the songs sound original and do not become EDM tracks.”
Sharing his opinion on the present state of Hindi film music, Tanishk agrees that most Bollywood producers are more welcoming of surefire hits instead of originality and experimentation. “Everyone is looking for a hit song instead of a good song. Earlier, songs used to have their own pulse and expression. Music directors used to be more involved with the film director, since songs and background score were an important part of the narrative. Nowadays film music is determined by what’s working and what’s not. However, that said, there are composers like Vishal-Shekhar or Amaal Mallik who are doing great original work,” he notes.
Looking back at his musical journey so far, Tanishk says, “My father used to arrange music for the likes of RD Burman and Satyajit Ray but we were never financially stable. I used to think of music as a bad career choice and wanted to become a pilot. But as I grew up, and started performing and composing on my own, the dream of becoming a music director took shape. I have never looked back and feel happy that I took this path in life.”
Co-produced by Dharma Productions and Rohit Shetty Picturez, Simmba is scheduled for release this Friday.