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A solo composer binds a film together: Rachita Arora- Cinema express

A solo composer binds a film together: Rachita Arora

The Mukkabaaz and Kaamyaab composer discusses her journey 

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Published: 21st March 2020

Composer Rachita Arora has been appreciated for her work in Kaamyaab. Released on March 6, the film stars Sanjay Mishra as a fading Bollywood actor attempting to do his 500th feature film. Last year, Rachita won the Best Music trophy at the ImagineIndia Madrid Film Festival for Kaamyaab. With the film finally out, we caught up with the composer to talk about her music and journey. 

Excerpts from the conversation:

Given the retro theme of Kaamyaab, what was your research like? 

The percussions, drums and electric guitars are all referenced from the retro era. I went back and watched cult movies like Gunda. Our director, Hardik Mehta, is crazy about these films and characters. I also admire the music of SD and RD Burman. Additionally, I’ve used jazz and orchestra segments popular during that age.

Besides the background music, you have composed the songs Tim Tim Tim, Paaon Bhari and Sikandar. 

I collaborated with the legendary Bappi da for Tim Tim. The song captures the journey of Sanjay Mishra’s character Sudheer. I’ve included all his filmy dialogues in the song. Paaon Bhari is voiced by Ash King. The song is about Sudheer attempting to find his last role. And then there was Sikandar, which is sung by Hariharan sir, who is one of my favourites. It’s an emotional track everyone can connect with.

It’s been three years since your debut with Mukkabaaz. How has the journey been so far? 

It was great to begin my career with Anurag Kashyap. Before that, I had collaborated with Makarand Deshpande in theatre. After the success of Mukkabaaz, I worked on Shubh Mangal Saavdhan (background score), Gurgaon, Sacred Games and  Judgemental Hai Kya. I feel fortunate to have worked with such distinct cinematic voices. All of my projects have been different and deeply artistic experiences. 

Producers today are opting for multi-composer albums. Your thoughts on that? 

Personally, I prefer the old-school approach of one composer doing the entire film. A solo composer binds the project together and gives it a unique perspective. In the 70s and 80s, this used to be the norm. A single composer can better understand the nuances of a script than 7-8 people working on it at the same time. 

Kaamyaab celebrates the forgotten character actors of Bollywood. Is there a similar music figure you wish people remembered 

Everyone loves Hemanta Mukherjee as a singer. But he was an equally talented composer. Also, there was Usha Khanna, one of the first female music directors in our industry. I absolutely love her compositions. I wish she had gotten to do more films during her time.

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