With around 15 films in his hand, Pritam Chakraborty is perhaps the busiest director in industry right now. Not to forget one of the most successful ones in the business too. It's a time of nail-biting tension for the talented music director. He's got the names and the banners behind him after the super success of songs like Dhoom Machale and Crazy Kiya Re.
In an exclusive conversation, the super talented music director talks about his upcoming films and his music interests.
The video which you featured in Gangster was a super-hit. Are you planning to do any more videos for your forthcoming films?
Actually I was forced into the video of Gangster by Anurag Basu; I wasn't supposed to be a part of the video. I was just present for the shoot and Anurag said that it will look nice if I was a part of the band. The band we are creating for Metro, I might be a part of it and if there is a video shot for the band then I might be a part of that too.
Yea, Anurag Basu did recently mention to us that the two of you are planning to device a band for the film. But he also added that if it works out it will be a talking point of the film. So what is the status on the band?
The band is shaping up well. We are getting people together for the band. There are six songs in the film and all are being sung and performed by the band. That would be featuring artists like KK.
So what do you prefer better - being a music director or working in a band?
Of course working for a band. Because whenever you are working for a band it's more fun and like a picnic. I used to perform in a band in Kolkatta but now due to work pressure I don't perform. You can do your own kind of music in a band. But when you are a music director you have more responsibilities and deadlines.
How is it working with the Bhatts knowing that they are very particular about their music?
I think Mukeshji takes major care when he is doing his music because he knows that music is a very important part of the film. Both Mukeshji and Maheshji take keen interest in the music, they are always trying out new music and voices. They never compromise or shy away from trying new things. Mukeshji constantly says that music is one field of filmmaking that I enjoy the most.
Dhoom and Dhoom 2's music had a very international feel to it. Were both the films trying to cater to a particular market?
Not really. It's important that music of a certain film goes hand in hand with the movie. Dhoom and Dhoom 2 are sleek action films in their own terms. They are very hip and stylized, thus automatically even the music becomes stylized and hip. It's not purposely done to cater to some audience or a class. If you see Dhoom Machale was a hit everywhere from interiors of India to all over the world.
But then Dhoom 2 did not meet the same success as Dhoom.
That's a wrong notion. Dhoom 2 picked up a little late in terms of sales. Crazy Kiya Re was very popular. Dhoom 2 had an expectation related problem. The sky high expectations led to the initial notion that the film is not doing too well.
Off late it's been said that you compose tunes at Manas Resort in Igatpuri. What's so special about the place?
Off late I have caught up with the typical filmy trend of going out and composing which I have never done before. I always used to compose in my house or my studio. But now for Abbas Mastan's film, Amit Durrani sent me to Khandala. We stayed at Dukes Resort and that's where all the songs for Race were locked. I quite enjoyed the trend; I was having a holiday and also working at the same time. Then for the next film which is Priyadarshan's Bhool Bhuliya being produced by T-Series we went to Manas Resort in Igatpuri. Sameer the lyricist for the film came along and we composed the basic germ of the song and later orchestrated it in Mumbai.
Talking about Priyadarshan, you have done Garam Masala with him earlier and now you are again doing Dhol and Bhool Bhuliya with him, how is your rapport with him?
Very good. Bhul Bhooliya is my fourth film with him. He has a very unique style of working. He decides on the music very fast. He has a very different music sense. It's actually a blessing to work with him because you get to learn a lot with him.
Your pairing with Remo worked wonders in Bhagam Bhag (Pyaar Ka Signal). We heard you two are coming together again.
Yes, that is for a film called My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves. See, last year was a very interesting year for me because a lot of new voices like James and Zubin which weren't familiar in Hindi films were in a way launched through me. Also singers who were forgotten like Remo, Amit Kumar, Usha Utthup came back through me. I am very fond of Remo's voice too. In My Name Is Anthony Gonsalves we have a very Goan song so Remo was the obvious choice.
'My Name is Anthony Gonsalves' sounds an interesting film title. Well you can remix or recreate the song of same name from the yesteryear Amitabh Bachchan starrer Amar Akbar Anthonyfor the title track of this film.
(Laughs) That's a nice idea but we haven't come up with anything as yet. In the songs we have come up with till now there is no title song. Maybe we might try something for the later half.
You have been often accused of plagiarism, what do you have to say about it?
I have spoken a lot about it and there is nothing more to say about it.
You experiment a lot with your music, any rare musical instrument that you have used a lot in your compositions?
One instrument which we have used for Dhoom Machale sounds like a saxophone which actually is not a saxophone but a Turkish instrument called duduk. That is the most ancient instrument that I have used till now.
Would you like to compose for a period film?
Yes I want to compose for romantic and period films because that part of my talent hasn't been exploited till now. I have composed for a lot of item songs but when you compose for period films you get an opportunity to compose for Indian numbers which I want to do
Kareena Kapoor did her first item number in 'Don'. Now it is rumoured that you are composing her next item number in 'Kya Love Story Hai'. What is it about? And is there anything special that you have thought of?
Yes it's very special. We had finished all the songs for Kya Love Story Hai and we were actually waiting for this number to happen. I was working very hard on this song. And finally now we have cracked a very good song for Kareena and she likes it a lot. And I hope after her performance on this song it will go somewhere else all together.
Any music directors from the past generation whose work you like?
It's very difficult to say one particular music director from the past because everyone have their own set of good songs that they have done. But I have actually grown up listening to RD Burman. I have also been a part of RD Burman fan club so he comes very naturally to me.
Amongst the current lot of music directors, who do you think is doing good work?
In the current lot, I guess AR Rahman. He has become a legend. Apart from him there is Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. Vishal Bharadwaj's Omkara is unbeatable and is one of the best scores I have heard in recent times. Then there is Salim-Sulaiman, Vishal Shekhar. I have been very fond of Mithoon's music in Anwar. Also Himesh who has created his own style and his kind of music.
Give us a listing of favourite 5 tracks composed by you.
My five favourite tracks will be
- Jaage Jaage Arma Hai from Mere Yaar Ke Shaadi Hai,
- Tumse Yun Milenge from Ankahee,
- Bola Na Tum Zara from Fight Club,
- Gud Gudi Kar Gayi from Just Married and
-Sharara Sharara from Mere Yaar Ke Shaadi Hai. It's very special to me because Ashaji has sung it
Tell us two things about yourself that we don't know.
I am very confused and forgetful. I can tell you stories where I have forgotten my car in the studio and come back home in an autorikshaw and lodged a complaint in the police station the next day about my missing car.
In regards to my music I am more of a rock person and whatever I do for Bollywood is according to the script otherwise I am more into world music; I am very fond of world music.