They composed the music for one of the biggest hits of 2007, Chak De India. The film's title track went on to become the National Sports Anthem. This was followed by the melodious tracks of Madhuri's comeback vehicle, Aaja Nachle. But now, Salim-Sulaiman get ready for their biggest challenge as they have been chosen by Aditya Chopra to compose the music for his next directorial venture, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. We spoke with Salim Merchant to know more about the film's music.
Is it true that Aditya Chopra has signed you up to compose the music for his directorial film Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi?
Yes, that is very true. We (Salim-Sulaiman) are composing the music for Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. We are very excited about the project, and hope to do our best.
From the title, it seems that the film is romantic. What is the brief given to you for the film?
You know how a Yash Raj Film works; they love to keep it in wraps until its time to finally let it out. Although I know the story, I can barely tell you anything. Once ready, they will announce the film on a very grand scale.
Aditya Chopra is returning back to direction after a span of nearly eight yrs. His past films had record-breaking music. Don't you think, there's major responsibility on your shoulders?
Well, we work for the film, there's nothing big or small. It's the film, which matters and appeals, not the director. We would have been excited and anxious about the music otherwise also. But I must agree, Aditya is a very good director and it would be a great experience working with him. We will try to do our best with the music for the film.
Jatin-Lalit have been Aditya's favorite in the past. What is your opinion on their compositions?
Their compositions have been great. They have been in this field for a very long time and successfully given some amazing hits. And times are changing; we cannot call ourselves successful considering we have just begun.
Will you also be doing the background score?
We had begun our career with background scores and we would never give up that at any point of time. Yes of course, we are doing the background score. And when you talk of that, it is a big responsibility, we have just begun getting in compositions and have a long way to go. We have been very fortunate that our songs have been appreciated.
What kind of response did you get for Chak De India and Aaja Nachle?
Well, that I should ask you; I do not want to praise ourselves. It does not make any sense like that. Nevertheless, yaah, it feels great when the song was taken as the national sports anthem but I must add that it was the film that made it like that. The film was a hit and that is why the song was loved so much.
Since the award season has begun, do you expect trophies coming your way this year?
We do not expect anything, because that's not the intention with which we make music. Our prime motive is to make music for the film and then the audience. But I must agree that all these awards work as a morale booster and do a great job of encouraging us. But the ultimate pleasure is when it works for the film.
So what was the biggest compliment you received for your songs?
Well, the Chak De song becoming the sports anthem itself is a big compliment but what really touched our hearts is when music lovers like A.R. Rahman and Shankar Mahadevan praised our work. They complimented our song, 'Yeh Honsla' from Dor and 'Maula Mere' from Chak De India and said that it was a very different song. And when Zakir Husain, who is like my guru, praises our music, it's a different feeling altogether. There's no bigger compliment than that.