New York-based American music composer Wayne Sharpe, best known for his award-winning background scores in Prakash's Gangaajal and Apaharan, now doing the background for Jha's Raajneeti, was down in Mumbai earlier this week to finalize a new version of the eternal national patriotic song Vande Mataram.
The inimitable poet Gulzar, going international for the second time after 'Jai Ho' in Slumdog Millionaire, will pen the lyrics for the new-age Vande Mataram.
This would be the first attempt by a foreigner to modify and recreate an Indian patriotic song. Wayne Sharpe's new-age Vande Mataram would have a whole array of present day playback voices from Bollywood singing in the song.
The original Vande Mataram for the 1952 film was recorded by Lata Mangeshkar and composed by Hemant Kumar. A. R. Rahman later did another version of Vande Mataram.
But Wayne's version of the timeless track for Raajneeti would be entirely different. Speaking before leaving for New York, Wayne Sharpe said, "I specialize in background scores. Now I'm doing my first Bollywood song for Raajneeti. It's a re-arrangement of Vande Mataram with my version of the tune. I think I'm the first American to do this. It'd be huge production with a big orchestra. We'd have a bit of the old melody along with some of the new one that I'm writing. There would be a whole cross-section of singers."
Wayne credits Prakash Jha with his Bollywood connection. "I met Prakash through a mutual friend in New York. He invited me to India to do the background music in Gangaajal. Now I'm doing a third film for him. My speciality is working on western sounds and combining it with Indian sounds. That's the radar I'd like to stay within."
Wayne is trained in western classical music. And that's the sound we'll hear in this version of Vande Mataram. He is a big fan of A R Rahman. "Rahman's score in Taal just changed my life. It was a major pinnacle for my career as a musician."
Wayne has also completed the background music in Sanjay Chouhan's Lahore. "I see Mumbai as a second home," said the New Yorker before flying out.