He is one of the budding musical talents of the Indian film industry. Akash Sagar, younger brother of filmmaker Amrit Sagar, is all set to mark his debut as a music director through the film 1971. This 18-year old talented music director draws inspiration from Hollywood. Akash Sagar talks about his experience making the music of 1971.
Tell us something about your background? Where did you take your training in music?
I come from the Sagar family. I am 18 years old and studying BA. About two years back, when I was 16, I started making the background score for 1971. I have been playing piano since I was about ten. I have also learned Hindustani classical singing at the age of six from Suresh Wadakar.
Tell us something about the music of 1971?
The music of 1971 is very film oriented and it doesn't sway anywhere. It sticks to the realistic element of the film, plus it is quite entertaining for the audience. Most of the songs have the emotional content that is required. The background score of the film is very detailed and perpetual.
How much scope does a war film really have for music?
War films actually have a lot of scope for music, but you can't just cut and shoot the song in Switzerland. It definitely has scope for music but it should be used correctly keeping the realistic element alive. Since war is a very serious subject, the music has to be serious and pure in every sense.
Amrit Sagar recently told us that you conducted an entire orchestra for the background score; could you tell us something about it?
I orchestrated the path and then went ahead to record the score. We had a 60-piece orchestra. And there is a song where we had about 60-piece orchestra plus 40-piece choirs. Eric Pillay mixed and mastered the 1971's tracks. We chose to go completely historic and slightly based on western classical, because it brings a note of universality to the film. It's neither Indian nor Pakistani; rather it is a very universal tone.
Why did you decide on a female singer (Shibani Kashyap) for the title track knowing that the song is being picturized on male protagonists?
I heard her song in one album called Nazakat and I really like the tone and the texture of her voice. I met her and discussed about the song. I believe I liked the feel of her voice, and that is what I went for. I felt that the texture and the timber in her voice suited the song.
Shibani is also composing for the film. Weren't you apprehensive of sharing credits in your debut film?
That thought never arose in my mind. I consider her as a singer, who could match the tone that I was looking forward to, for my song. I didn't really look at the path she composed. So, there was not a question of being apprehensive of sharing credits. That thought never crossed my mind.
Are you doing any private albums?
As of now the only project on my mind is 1971. So. let time unfold what it has to.
Who is your favourite music director in Bollywood? Who have been your inspirations?
Frankly, speaking my inspiration is not from here. I really don't have any favourite. I can't say that one person is the best. S.D Burman was exceptionally great. A.R Rahman has reached the great standards of Indian music. Most of my inspiration comes from Hollywood because their music is more pure.
Are you composing for any other films?
I am waiting for 1971 to be out.