Bann Chakraborty Talks Infusing Rock for ‘Plan A Plan B’ Songs

Charotar Globe Daily

The composer-singer says he received a long-anticipated phone call from Bollywood film director Shashanka Ghosh

Charotar Globe Daily

Bann Chakraborty. Photo: Naveen Dubey

Bann Chakraborty aka Anirban Chakraborty wrote “Candywalk” with his bandmates in Orange Street in 1998 and it eventually hit the airwaves in a big way in around 2002, putting him among the most inimitable voices in Indian rock music.

Since then, Chakraborty did eventually get back to releasing his own music – “Wish For Love” released in March, followed by singles like “Shaayad,” “Over n Under” and “Thakaan” – but more than that, he’s actually cemented his name in the world of commercial music – from ads and brand songs to film music as both, a singer and composer.

The latest is for Bollywood romantic comedy Plan A Plan B, starring actors Riteish Deshmukh and Tamannaah in lead roles directed by Shashanka Ghosh (Veere Di Wedding and Quick Gun Murugun). Ghosh acknowledged and followed Chakraborty’s growth ever since his Orange Street days and film music work alike. “He finally made that phone call that I have been waiting for many years, that’s how I came to work on the music for Plan A Plan B,” Chakraborty says.

Of course, working in the film music world does come with its own issues, especially when it comes to credits, as the artist has learned from past projects. Chakraborty doesn’t intend it as a complaint, but he points out that he isn’t credited on two songs he’s composed for 2012 film Vicky Donor for Eros International. “The metadata seems to be all mixed up and doesn’t represent my name anywhere,” he says. The song “Mar Jayian” had romantic and sad versions respectively, both of which were composed by Chakraborty for the movie, but his name doesn’t appear in either on streaming platforms.

That aside, there’s still plenty of work coming in for the composer and singer, who’s bringing in the rock edge to Bollywood music but also taking the cinematic composing style of film music to his own songs. Excerpts:

What led you to take that rock (or at least) guitar-infused style to make the two songs for Plan A Plan B? Did it fit stylistically with the aesthetic of the film as well?

First, I definitely wanted something other than the usual that is seen or heard in Bollywood films these days. In the song “Talli,” the situation of the protagonist (who loves to dance) seen in a club dancing was nothing unusual and one would expect the usual item song with heavy beats playing in a club. However, for me this presented an opportunity where I wanted to touch upon the vibe of rock ‘n’ roll (which was quite prevalent in Bollywood cinema during the Shammi Kapoor era) but also keep it relevant and organic enough for the audiences today to feel connected to. Hence the idea of the guitars, live horn sections with trombone and trumpets fused with synth bass sounds and electronic drums added to achieve that new and different vibe as a dance track.

Similarly, “Keh Do Ke” had a situation of two opposite-natured characters falling in love and it presented the opportunity of a flamenco-waltz style of guitar and rhythms in a song that is romantic but has a commanding vibe in its expression.

Second, I don’t know any better! My whole idea of working as a music composer in the world of Bollywood films is to find a ground for myself that is completely my own and does not need to conform to any trends or usual practices. And I am so grateful for every opportunity I get with the directors and producers who are willing to take that chance with me. 

You also got Vivek Hariharan and Mali and Sunidhi Chauhan on board. That’s a cool range of artists. What can you tell me about how you chose them for these songs?

I was very sure of Sunidhi Chauhan, who was also a part of Vicky Donor. Having had that experience of working with her, I truly understood her ability as a singer and realized why people call her legendary. There is a certain commitment to her craft that makes her shine and for a song like “Talli,” I was more than sure about her.

I was not aware of Vivek Hariharan until a fellow composer friend recommended him. His voice and singing abilities really got my mind working for “Keh Do Ke” and he nailed it in one go. He was able to deliver that subtle aggression in the vocals and yet maintain love and romance in his expression. That requires a lot of skill and the results have been outstanding for me.

For the female voice section, Mali was such a different voice that I just had to try it. I had only heard Mali sing in English and I kept wondering what if these two lines of admitting to falling in love were sung by her in Hindi. And it worked! For me, she has been such a discovery. I want to work more with her and I hope she agrees.

You’ve prefaced this film soundtrack with a few of your own singles. I think those also lend themselves to film songs in some sense, being sort of cinematic, especially “Shayaad.” What can you tell me about letting one side of you (film composer) seep into the indie artist side?

As a composer, my expression in music was always about storytelling whether as an indie artist or film composer. Hence my songs do sound cinematic and as mentioned earlier, that is all I know! Also, slowly and gradually, in this journey as a musician, the lines have blurred in my mind about being an indie artist or film composer. My work essentially remains the same about telling stories through songs. Some make it on film and some don’t, but I shall keep writing music as long as I live.

You recently released a version of “Candywalk” on your Spotify.

That was purely for my earlier band Orange Street’s fans, I keep getting calls and messages about putting it up on digital platforms. So I started with “Candywalk” as that represents the most recognized song and lyrics by the band.

What else is coming up through 2022?

Like Steve Jobs said, “Stay hungry, stay foolish”! I’ll be exactly that in 2022. [I am] currently working on a massive and beautiful project with some upcoming musicians, details of which I cannot disclose yet. Apart from that, I plan to go back to playing live if everything works out as planned. Also, more and more songs will be released this year both through films, long formats and independently. 

Read More

Share on Google Plus
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment


Post a Comment