Siddharth Mahadevan and Soumil Shringarpure say that it’s not necessary to come from similar backgrounds to compose music together but you need to respect each other’s musicality
Siddharth Mahadevan and Soumil Shringarpure are not just cousins but great buddies too. Their mutual understanding shows in the kind of music they compose. The composer duo say that they might disagree on several things but they always agree to what is best for a song.
“We have disagreements because we are two different individuals with different perspectives. But at the end of the day, it’s important to be unbiased towards the eventual end product that you are working on,” says Siddharth, to which Soumil adds, “The song is always bigger than us. We always choose what is best for the song.”
Siddharth, son of singer-composer-actor Shankar Mahadevan, says that when two people are composing music, they don’t really need to come from similar backgrounds. The biggest example of that is Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. “Dad comes from Indian classical, Loy from jazz and Shankar from the blues world. And when they come together they create all kinds of music,” he says to which Soumil adds, “You have to respect the other person’s musicality. When you have that kind of respect, then you see how you can blend it and work on the common goal.”
A fun track
Siddharth and Soumil have recently composed a track with another musical duo Salim-Sulaiman for Yaari song for McDowell’s No 1 Soda. The brand has introduced its new sonic asset through ‘No 1 Yaari Jam’, a music platform that is being launched with the release of five Yaari sound tracks. The tracks are in five languages with Swarathma leading the jam in Karnataka, Mame Khan and his band composing for Rajasthan, Ishq Bector creating a foot tapping number from Punjab and Siddharth Mahadevan and Soumil Shringarpure composing for Maharashtra.
Talking about the track, Siddharth says, “We were approached by Qyuki for the initiative. They wanted us to compose the Marathi version of the song so we have composed it like an original track keeping its original essence. The song had to have a feeling of friendship and yaari. We wanted to create a track that Soumil, I and our bunch of friends would listen to. It’s a fun track and those who have listened to it have loved it.”
Ask them about collaborating with Salim-Sulaiman and Soumil says, “It was fantastic working with them. It was our composition and Salim-Sulaiman have produced it. It was such a learning experience. The two days we spent with them were so fascinating and inspiring. We have always looked up to them since we started off so it was a great opportunity to collaborate.”
The duo say that Salim-Sulaiman have added their suggestions to the song. “We had composed the song in a way like you hear at a live concert but the brand wanted something in particular. So when we took the song to Salim-Sulaiman, they too liked it and assured us that they will convince the brand. They shared their inputs too,” say the duo who love KK’s Yaaron Dosti Badi Hi Haseen Hai , which also kind of celebrates friendship, and songs from Dil Chahta Hai.
But is composing music for films and indie projects different? “At the end of the day, every song that you compose is your baby. You are working at the studio, creating the words, deciding on the instrumentation and once the song is ready, you are listening to your baby. But in indie projects you get to express your feelings and emotions even more,” says Soumil with Siddharth adding, “Personally, I believe that you have to choose, then the satisfaction level in indie projects is greater. When you are composing songs for films you are following a certain situation in the film or script or an emotion that the director wants you to portray. In case of independent songs, you get a lot freedom and the same happened with this one. Everyone involved with the project loved the first draft.”
The duo have worked on Marathi films like Welcome Zindagi, Sugar Salt Ani Prem, Sata Lota Pan Sagla Khota and several others. “We have finished Gajendra Ahire’s next and there are a couples of others which will release next year,” says Siddharth adding that the experience of working on a Marathi project is different as they get to compose the entire album. “You get to sit with the director and compose the music. Bollywood has a different approach. You get to compose may be just one track in a film or 10 composers may be composing the same track,” he adds.