Sound with sass

Anjali Jhangiani
Friday, 8 June 2018

Shashwat Sachdev, who has composed songs for Veere Di Wedding, is garnering attention for his edgy, fun numbers

There may be mixed reviews for the movie, but everyone seems to like the music. The songs are edgy and refreshing — can you believe that it was worked on three years ago, and has since been tweaked here and there to become the fun compilation it is? Shashwat Sachdev, still a new face in Bollywood with Veere Di Wedding (VDW) being his second project, after working in Hollywood since 2011, is grabbing eyeballs.  

His first project, Phillauri, was strikingly different from this one. The songs were folksy and had a more earthy feel as opposed to the dancey electronic numbers he’s composed for VDW. He talks about working on the music of the film with producer Rhea (Kapoor), who shares his taste in music.  “I met Rhea two-and-a-half years ago, I read the script and started working on the music. The brief was to come up with something that resonates with the characters in the film as well as the audience. The characters were as old as us, so we could identify with them. We made music that would appeal to us, and it looks like it worked out very well,”?says 29-year-old Sachdev. 

Working on Phillauri was the first time he had to deal with lyrics, since he’s primarily an electronic music producer. Though VDW music was in the making for three years, the entire album sounds fresh, probably because this is more ‘him’ than his previous project. “When we started working on this, and the film was pushed back for a couple of years, I was concerned whether the music would still be relevant in 2018. Every time I would try something experimental and think that it might be too avant-garde for mainstream audiences, so I should tone it down, Rhea would encourage me to go full swing. Now that it’s out, I’m glad that not only people our age, but those in older age groups have also liked the album,” he says. 

Classical to electronic
Sachdev started learning classical Hindustani music when he was all of three years old. But he chose to make a career in electronic music because, well, preference. Ask him about his background in classical Indian music and he snaps back saying, “I am an artist. I want to make good music that people want to hear, there’s a freshness in my melodies and my sound.”

But he admits that knowledge of classical music gives him a better perspective and helps him understand music from an emotional point of view. “My training helps me own my desi. The revolution of EDM was happening while I was growing up and somehow it became my immediate style,” he says. 

Teri pappi le loon
The sassiest of the lot, one song that raises eyebrows is Pappi Le Loon, with the hook line Buri Nazar Wale Aa Teri Pappi Le Loon. “I had originally made the song with the line Buri nazar wale, tera mooh kala, but I wanted to make it quirky and yet keep it from sounding crass. I asked my lyricist Shellee to come up with something and we thought why not say something like Teri pappi le loon instead of Tera mooh kala. It’s something that people with buri nazar will be like ‘I didn’t see that coming!’ and will be shocked. It’s complete sass. I ran it by Rhea, and she loved it! For three years, we kept adding layers to it, it was something I did before working on Phillauri,”?says Sachdev, whose dream came true when he recorded Sunidhi Chauhan for it. “The initial vocals are mine and then Sunidhi comes in. I have always wanted to work with her, I am such a huge fan!” says the ‘Symbi-graduate’. 

Coming up
Right now, the music producer is basking in the success of his work. But his plans include jamming with other musicians, listen to a lot of music and try to bring a revolution into Bollywood music. “The scene in Bollywood is very mundane. The same kind of music is repeating. With so much music being available online, very few people really go and explore different kind of music. I want to bring this variety to Bollywood. For my future projects, I will try to strike a balance between the kind of music I want to hear, the kind of music I like and the kind of music I want to make,” says Sachdev, just before revealing that he has three to four projects up his sleeves.

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