I don’t start off with the thought: Yeh mujhe hit karna hai - Amit Trivedi

Debarati Palit Singh
Friday, 2 February 2018

Composer Amit Trivedi, who will be performing at  SulaFest 2018, talks about how such music festivals are helping  independent music artists 

When Amit Trivedi comes up with a song, he never disappoints you. He makes sure his music is edgy, unconventional and unique. That’s because he follows his heart and instincts when composing music. 

Fans of Amit Trivedi have a chance of catching him live at concert at the 11th edition of SulaFest happening on February 3 and 4 in Nashik. The festival will have more than 100 artists from across the world including Gypsy Hill, Crystal Fighters, Parov Stelar and others. As for Amit’s concert, he says that he has divided his set into two parts — the first is only for the ears and the second is for the legs. “It’s a mix of film and original songs from Coke Studio,” he quips. Excerpts from an interview: 
How excited are you about the music festival?
This is my first time at SulaFest. I have heard a lot of amazing things about it — the energy, the crowd and the overall vibe of the festival. I am also interested in the international line-up. If time permits, I would love to come on February 3 and see the entire thing. And of course, my set is also what I am most excited about. 

There is a wide variety of music concerts happening in our country like NH7 Weekender, Magnetic Fields, Sunburn, Mahindra Blues, etc. Do these fests help the independent music scene?
They are definitely helping independent artists by providing them with a platform. Otherwise where is the independent music scene? There is a fantastic independent music scene with great bands full of talented artists and singers. There are so many out there and they don’t get a chance! This is the best place, it’s great that all of these festivals and events are happening. 
How important is crowd participation while performing live?
It is very important! If you’re singing or playing a song and the crowd is not enjoying, toh gadbad hai na! If they’re not participating, that means you’re doing something wrong, which means you should go home and sit and practise for two to three years. That’s how it is! If the crowd comes and participates, you’re doing something right, sab sahi jaa raha hai. 

In one of your interviews, you’d said that you are basically a studio person. While most artists love to perform live, why do you prefer the studio?   
I don’t know. But it’s not that I don’t enjoy performing live; you will see a completely different side of me. That said, I am a composer at heart. And I like the process of building a song from scratch and giving it shape.   

Most of your music is influenced by different genres, like jazz, folk, etc. Is it the reason what makes your music so unique?
I am not an expert in varied genres. But I am in a situation where I am serving for cinema. If there’s a film about a guy who is into drugs and alcohol, and his love life is a mess, I have to get into the trippiness. I have to get into a little dark, edgy and trippy zone. If I am dealing with Punjab and the drug issue and how drugs have ruined the state, I have to make it trance-y and hip-hop. If the film is set in 1950s in a bar where they only play jazz music — jazz culture was really huge in the ’50s — then I have to be true to that genre and era. I can’t be doing a dholak or tabla for it. It all comes from cinema! The film Secret Superstar dealt with a 14-year-old singer and songwriter who is frustrated with her life because of her dad being violent and domestic abuse at home. I have to get into her head and think from her point of view. When it comes to such subjects the music has to take a backseat and the sound has to be basic and must have simple melodies. I always try to keep my music  to what the film demands.

Most filmmakers want hit tracks for their films to sell. How do you balance between your creative satisfaction and composing popular tracks?
I don’t think like that. It’s the last thing on my mind. I just follow the director to create the music for the situation at hand. And if it turns out to be a hit, that’s great! Because everything cannot be a hit. If you’re dealing with a particular situation and a character and vibes, there are so many layers. I just try to follow my instincts and heart, and honestly give my best to whatever I do. Whatever happens later, is not in my hands. When the audience laps it up nicely and loves and enjoys it, then I’m like ‘Aah, good, yeh achha hai’. But I don’t actively start off with the thought: ‘Yeh mujhe hit karna hai’. 

How do you look at the trend of having numerous composers for a single Bollywood film. Very few established composers make the entire music for a film. Doesn’t the soul of the album get lost in the process?     
Yes, it does and it does affect the film. One person can thread the film beautifully together. When three to four people come in, it loses that quality. But nobody cares in Bollywood, seriously. 

ST Reader Service 
Catch Amit Trivedi performing live at SulaFest, Sula Vineyards, Nashik, on February 4  

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