New tune, old melody

Alisha Shinde
Monday, 28 January 2019

Rochak Kohli, who has composed the music for the film Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, talks about how he managed to retain the magic of the ’90s hit song and also gave it a new-age appeal

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, an iconic song of the early ’90s, became famous not only for its lyrics and the way it was picturised but also because it was one of RD Burman’s last compositions. The song did not lose its appeal and is still loved by people across all ages. The love song has now been revived for the upcoming movie Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga starring Rajkummar Rao and Sonam Kapoor. Rochak Kohli, who has composed the music for the film, talks about his experience on working on the songs.

Rochak says that when it comes to reviving old iconic songs it is extremely challenging. “I am not worried about the younger generation who might or might not like the song, but about the people who belong to the particular era that the song was released in,” he says adding that it is important to please them because they are the ones who have memories attached with the particular song. 

“If I change the feel of the song, I know I’ll be ruining it for them which is something I really don’t wish to do. So when the idea was brought up to revive the iconic song Ek Ladki Ko... I was in a fix. I had to retain its beauty plus keep the legacy of R D Burman alive,” Rochak shares.

He says the reason he was so excited to work on this movie was because of the script. “I remember telling Shelly that I was ready to work on any kind of music because I so wanted to be a part of this movie and what is fascinating is the fact that the title song was not even a part of the original tracks in the movie but was thought about later in the production stage,” he says adding that when they first recorded the song Anil Kapoor wasn’t happy and even though they kept working on it, he still thought something was missing. 

“Anil Kapoor did not find the track that we composed magical the way the original was, so we had to sit down and figure out what was wrong which we eventually did — he wanted to have a new feel to it which we did by adding a few new lines in Punjabi and it really clicked with everyone,” adds Rochak.  

Adding a new-age hint to an iconic song without losing out on its legacy is the key for a revived song to work. “The younger generation should connect to it while the older generation should not feel that we have messed up with their favourite song,” says Rochak adding that the trend of reviving songs is going to stay in Bollywood for a long time now as far as it is not pushed to a limit where you don’t recognise the song anymore. 

He believes that the key is to treat and handle the original song well without losing its flavour and adding a bit of magic of the new age. “I have always believed that reviving songs must be done with responsibility and not just for the sake of it,” he says adding, “Regional songs are going to a big thing this year, be it Punjabi or even Marathi — there is a new market to be explored. We have a lot of regional artists who can bring about a new flavour and revolution in the industry.” 

He further mentions that the taste of the audience has changed and they have become critical of the variety that is available because they are more aware. The most fascinating part is that people these days tend to like romantic songs more than the usual item songs which used to be a rage sometime back. 

With a lot of upcoming artists these days there is a variety in the market so one has to deliver the best of best performances and, most importantly, entertain the masses. 

Talking about his plans, Rochak says that he is keen on working with good directors and good movies.

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