The super charming and talented Sangeet Haldipur, composer and singer spoke to us about some undiscovered things about himself in a fun interview.
Tell us about your musical journey.
I can’t even pin point when this journey began for me. Being born in a family where music & dance as art forms was flowing in the bloodline for two generations, the conditioning and environment made it an innate concept for both Siddharth & Me. My grand fathers, Late. Parshuram Haldipur (Mandolin player) and Mr. Jairam Acharya (Renowned Sitarist) brought music into their respective families, and then was carried forward my father Mr. Amar Haldipur, a renowned Film Composer, Arranger and ace Violinist who has worked extensively and arranged music for all legendary artists of the Indian Film Industry ranging from Khayyam saab, OP Nayyar , LP , Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan , Ghulam Ali to name a few.
I started learning to play the piano at the age of 11 and continue to even now. I then started taking part in school competitions, then moved on to forming a band called NEXUS in college with my buddies Gino Banks & Sheldon D Silva. The big break that made me a household name after I got selected for India’s first mixed pop band AASMA which was put together by Channel V. That then led to exposing me to the world of live shows. And I just consider myself blessed to have had the opportunity to work with stalwarts like the Late Jagjit Singh , Tabla maestro Zakir Hussain , Trilok Gurtu , Louiz Banks to name a few. It is amazing how music connects people.
You are a singer and a composer. Which one do you enjoy doing more and why?
Well, both aspects are equally important to me and interconnected too because while composing I have to sing it out right. Composing is still considerably a more recent development for me, say about 13-14 years. But singing has been a part of my life and my identity for ever since I was born. Honestly, I love singing for other composers because that is learning in itself. It is almost like a responsibility that one as a singer decides to take up. To make someone else’s baby your own and treat that baby as your own is a responsibility and not an easy one. A composer works really hard not just to compose and produce the song but also to earn that chance and that song/project. So when a composer calls me in to sing for him or her, I make sure to surrender myself and follow that vision that they have for that song and also respect the fact they trust me as the voice for that song. I expect the same when i call someone in to sing a song composed by Siddharth & Me.
You are married to the beautiful and talented singer herself. Do you both practice and talk a lot about music while away from work?
Anusha Mani is undoubtedly one of the best voices this industry has heard and yes I am in total agreement with the word beautiful word used to describe her. She is beautiful Inside & Outside. She has a big heart and is a generous soul. Our wedding day was surreal, one of the best days of my life. Talking about the second part of your question, we have always been connected by music even before we started dating. So yes, even at home we discuss music and our respective work lives. We have even worked on several independent songs together and hope to release them soon. I love composing for her. Some of those compositions have surprised me too. I don’t know how they came about. We both believe that our common field of work makes it easier to understand the requirements and the working hours and dedication that are involved. We even perform for live gigs together whenever the opportunities arise.
Tell us about Sangeet-Siddharth as a band/duo?
We were simply jamming together one fine day at our family studio “SANGEET STUDIO “which existed till around 2011. So one day in 2006 while jamming we realized our potential as composers and we started off with our very first project as solo music composers for a movie called Fruit and Nut. But it was our song Aa Zara from Murder 2 that got us immense acclaim from not just music lovers but also fellow composers and our seniors in the industry as well.
As a duo composer, yes there are disagreements which are natural because each of us has a mind of our own, but amazingly there are more agreements than disagreements. He has always been protective of me as a brother. He was the one to buy me my very first professional keyboard/synthesizer. He was the one who told me go try out the auditions for Popstars which then resulted in me being a part of one of India’s most famous bands AASMA. He was the one to insist that I should study in St. Xavier’s College Mumbai and those 5 years were undoubtedly the best years of my life. He always hears me out even when we’re composing and trusts my vision when we differ on some creative ideas and vice versa. So in many ways he has just been really awesome.
Being an independent musician yourself, what do you think about the current scene in India in contrast to Film music?
Well I can, without mincing my words, say that the only music which is considered important in our country is Film music. I have witnessed a downfall of popular / independent music personally. I definitely miss the days when music channels played JUST MUSIC and our country had a huge spectrum of independent artists. But also I am so proud of people like Vijay Nair of OML, Naveen Deshpande of Mixtape, Deepashree and Suresh of STRUMM SOUND and many other music and event companies which believe in the independent music in our country and have created platforms for them in big ways, NH7 and recently The Stage on Colours infinity are the best examples of it. People also are of the opinion that independent music in the west is flourishing forever and is only getting bigger. But what they don’t realize is that in the West, there is no film music in the form of songs like we have in our industry. Also everything we see and hear is going digital and putting your own material out there in the public domain is an upload away for budding artists. Ten years ago, putting your own music out there wasn’t as easy because of the whole ordeal of going to a music label and convincing them of your product, the commercials involved etc. And because of the efforts put in by the people that I have mentioned above, I personally see a massive and unstoppable future for independent music in our country.
What are your future projects that we can look forward to?
The year 2016 has been a joyride for Siddharth & I because of all the praises we’ve received for our music in Love Games and Raaz Reboot from our listeners and fellow composers and musicians. Our songs Awargi, Nirvana, Mohabbat from Love Games and O Meri Jaan from Raaz Reboot were highly appreciated. We are really humbled with all the love we continue to receive in the digital medium as well.
On the upcoming projects front, we have a film called Jee Bhar Ke Jee Le , directed by debutant director Binoy Gandhi and produced by the legendary director Mr. J.P. Dutta. It is an out and out commercial album which we can’t wait for our fans to listen to. Then we have a couple of huge animation film projects lined up.
Your message to readers of our magazine.
This world we live in is going through a very difficult & fragile phase. And it’s up to us to decide how we want our future to be. To see that positive change, we need to be that change. I think there’s scope for infinite love, compassion, empathy & respect towards fellow humans as well as other living creatures. Each life has his or her own struggle that they’re going through, and we must respect that. I’m glad The Score Magazine gave me this opportunity to send this message out to its readers. And to quote my late sister Sheetal , “ LOVE LIVE & GIVE in abundance “ !