Getting Candid with the Contemporary Composer Duo- Sachin-Jigar – Score Short Reads
Creating a unique sound and music brand especially in today’s competitive market is not an easy task at all. With tons of talent around, the unique brand making when it comes to Bollywood and off-beat Indian music needs lot of efforts, brainstorming along with good ear for what clicks and what exactly is happening out in the world of music.
After working as orchestrators for the popular film music composer Pritam Chakraborty, they rose to prominence by being a musical duo that gives a thump as well as striking the heartstrings in the right strokes with their series of successful project.
With their close association with impactful filmmakers Raj and DK, Sachin- Jigar made waves with their latest offering even in OTT with a song in Family Man Season 2. Their music is pleasing as well as scintillating at the same time for the listener- taking unusual , but beautiful roads to bliss.
Here is a candid conversation with them presented by the Score Magazine:
Hello Sachin- Jigar , we are pleased to talk to you.
Thanks a lot. The honour is ours.
We love the Family Man Title track. Shreya Ghosal and Mellow D have lent their voices and Jigar and Mellow D worked on the lyrics too. Tell us about this project and how did this happen?
Sachin: When it comes to Raj and DK, it is never a straightforward path. They love their paradoxes and the name “The Family Man” speaks of it all. We always get lot of room to do something perky and funky, because there is such amazing scope.
The whole thing in our head was to keep Indian traditions alive through a riff, by making a riff that includes traditional Sitar with Hip-Hop beats. They only gave us a particular line “ Kis Ke Liye Tu Jaan Dega “( Whom would you sacrifice your life for!?).
In the first go, it was so different when linked to the lead character of the series- who plays the role of a secret spy.
Jigar: As the song’s lyrics say, we live for many things and there is lot of a purpose in the life. The entire thought behind the song is quite crazy. When Shreya Ghoshal’s voice comes in, it is all magical.
The song is a multitude of many aspects. As we were inching towards finishing the song, Sachin came up with the idea that the song cannot end without a high. That idea led us to churn out a semi-symphony part that’s like a part contemporary symphony.
We wanted to make a theme with lyrics because we strongly believe that lyric plays an important role in a song and narrating a story.
We are so glad that Raj-DK made us stick to our exploratory side. The rap sounds so beautiful as well. Though they are south Indian at heart, they brought an amalgamation of Indian Music altogether.
From what we know, you both started somewhere in 2006 with the background score for a Marathi film. You both have created some incredible numbers. Has anyone ever asked you both how is it to work with each other? Why this duo and how did this happen?
Sachin: Almost everybody asks us this question! To be very honest, lot of people think Sachin-Jigar are actually one person. We are not even brothers but partners in crime. Duos are something that cannot be pre-planned. It just happens- when things click while sharing work load.
I was doing lot of Television shows and was working with Amit Trivedi back in 2001. We compliment each other with natural flow but even then, we never thought of becoming a duo until we started arranging for Rajesh Roshan sir.
In one Rajesh Roshan song in Krish, they wanted us to rearrange a song and it gave me great confidence to work as a duo. A strong approval from seniors such as Rajesh Roshan and Rakesh Roshan gave us the confidence.
We even have lot of things in common beyond music such as our love for food, the desire to run away from Bombay!
Jigar: Absolutely. We feel the same thing for Cinema and that’s what we have been doing!
Sachin: The whole idea of sustaining as a duo is that- we are not too overly ambitious in terms of composing. We don’t intend to change the world with our music and that’s how we got more else.
I haven’t met Jigar few times throughout the lockdown, yet he used to know what I needed or where a sample in the studio’s computer was located.
We did a whole album for Abhishek Kapoor’s next project by reading a script in PDF format. We have such an amazing sync that we can handle each other is the biggest thing.
Jigar: We never thought dramatically that the sound of India is going to change. We have started at a point where we thought we should just do good music at the end of the day.
We always stood for a change, and waited what would come next- so this has given us ample scope of freedom to unintentionally make an original sound. We are not stumbled on one vibe. Our only idea is not to be repetitive in our music.
With the advent of COVID, hundreds of musicians lost their jobs and are not a part of active work. What do you think of the current scenario? How do you think that the music scene or musicians should evolve to adapt to this situation?
Before COVID, I was pushing the entry of computers in my daughter’s life thinking that organically learning music initially will help her later with technology. But in the lockdown, I realised that she should be independent and record her idea and show it up to the world.
All you need in the current era is to create a spark within 30 seconds. One doesn’t need to make an album altogether. One cannot depend on a director , or a producer to make music. I really loved this new transformational stage of music,and hybrid mashup of cultures in this stage. Lot of talents came out in India , thanks to COVID.
We came across many artists ranging from Gujarat to North-East who are ready to make a difference through music. Now, it is all about you. Your wealth is YouTube channel. Though I feel sad for lot of musicians losing jobs during the lockdown, I also find it to be a wonderful opportunity to show oneself as a musician on the world’s stage.
What is one thing that is really tough to deal with the other?
Jigar: Dealing with the producer is the most difficult thing to deal with (laughs). Honestly, we did have difficult paths to convince each other and then the filmmaker, but we overcame that barrier as we traveled together working.
That time has passed where we had to convince why something is good or not. If Sachin doesn’t find my idea interesting, we immediately move to the next one. There is point of being stuck. We have gone beyond over analysing on why an idea doesn’t work.
Sometimes, there is a certain time where an idea completely clicks with Sachin and doesn’t for me. But we still get going because we just want to make good music!
What is your take on the most controversial and debated topic – Making Remixes?
Jigar: We do remixes not out of choice but for the album’s requirement. When we start composing , the remix doesn’t come up. It just comes few days before the release of the album. We were doing it for a while but we understood that we lost credibility from listeners. We ere losing quality listeners.
So finally, we decided we do remixes just to make it part of the album. Coming to whether remixes should happen or not, I personally feel it is ruining other’s creation. The culture of remixes should come to a halt. It is difficult to make a dance number, when compared to a melodious or a romantic song.
When a romantic song doesn’t click, people leave it at there. But with a dance number, the listener wants to get into the groove instantly and expects the composer to do it. I feel it is being not right to the original artist by doing a remix.
Sachin: The scare here is, if the album takes away the whole attention of the entire album, you are discouraging original content. Bollywood loves to saturate by the way- they repeat things so that things get so boring, and start all the way from the beginning together.
Can you please tell us about your upcoming project Dasvi?
Sachin: Dasvi is an exciting and a film driven by content. I have been a fan of Abhishek Bachchan since long and been quite happy to work with him finally. It has got energy of the first timer- the zeal to make a real good film but also with solid experience. It has whacky soundtrack already which is funny, emotional and almost everything in it. We have four more films lined up and we are super excited to work on our passionate projects as well.
Jigar: Apart from Dasvi we have don’t another film for Tips (The name was not audble properly, please add it). Chandigarh Kare Aashiqiui is a full-fledged album featuring Ayushman Khuranna and of course, we are doing lot of Indie music as well.
Your latest album ‘Roohi’ is a massive hit. Tell us about the project.
Sachin: Our relationship with Maddock and with Dinesh has been quite thick and we did lot of vivid stuff with them. We did Stree with them earlier, which had zero scope for music because it was an out and out horror film.
It is quite challenging to make music for such theme. With Dino sir, we can explain our perspective and we push each other significantly. Roohi is an extension of our journey with Maddock. Because this project got stuck between two lockdowns and he had the dare to release the film in the right time, we are blessed to get the right attention in the perfect time.
A horror film of this sort needed songs of this sort. Though I don’t like to encourage remixes , Roohi needed that old school vibe and it was agreed upon with me, Jigar and the director as well.
What is your take on the digitisation of music that has taken over the composing scenario and recordings? For example, Autotune. Do you think it impacts the overall quality and organic feel of the music?
Jigar: It is definitely easier to put a musical thought into action now. Everything is easier. But, it is not at all great. The need or want for a particular sound is leading to killing of joy of the music making process. The learning is getting killed.
Now, if you want a dholak sound, you can pitch it according to your need through the internet. You don’t even need to pay and just download the sample- without paying the artist who deserves it. Many young artists who work with us don’t have an idea on how the dholak player plays the instrument.
It is an extremely disturbing scenario. Now, if you have a keyboard, you can play any instrument in any pitch. While it is opening up lot of possibilities, it is killing the musicality and the originality. A lot of things , including the value of music is going off because of this change.
Apps like Spotify and Apple Music are giving the listener an idea on how to listen to songs now- based on the hits and an algorithm. It is extremely disturbing from musician’s point of view but encouraging in the listener’s point of view.
The new guys who are making music are not knowing much about instruments, and recording-and it is ultimately becoming a drag and drop.
What do you guys like doing when you are not recording or composing?
Sachin: I love getting good sleep! I can really sleep and use the time for family and I have done a whole lot of it during the lockdown. When your life is with shows and on the road, but being comfortable being in studio is also challenging.
The success doesn’t come for free. People might look at fame externally but they don’t invest in the process of going there. We tend to lose out the beauty of simple things in life in this race of success. I am a Gujarati, and during the lockdown, my dad made the paan for me and almost daily this was the routine.
I somewhere feel that these sweet things make all the difference. Life has become somewhat easier for me and Jigar now. We were doing so many things- talking to producers , composing, making indie music and many more.
I started enjoying activities like photography that I always wanted to do- during the lockdown. Family time is quite important and I hope everyone finds the right balance.
Jigar: When I am not doing music, I am learning something or the other. I either learn from YouTube, and I am learning from my 5 yea old son as well! I don’t even remember how I was then. Family time was one first thing. One of the contraries that I have with Sachin is , I hate to sleep and feel it is a waste of time. I make up for his sleep and keep learning!
We both have extremely strong opinions about life- not just sleep. And that’s why perhaps we compliment each other beautifully! We love playing PS5 or playing a game on the phone. While working on music , a game goes on all the time. It is something like- when we are not gaming, we are making music (laughs).
What is your favourite video game, if I may ask?
Sachin: It is GTA for me!
Jigar: I have been playing this game called Demon’s souls and it is lovely. We both love FIFA (who doesn’t?). We also love exchanging music when not composing.
Do you listen to lot of dance numbers or more of soulful music?
Sachin: I listen to everything that comes my way in the past two years. I got a car with good sound system hoping to go for long road trips in it. But things changed so much that I am not even listening to music in car.
The last two years have given me blissful time, and my daughter is listening to wide range of new talents. My dad’s playing me Kishori Amonkar on the other hand! The past few days ago I was listening to Shepherd’s Land from Switzerland- and I loved the fact that everything came to our finger tips with the lockdown.
What was the most challenging composition ever? Which song was it and what was the incident?
Jigar: It was not song but the album Badlapur. We had to make an album that shouldn’t disturb the narrative and the songs should be in the background. Sriram is such a purist and it was a big challenge to get songs that can commercially work and blend with the film. ABCD and Go,Goa and Gone were also challenging but the obvious answer is Badlapur.
What are the three most important aspects a composer has to incorporate- when it comes to delivering film music?
Jigar: The first thing is to be pure to the script. That’s how the music will work for a film. Second is to take the film ahead – its emotion and thought – just with music, not even the lyrics. The third aspect is to balance the songs to the film and also keep it long-lasting even after the film gets released with longer life. The song should take the listener back to the film.
How challenging is it to compose just a single for various films Vs. composing an album altogether?
Jigar: We would always prefer composing for an album because it is a journey altogether. The music speaks for the character, and the storyline and displays a graph. When it comes to ABCD, Go,Goa,Gone or Badlapur- we go for a range of the album instead of just a song. It is more fun to compose a whole album than single. Both have their own difficulties of course.
What do you both think about Coke Studio?
Sachin: It is indeed an amazing platform for a musician to explore and deliver. Though YouTube has individual channels of displaying good music, Coke Studio gives us more scope to be original and having musicians in access. It is a fantastic experience altogether. I personally think it shouldn’t have an end.
The recent song in your playlist that is on loop.
Aahista composed by Niladri kumar, sung by Arijit Singh and Jonita Gandhi.
Last train – John Mayer
Keep the door open – Anderson Park and Bruno Mars
Your favourite international artist/singer/performer
Norah Jones , Olivia Rodrigo
Best compliment you have ever received- and for which song?
M.M. Kreem sir called me for appreciating Badlapur songs and the background score. He kept on complimenting so much that I started weeping in exhilaration!
A Father and daughter together complimented us saying that our song Laadki got us back together after 15 years of not speaking with each other. It was such a memorable moment for me.
The best upcoming singer you have heard off late?
Madhubanti Baagchi has a truly unique voice . Has a great attitude and is immensely talented.
Is there any playback singer you would want to work with?
Kishore Kumar! Please bring him back for me. Of course, I would love to work with K.S.Chitra ji.
K.S.Chitra ji for me as well.
Do you prefer recording songs or performing live- and why?
Recording is our prime talent and workspace ! Thats where the magic of creation is there ! But somehow the magic of meeting the eye of your fan and singing lip sync with them beats everything else altogether!
Performing live because it gives instant reaction of fans.
Your favorite lyricist and why?
I’d have loved to work with Anand Bhakshi but amongst the many talented lyric writer friends ,I personally would love to work with Vayu , Amitabh Bhattacharya and Mayur Puri.
Anand Bhakshi and there is no one reason to define why.
Do Follow :
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/sachinjigar/?hl=en