Every big star or every successful person always has their struggle stories. And it’s not just people; any change, any development or creativity, always has a story associated with it. Being a music composer, I have always realized that the effort I put in composing a song is just not all. It takes a lot more – to be able to complete the final output in the form of an easily-sharable, all-compatible MP3 file. Apart from the effort to compose a song, a lot of hurdles come along in the process. I remember this ad jingle that I had to compose. When I was about to start, my microphone stopped working. I went to Gurgaon to collect one from a friend. When this was fixed, there was a major fault in some cables and power went off. I then took all my instruments and set-up to my friends place to record. When this was fixed, my recording software stopped working. And it took me two hours to fix that as well. And when this was done, I found that the new microphone isn’t compatible with Windows 8. My friend helped me by giving me her laptop. I installed the software and then started again.
I was finally able to complete it, and it was then rejected by the concerned agency. According to some people, supposedly God didn’t want me to make that jingle. But signs are how you perceive them. It is always a choice to give up with something, or go through with it.
“Janani” is the one track that has the power to turn the tables. A person from the music industry said, “Dude, it’s a million dollar song!” when he heard it. And like I said, this track also has an interesting story. The theme and the music clicked first, so the first challenge was to find the right lyrics. It took me a month to write the first stanza. One fine day, out of the blue, my roommate told me that he writes poetry and showed me some of his work. I liked them, and so the lyrics were no more the hurdle. Another few weeks, and the composition was ready.
The instrumental track was not a hectic task, but the voice was. I sent a mobile recording of the track and asked almost twenty-five people to send their voice samples for this song. And none of them could fit in. Those were the days that I had just started jamming with Chaar Hazaari. And so I wasn’t comfortable asking Yatin to do the vocals, as this track was my individual work that I didn’t intent to do with the band. When I did ask him, he seemed to like the track and immediately agreed. And so we proceeded to complete the track.
Now the track was completed about a year ago. After completing it, I approached the biggest theatre group of South Delhi to work for the video; I approached a guy who makes documentaries for Doordarshan; basically a lot of big people. Surprisingly though, everyone seemed to liked the track and agreed to work without any payment. However, every time we started, something got in our way. We stopped and began afresh three times. Nothing worked out. Finally, I met this guy who isn’t really a big name in the industry, but who has far more passion for his art than any of those professionals I had seen and talked to. We agreed on a barter system. I’d do the background scoring for his upcoming movie and he’d make the video for my tracks. And so we started shooting again, for the fourth time. Yesterday I saw the video, and I had goose bumps. The guy’s done a brilliant job. There are shots in a railway station, in running trains, in villages and cities, in roads and traffic, and a lot more. Every line of the song has been done justice. For a ten-second sequence of mine in the video, he shot for almost twenty hours, without compromising on anything in any scene, giving hundreds of takes for every scene.
The video is now ready, and I just can’t wait to share it. It has been a labour of love. The song deserved it. It’s a tribute to motherhood, after all. In the end, I feel proud in admitting that my efforts have paid off. I don’t know what response it is going to get, but when I watched the video, I already concluded that this was the best we could have done together. And so, I am happy, irrespective of the results.