Anupam Roy Fans

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Anupam Roy Teams Up With Sujoy Ghosh For Bollywood Debut With Durga Rani Singh!!

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BIG NEWS !!!!!

The much awaited news is finally out in the open.... Anupam Roy has teamed up with Sujoy Ghosh for the music of the director's upcoming Hindi movie Durga Rani Singh.

While earlier the female lead was to be Vidya Balan, news is that the role will now be essayed by Kangana Ranaut, as Vidya is on a kind of health break.

It is but obvious that I absolutely loved the movie Kahaani, and it was one of those movies that made me want to go and explore Kolkata (I even ended up seeing the 'guest house' where the character of Vidya stays in the movie!). And I have said this on many places that for me, watching a Vidya Balan movie is quite tough as I never seem to take my eyes off her absolutely in a girl love with her!!!

So when I heard that Anupam Roy would be creating the music for this movie, I was obvioulsy thrilled. It may not have Vidya in it, (and today morning itself I was kind of sad about it), but now I have wayyyyyy more reasons to look forward to its release!

For those of you who already are a fan of Anupam Roy, you need no new reason. For those of you who are not yet familiar with his brand of music, this would be a great start to experience it....

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And for now, here is a chit chat he had with Calcutta shared in the paper.....I am re-sharing it here and will also share the link of the original page where it appeared (I too have read it online.)

*I also took the liberty of translating the Bengali words in the interview for the benefit of my readers who are not familiar with the language. No other reason intended


But that was then. After a series of hits, Anupam Roy is ready to move to the Bollywood league with Sujoy Ghosh’s film. He opens up to CT in a chat

He was leading a ‘normal’ life till the other day. But then, there’s no stopping music. And Anupam Roy doesn’t regret leaving behind a cushy job and his comfort zone in Bangalore. So what if he isn’t overjoyed working in Tollywood and has a lot to say about its professionalism or the lack of it. Ahead of his Bollywood debut in Sujoy Ghosh’s Durga Rani Singh, the singer-songwriter opens up on his days of struggle and why working with Srijit Mukherji was never a must. Excerpts: 

So, you are gearing up for your much-awaited Bollywood debut with Durga Rani Singh... Yes, I’ve been in talks with Sujoyda for quite long. Finally, things are shaping up. There will be four songs; they have already been approved. The lyrics are now being penned. Since I don’t write in Hindi, the process of collaborating with people is on.  

Two among the four songs have already tasted popularity in Bengal... Haan, duto gaan Bangali shune shune pochiye felechhe (yes, 2 of those songs have already been done to death in Bengal)... I can’t talk about them. One is likely to be Benche thakar gaan (this is one of his most popular songs and is in the Bengali language). But that can later be dropped. The rest are situational songs. I was there with Sujoyda right from the first stage of scripting. As a music director, that gave me a fair idea about the workflow. By December, we were decided on what to do. 

How did you bond with Sujoy? When I came to Kolkata in March, 2011, I was working on Baishey Srabon. Rajada (Raja Narayan Deb) used to help me produce the tracks. At that time, Rajada was helping Sujoyda with the background score of Kahaani. Next, Sujoyda asked me to make the jingle for an ad he was shooting. He has liked all my songs since Autograph. He also openly made his love known for Ekhon onek raat on a social networking site. This was even before the song was released. After that, we came together for the film, Reunion. Though I am not sure when that film is going to happen, our bond is going from strength to strength. During his stay in Kolkata, I would always end up at his hotel for impromptu jamming sessions. At one such adda, he spoke about Durga Rani Singh. I didn’t understand that he was talking about a Hindi film. When I did, I was humbled. I have seen Sujoyda’s Kahaani. Jhankar Beats is very close to my heart and I particularly like the soundscape. I’m also planning to watch Aladin soon.

Despite tasting overnight stardom, you seem to be doing less work. Is that by choice or compulsion? I had no release in 2013. I worked on four films; none of them saw the light of day. Among them were Chaya Manush that released recently; Highway is yet to hit the theatres. This film is important for me too. One Liner is yet another film that didn’t release. Before that, I had worked in one movie a year. Be it Autograph, Baishe Srabon, Hemlock Society. All my songs were very popular. But while films are important for me, I don’t know why I am not getting enough projects. I’m part of Srijit’s Chatushkone and Mainak Bhaumik’s Family Album, which will release. But right now, not much is happening.

Ever thought if less work is related to bad PR? Most directors here like me. But there have been instances where despite finalizing me for a project, the filmmaker has opted for another composer. I don’t know why such things happen. There’s workplace politics in Tollywood, like every other industry in the world. You just learn to deal with it. I would like to work with all kinds of filmmakers, but I have never said, ‘Amake ekta kaj dao’ (give me some work). People know well how my songs are, if I fit in, I am sure they will tell me. I did not have to ask Sujoyda for work. It was he who offered me the job. Kaj toh ashe, kintu ami janina kirokom kore ante hoy (I get work, but I do not know how to get work or bring in work)… 

Much like Bollywood’s Anurag Basu-Pritam, Tollywood too was hopeful of getting a hit jodi in Srijit Mukherji-Anupam Roy. Did it hurt when Indraadip Das Gupta was roped in for Mishawr Rawhoshyo? Not really. Srijit is an independent person. I have come to Kolkata to make music, but I can’t expect one director to give me work all the time. If Srijit wants different kind of music, he is free to choose. I would always want to work, I need work, I’m hungry for work, but I can’t compromise on my dignity. I want to work with all honesty. There was no written contract between us; so, there’s no breach as well. I’m free, so is he. We are friends. So, when we work together, people can expect something special. 

So, what’s keeping you busy? I’m working on my third solo album. It would come out around Eid and Puja. I’m planning to release it in both Bangladesh and India. I have many followers in Bangladesh who keep asking me, ‘Ekhane keno release korenna dada?’ (why don't you release it here)

We’ve heard that you have turned down quite a few acting offers… I have been approached many times, but I didn’t want to take them up. I have no such ambition of becoming an actor. I want to grow as a musician, singer and songwriter. I am very young; I can do without distractions at this point in time.

Did you wish Srijit after Jaatishwar? I had spoken to Srijit, though we haven’t celebrated the big win. When I called Sumanda (Kabir Suman), he was very happy and advised me on many things. We spoke for long. It’s always interesting to listen to him. As a senior musician, I respect him a lot. 

Do you listen to all the music that’s happening in Tollywood? Yes, I listen to anything and everything happening here. 

Any composer you particularly like? I am a huge fan of AR Rahman. With Roja, Bombay, Dil Se, he changed the face of film music. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Vishal-Shekhar have also gifted us great music. Then, there’s Pritamda, who I like personally; Barfi! songs are my favourite. I like Amit Trivedi too. Dev D’s soundtrack is out of this world. Here too, some good work is happening. The singers are very talented. But I would love to see the music scene change for the better. Kolkatans do not have the habit of going for regular concerts. People love live gigs, but the production quality has to improve. The music shows on TV are always huge hits. When I recently sang Ei meghla dine-y ekla on TV, I got great response. But there’s nothing in this world like a live concert. One mic and guitar are all you need. 

Any composer you like in Tollywood? Not anyone in particular. I love to listen to Chandrabindoo. I always make it a point to buy their CDs. I love the young bands; they are very good. 

You knew most of Kolkata’s music makers before you settled down in this city… I knew Sidhuda, Pota, Rupankarda, Sumanda, Debuda (Debajyoti Mishra)… All of them were very encouraging. I have spent hours at Sidhuda’s place on a vacation in Kolkata. I badly needed feedback at that point in time. Sidhuda helped me out with contacts of music labels, but things did not work out. Everyone wanted me to pay to bring out an album. That’s the culture here; you pay 40,000 to cut an album. People believe in proven talent. Then, Autograph happened. Srijit and I were friends in Bangalore and would spend our weekends together. Now, thankfully, I don’t need to pay anymore. 

You left a secure job to make music in Kolkata. Now when you look back, do you feel you did the right thing at the right time? It pained me to not being able to do what I wanted. As a student, I loved both science and arts. I had to choose science so that I get a secure job. After becoming an engineer, I realized I was not meant for it. When you are studying, you are only gaining knowledge. And when you start working, it’s time for you to apply that knowledge. So, while I was excited about making a new thing, I had to worry about the company’s profit or loss. Even if the discovery was worth celebrating, it might not have been of any importance to the company. I couldn’t care less. I would spend my time going through the guitar chord charts or writing the review of a recently released album. After coming to Kolkata, I could liberate myself. My parents were very supportive of me. When nothing works, Bengali boys always fall back on their father. I would also think, ‘Baba toh achhe’ (my dad is there to take care). Now, both are very happy. My mother’s greatest joy in life is that she has lunch with her son every afternoon. 

But are you happy working here? When you are dissatisfied, you make better music. There are youngsters who still think that Tollywood is not so cool. But slowly things are looking up. If there are good films, there are bound to be good investors too. Kintu bhalo kajer sathe onek baje kaj-o hoy (but along with the good work there is a lot of bad work too). Another problem with Kolkata is that it can’t retain talent. That’s a problem with India and all third world countries. So, brain drain’s happening all the time. Now, if an actor doesn’t fit into Tollywood, he’ll try to go outside. It’s a huge challenge to retain young actors and directors…

And what about Tollywood’s professionalism? 
I come from the IT sector. So, the differences in professionalism are stark. At live shows, you are expected to sit for hours. Nothing starts on time. For an award show, you are called at 6 pm, but the event doesn’t start before 9.30 pm! Artistes here are taken for granted. But no one raises his voice. Financially too, I won’t encourage youngsters to expect a huge sum of money. Also, payments are hardly made before a month or two after the event is over! The artistes need to call and ask for money. The industry in south is much bigger. Here, we only have a handful of people. It’s frustrating. But you get used to it.
Being right on top of the popularity charts in Bengal, how do you handle so many fans?  
I get plenty of messages on Facebook. There are people who express the desire to meet me. Recently, a young boy living in Narendrapur wanted to meet me at the studio. It’s both fun and problematic. Today, a transgender who was begging on southern avenue, started singing Amake amar moto (one of his most popular songs) after spotting me in the car. I rolled down the window and gave him 10. Before leaving, I was told, Shob pele noshto jibon (its a line from one of his most popular songs Amake Amar Moto Thakte Dao). At the Dooars Utsav, a fan bit my hand. The cops were busy taking autographs. But I love meeting people. A lot of them have become good friends. I don’t like people who are all over you. I like normal people. When they send a text message, I make it a point to reply. I also receive love letters aplenty.  
So, are you single and ready to mingle? That’s not my ambition… 

What’s your relationship status? It’s complicated. 

You may read the original interview as it appeared here     

- Debolina Raja Gupta