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Melody maker

Jamming for the first time with his father helped hone the creative steak in musician Neel Dutt

Music happened to me in school. I started playing the guitar when I was 12. Little did I realise then that I would develop such a strong connect with this art form. I never learnt music formally. It’s primarily through listening to different genres of music that I honed my talent. There’s a huge collection of LP records in my home and listening to them proved to be a great learning experience.

I feel my biggest turning point came when my dad Anjan Dutt decided to sing in 1993. Jamming with him and playing the lead guitar was a milestone in my life. I was part of an elaborate creative process along with my father — from writing lyrics to composing music. Sharing the stage with my father on musical shows helped me mature both as a performer and as a musician.

In college, I started out by composing jingles. Then I began doing background scores for Bengali telefilms. Music was still a passion for me and hadn’t become my profession. Composing music for feature films is what turned my life around. The big break came when my dad asked me to do the music for his second film Bow Barracks Forever in 2003. It was Bong Connection, in 2006 that proved to be a benchmark in my career. It was my debut venture as music director and the catchy tunes struck an instant chord with the audience. I realised what my calling was and got into composing for films full time.

I’ve composed for Chalo Let’s Go. I also have a slew of interesting projects lined up. I am excited about composing the music for BBD as this will be my first brush with Hindi films. I’m also doing the music for director Kaushik Ganguly’s Brake Fail and Chowrasta — Crossroads of Love, an English film by my father. On the anvil are plans of forming a band with my friends.

Though music is closest to my heart, I love cooking and travelling. And who knows I might just surprise you by hosting a cookery show one day.

(As told to Sreerupa Sengupta)

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