City boy gets his tune turn

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By Mohua Das
  • Published 4.09.09

If you find yourself grooving along with Mahie Gill and Shreyas Talpade, gyrating inside a comic strip to some catchy beats in Aagey Se Right, you’re listening to sounds set to tune by Calcutta boy Amartya Rahut. The new kid on the block left his Lake Gardens home 10 years back and is all set to join the Bong band of tunesmiths making the right noise in Bollywood.

Baritey boshey I used to compose songs on the guitar for bands I used to play for. After a point I didn’t want to limit myself to doing music just regionally. I did music for two Marathi films. The films were good and the music turned out well but very few actually heard it. It was disheartening. Hindi was a more logical choice and that’s what I’ve been trying to do for the past nine years,” says Amartya who bagged a few awards for the National Award-winning Marathi film Uttarayan.

An ex-Xaverian and better known as Bobo, Amartya was once a member of city bands like Parash Pathar, Cactus, Shiva, The Fifth Dimension and Asteroids before he landed in Mumbai with dreams of pitching for Hindi films. A tad apprehensive at first he ended signing up for a stream of commercials. “For someone like me who likes to compose melodies, jingles were more about conceptual music than purely a musical format. But in course of time it turned out to be a great learning tool and opened up doors for various other assignments,” says the composer of popular jingles for Vodafone, Complan, Levis, Rajasthan Royals apart from the signature tunes for channels like Colors and Real.

When ad filmmaker Indrajit Nattoji decided to take a break from commercials and shape a film instead, Amartya was brought in. “There are five songs. A mix of folk, bhangra, hip-hop, romantic rock, blues and a spoofy number by Bappi Lahiri. The music isn’t OTT nor indulgent. Just loud, wacky and in pace with the humour and pulse of the film,” explains Amartya who had composed a couple of songs (Maula and Tum tana) for Iqbal as part of the Amartya-Shriram duo.

Amartya believes that melody, not technology, is still the key. “I believe in keeping the sound organic. If the melody is strong it can be packaged in whichever way. I very consciously try to employ more of acoustics than loops and sound samples,” he stresses. “I’ve had my rounds of losing out on films after refusing to copy a Cheb Mami or Akon song. Competition in Mumbai is at the highest level but I’m always willing to wait my turn.”

You can hear more of Amartya’s music in Mumbai Cutting, Atul Sabharwal’s Junction plus another UTV project.