Two to tango

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Music keeps pace with us and we are the agents of change, say dynamic composers Vishal-Shekhar on their journey so far.

Two people say practically the same words, think similarly and plan things alike, yet they are not related. Music directors Vishal and Shekhar feel that being in sync has helped them nurture their 15-year personal and professional bond. While they are among the best entertainers on stage, they are mavericks when it comes to composing songs.

A journey that began 12 years ago has seen them through “Jhankar Beats”, “Dus”, “Salaam Namaste”, “Bluffmaster”, “Om Shanti Om”, “Bachna Ae Haseeno”, “I Hate Luv Stories”, “RA One” and “The Dirty Picture”. Excerpts from an interview with the dynamic duo:

Your journey so far

Vishal: It’s a long but fun journey that began 12 years ago. We started as independent filmmakers and then collaborated for “Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi”. The rest is history.

Shekhar: I am from a business family; my dad’s hobby was listening to music. As a family we would sit together and sing old songs. This developed my love for music.

I learnt classical music and learnt to play the piano. I met Vishal outside a studio; we were composing different tracks for the same film.

We heard each other’s work and decided to work together.

As a team

V: We respect each other’s talent and music. We don’t take music for granted. There’s no aggression or ego involved when we work.

S: It’s been 12 years now and we know each other pretty well. We are family. I know him better than anyone else. And this helps a lot. When we sit to write a song together magic happens.

Music changing with time

V: In many ways we are fortunate to create music. We don’t keep pace with it…it keeps pace with us. Whether it’s Rahman, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy or Amit Trivedi we are the agents of change.

S: Luck was in our favour. We got to work with great directors. We always do something new and have fun. We don’t think too much but we like to bring in change.

Rock bands, Dewarists and stage shows vs studio

V: Pentagram, the rock band I perform with, is my passion. Stage shows are electric, unique and special. We have released four tracks and they are all doing well. That’s one aspect of my life. The other part is collaborating with Shekhar and creating music for Bollywood in the studio. Our main concern is that we should have as great a time while we compose as when we listen to it. We also perform on stage, which is again loaded with energy. But they are different sides of the world and I’m blessed to do both.

S: We have a lot of fun and that’s how music gets made. I love my life, we jam, go on stage, have a blast, we get to interact with people who love our music. There are no colleges or schools who teach you to create music. I have always felt that you need a connection with God to be able to deliver good music.

How do Vishal and Shekhar sell?

V: Our USP is that we don’t sell. We don’t intend doing business, we are passionate people who make music we like. As long as people continue to enjoy that, we are winners. For us it’s not about selling music or doing films or competing with fellow music directors. I have sung for Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. Shankar has sung for Vishal and Shekhar, Ehsaan has played for us. I have also sung for Amit Trivedi, Pritam and Salim Sulaiman. We want to feel happy, enjoy, have fun and feel de-stressed at the end of the day.

S: We have never got into the nitty-gritty of what sells and the business of it. For us it’s about enjoying ourselves.

At other times

V: I love to read, travel, watch movies. I love spending time with my friends and family.

S: Music takes up most of my time. But spending time with family and my daughter is equally important for me.

Projects in the pipeline

Vishal and Shekhar: “Shanghai”, “Kahaani”. We are currently recording for Karan Johar’s “Student of the Year” and Puneet Verma’s film. We are also doing some experimental jumps this year. We assure you it’s going to be fun.

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