Ajay & Atul Gogavale are leading music directors and well known for their exceptional music compositions and tracks and are the only music directors who have won a National Award for a Marathi film’s soundtrack. Ajay-Atul talked about Chikni Chameli and Agneepath in a chat with Bollywood reporter Sunny Malik.
Tell me about the work you have done in the past?
We have basically worked on a lot of Marathi films. We won a National Award for a Marathi film called ‘Jogwa’ and the music of another film called ‘Natrang’ is quite popular and I think, that is why Karan Johar chose us for ‘Agneepath’.
Having composed for many Marathi films, how different is it to compose for Hindi films?
Frankly speaking, it does not really matter if it’s a Hindi, Telegu or Marathi project because for us, the music and the tune has to justify the script and has to help the story move forward and enhance it. I would say, even though we have been working in the Marathi film industry, we always wanted our music to sound universal. If you take out the lyrics, the tune should be such that people would not be able to differentiate whether this is Marathi or Bollywood music.
How did the film ‘Agneepath’ come to you?
Our friend Ritesh Deshmukh was sitting in the office with Karan Johar one day. When Karan told him that he is remaking ‘Agneepath’, Ritesh suggested him to listen to our music. I think, he listened to the soundtrack of ‘Jogwa’ as well as ‘Natrang’ and he immediately got to know what sort of sound we produce. That is how we became part of the film.
Dharma Productions is renowned for the soundtrack of their films. Was that a challenge to live up to certain expectations?
They are known for their music but it was not a burden for us, as we were given complete freedom and we created whatever we wanted. It’s not like they did not like any of our songs or compositions.
We were so focused that we knew what we were doing. Also, we love the original ‘Agneepath’ and have seen it many times. We knew what the characters are like and what the storyboard is. As a production house, Dharma Productions is really great. Although, it is our first project with them, we never felt that way.
The item song in ‘Agneepath’ called ‘Chikni Chameli’ has become really popular. How did the song come about and was it necessary or is it just another item song?
The song has been sung by Shreya Ghoshal and we wanted a song that was catchy. In the film, there is a point when the story has to move very fast and Sanjay Dutt (Kancha Cheena) organises a performance for Hrithik’s character Vijay. Katrina performs to ‘Chikni Chameli’ in Mandwa which has been transformed by Kancha Cheena into a very dark village. That’s why it has a lot of dhol and is a rhythm oriented song. We needed a dance number and we think we cracked a perfect item number.
What is your opinion about the video of Chikni Chameli ?
Katrina has taken the song to another level. Everyone is in awe of the song and the video. She has put in a lot of effort to do justice to the song. She shot this song over twenty days and no one would have put in as much effort into the song as she has. We really appreciate her hard work.
The song has been adapted from your own Marathi song ‘Kombadi Palali’. Why did you not just compose a new original song ?
The idea came from Karan Johar and director Karan Malhotra. We were working on a fresh new song. They asked us why don’t we use your song which is an original composition and a very big hit in Maharashtra. We were happy as it’s good for our Marathi industry as Bollywood songs are listened to all over the world. The regional reach and Bollywood reach of music is very different.
Let’s talk about some of the songs from the soundtrack of Agneepath.
It’s a romantic song in the film. It belongs to the heroine, Priyanka Chopra. The song is very crucial in the film and we have given it a sufi sort of music. People like it and I am really happy.
Gun Guna Re:
It’s a celebratory song where Kaali played by Priyanka Chopra is singing a song for Vijay played by Hrithik. It’s Hrithik’s sister’s birthday and as he is not able to meet her for some reason, Priyanka celebrates her birthday to cheer him up. The way Priyanka has performed in the song, I think, people will like this song more than any of the songs in the film as its very entertaining.
Abhi Mujh Main Kahin:
People think that this is a romantic song, but it is not. It’s a song about a brother and his sister. There are some problems due to which the hero can’t meet his sister. After fifteen years, he meets her and that is when this song comes in to the film.
Shah Ka Rutba: It’s an authentic Qawalli, which has not been heard recently in Bollywood. The lyrics are really nice as the words are all in Urdu. There is a lot of screenplay happening in the film when this song comes on.
The music of Agneepath, released by Sony India is now available on leading online music stores as well as in shops across the UK.
Agneepath, a Karan Malhotra film will release in the UK through Eros International on 26th January 2012.