Basking in the success of their latest work in ‘Munna Michael’ and ‘Mubarakan’, composers Gourov Dasgupta and Roshin Baluchat with Shubarna Mukerji Shu about their tryst with music
It takes two to tango, and even to compose. Ever since composers Gourov Dasgupta and Roshin Balu entered bollywood, they have been giving hits back-to-back. The duo joined forces in 2008 and over the last few years they have defined their distinct musical soundscape. The duo topped the charts when they re-created Saara Zamana, the 1981 Amitabh Bachchan hit for Hrithik Roshan’s Kaabil (2017). Excerpts from the interview:
How did you two start working together?
It’s actually quite a mad story. Both of us landed in Mumbai a decade ago and we were staying in a PG in Borivali along with a common friend at that time Roshin who hails from one of the biggest classical music families from Kerala was a strict Hindu Brahmin boy doing sound design for a corporate, completely against people who smoked n drank n looked like me!!! I was the mad heavy metal guitar player from Calcutta doing sessions with Himesh plus working as a music producer at Big FM…not being able to handle corporate douche bags telling me how to score music anymore I finally quit my job in a few months n decided to pursue what I was here for… my horrid bad influence kind of worked on Roshin and he too quit his job and we both started making music together… And yes, Roshin soon discovered the magic of Old Monk in the coming days….
Tell us about your musical journey together.
It’s been like a movie… we started off with a great high… Dus Kahaniya, our first release with Sanjay Gupta was a huge success musically… we were nominated in every award show and soon we started living the Hollywood dream in Malad West!Since then we’ve slowly learnt the ways of the industry and worked on several movies like Raaz2, Aa Dekhe Zara, Summer of 2007, Challo Dilli, Acid Factory and many more. In the middle we were a little disillusioned with the music business due to the amount of politics n hard luck we were hitting and took a break from films and focused on scoring jingles… there too we did some of the most prestigious brands like Pepsi, Skoda, Raymonds, HRX,Toshiba,Close up and much more.. Eventually we came back with a bang last year with multiple big releases like Force 2, Wajah tum Ho, Tum Bin 2, Kaabil, Munna Michael, Commando 2 n Mubarakan …Kumaar one of the most talented writers of the country played a major role in our comeback n is now literally the third half of Gourov-Roshin !
From rock music to composing Bollywood hits, how has the transitional period been?
We were Honest to our roots when we started…we were Confused when we were asked to put in a dholak beat on any and every track … we were disillusioned when all of a sudden, rappers swarmed the industry like a zombie apocalypse… so forth n so on!As of today, we are extremely Satisfied cos somewhere down the line we’ve figured out exactly how this beautiful machine works and we’ve managed to deliver some massive commercial hits! It’s a long way ahead though….
How has your music evolved through the years?
We were purists when we came here… there’s no better example than the soundtracks of Dus Kahaniya and Summer of 2007… But music is ever changing and evolving and if you need to be a part of that system you need to evolve personally as well. These days I can say that we are much more open to everything that’s around and we compliment today’s sound with a bit of ourselves.. Not only has our music evolved to great extremes we have evolved radically as people as well!! from Dus to Mubarakan the journey has definitely been breath-taking!!!
The trend of recreating old versions of evergreen Bollywood hits, don’t you feel this just limits your creativity as music composers?
We are probably the only people who haven’t taken a classic and copy pasted it as is with a few loops and vocal processing! We have always or mostly just used the hook of the existing classic and fitted it into one of our originals… be it hits like Haseeno ka Deewana, Maahi Ve or Hawa Hawa you actually never know what’s coming your way till the song reaches the hook… that’s the only way we’ve tried to keep the ‘composer’ in us alive even while we were working on recreations! As I said, there’s a bit of us in everything we do…
You’ve experimented with different genres while composing. Anything else that you want to try?
I’m finally hoping to release my guitar album Cosmic Roulette soon… being the only endorsee in India for the world’s biggest guitar brand, Ibanezs definitely adds to this madness and I can’t wait to unleash this other side of us!! Besides there’s a list of Indian and international artists on our wish list we want to collaborate with…all in due time hopefully!
You both have scored for many television commercials too, how different is it from working on Bollywood tracks? Comparatively, which among the two is more challenging?
Both are completely different to each other radically … of course movies give you the name and fame while commercials give u quick money… in movies you need to deliver a hit song that sounds like a Rahman production within the budget of a 30 second ad film!! It’s either a guy telling you that your song might get rejected in the film and getting replaced by Dhinchak Pooja or it’s a guy with a laptop looking for free Wi-Fi telling you that you need to do 69 edits on the 60 seconder for free or he ‘l go to Mr Sampath!But all said and done both are fun and we’ve had a great stint!!
This year has been spectacular for the two of you. Tell us something about your future projects.
Unless some new rap or crap sensation takes over n all our beautiful songs get replaced, we definitely have a few films coming up in the near future…we’ll surely give out the details n discuss our music at length once we see our name on the hundred dollar bill!