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Tresspassing Unexplored Territory-Amit Trivedi

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Lets face it; Bollywood music is going through a trying period. We have the occasional decent movie out of which again, hardy 1-2 songs qualify to make it to the regular playlist of our iPods. The whole album as such has never really clicked with the audience unless the man behind the music is a certain Mr. Rehman.  The time has come when the people are quite done with the typical romantic musicals where the only picture you can make out from the music would be one of a woman going around a tree in circles. Also, I believe we are pretty much screwing our traditional music, if we go around listening to shit like “Shining in the setting sun, like a pearl upon the ocean” I mean, is Indian music, and the culture so bad?  Can’t we use simple Hindi words and make much deeper music using the resources we have, or do we always have to borrow from the West?

Well, there is one person, who’s rising through all this nonsensical music and is ready to induce some quality and sanity into the kind of music people are being exposed to.  Amit Trivedi, a Mumbai-based music composer has in the last 3 years or so, spared the people from the ATYACHAR of idiotic music and delved deep into the Indian tradition and dug out pure gold. Look at his track record and you’ll know what I mean; AAMIR, DEV D, UDAAN, WAKE UP SID (Iktara ) and now AISHA. The music in all these movies has been utterly blissful, and the best part is I don’t even remember any of the songs going like “Yo baby, you’re my crazy girl…Im your crazy boy…yo, lets rock!!” type!

That is some great Bollywood music, friends! Take a bow, Amit Trivedi.

As of today, any Bollywood song can become popular by using certain “hip” words in their lyrics, and obviously a music director at least skilled enough to arrange them in the right order – “baby”,“I love you”, “YOO” (don’t know why, for gods’ sake!), then we have the occasional “Honey, I need you” “I kiss you”, “ooh laa laa” there’s more...there’s a whole list pick up any Shahid Kapoor/Vivek Oberoi film, and you’ll understand my point. Oh yeah, Ms. Kaif has also been a part of dirty, ugly music in recent times too, remember “Shining in the setting…” URGGHH!    

Lets dive into DEV D. The epic story of Devdas and Paro and Chandramukhi paused mid-scene and dragged into the future, into a whole new perspective. We had the wonderful “Silsila yeh chahat ka” when paro waits for her lover, and here we have DHOL YAARA DHOL, a typical village-girl folk song which, when entered with the Dhol, Harmonium, Santoor and the beautiful husky voice of Shilpa Rao becomes a great track to listen to. DUNIYA is again a truck driver song, which has immensely fun lyrics, and more importantly the song has been sung in a very “bindaas” way. . I love the way Amit sings “jhee-jhee-jhee” and pronounces “tamasha” as “tamaasaa” and stretches the “haaye duniyaa, yeh duniyaa baddi gol hai” part. Amitabh Bhattacharya draws from phrases today’s youth uses such as “jhol,” “agadam tigadam,” “chappa-chappa”. NAYAN TARSE is a dark, insatiable song about a lovers break up, and Amit again sings his heart out on this one. PARDESI, AANKH MICHOLI are beautiful as well.

However, the eye-catchers of the album were both versions of the song EMOTIONAL ATYACHAR. The brass band version has a very distinct street band-baaja flavor to it, and the lyrics are hilarious. The way he’s strung in English words into the Hindi flavor and made an ultimate heart-break song is awesome. “Smoking Smoking nikle re dhuaaaa...Arre what to tell you darling kya hua”  is something we don’t normally listen to, but it sure is fun. The point I’m trying to make is that the emotions behind the song, and the movie theme is kept in mind and instead of delivering a regular 4 piece song, with 2 stanzas and an intro, and an end, Amit Trivedi has said “Cut the crap! I’ll make what is totally Indian and what is fun!”. Who can think of lyrics like this! And that too in a DEVDAS movie! Amazing, really! He goes on to make a Hard Rock version of the song, which in my opinion is one of the best Hindi Rock songs I’ve listened to in recent times, along with TASHAN MEIN.  And this song is just as different as the others. Guitar, Santoor, Bass, Keyboard, Drums all put together to deliver a deadly dark intro. The words are literally spat from the mouth, and when the double bass of the drums kicks in, the listener is already tearing his hair apart, from the lyrics. There’s almost a mocking edge to his voice as Bonnie Chakraborty sings “Aankhon ka hai dhokha, aisa tera pyaaaar, tera "Emosanal Atyachaaar”. Towards the end, he loses it completely and delivers a hair-raising scream and moaning and torturously sings through, finishing with a bang. This is Indian Rock at its best, truly!

Amit Trivedi understands the mood of the movie and the expectations of the audience like a very few other directors do today. IKTARA for instance is a perfect example of “right music at the right time”. The song is just so fresh, and when the opening chords are strummed, you know you’re in for something good. The lyrics are beautiful, and you put the song in a movie where the lead actors are standing on a rainy Marine Drive patch, its bliss. Soothing, instrumental and soft vocals, all that’s needed for the song to become the most listened-to song of the year. AAZADIYAN from UDAAN captures the freedom and the high-flying spirit of a young boy out to face the world, uncertain of what he’ll encounter, but fearless at the same time. The music again reminds you of IKTARA, and slowly the song gathers momentum, and turns rock in an amazing manner. The chorus of “Aazaadiyan” is so engaging and boosts your spirit.

Highly experimental, over-imaginative, and out of this world, that’s what Amit Trivedi’s music is. The unconventional music of AAMIR was his first foray into Bollywood mainstream music and he delivered in style. Since then, he’s gone on to try different styles, and has played around with almost all genres. Dev D’s music was rightfully called “The baap of different genres”. He induced Jazz, Rock and European style music, blended it with Rajasthani Folk, Traditional, Classical, Punjabi music, adding a spice of band-baaja along with it!

His music isn’t one which you can have playing in the background, no it requires attention. Modern day bollywood music has been totally ruled by A.R. Rehman, Vishal Bharadwaj and Vishal-Shekhar. And now, we have another music biggie in Amit Trivedi. If you want good Bollywood, experimental, creative music, try his music-style!

Vishal Shah

Pravin Prajapati

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