"Phillauri’s folk music was created using western instruments," says music composer Shashwat Sachdev
MUMBAI: Did you know that Phillauri’s music wasn’t created using the usual Indian musical instruments? Well, the instruments used to create the folk sounding music for Fox Star Studios, Anushka Sharma and Karnesh Sharma’s ‘Phillauri’ were very much modern. Music composer Shashwat Sachdev created Punjabi folk sound using western musical instruments.
So, let’s get this straight. The folk music of ‘Phillauri’ was created by a music composer who is inclined towards electronic music and the instruments used were very much modern. The next question that pops is how did this combination create the right sound and a successful album? To understand the mystery better, we at Radioandmusic.com contacted the music composer of ‘Phillauri’, Shashwat Sachdev.
Sachdev moved to LA from Jaipur in 2011 to peruse music. There he worked on many international projects, which also included work with Grammy Award winning sound engineer Tony Maserati. The composer returned to India in 2014 and signed under Tulsea Pictures that is known to manage screenwriters. They made an exception in Sachdev’s case and took him onboard. The company introduced the talented man to Anushka and team who were extremely skeptical on taking someone more inclined towards electronic music onboard.
“They asked me to create sound for one of the songs of the film. So, I read the script first and decided to work on ‘Dum Dum’. While reading the script I realised that the entire story of the film is in ‘Dum Dum’. It is the arch of their love that gradually leads to a spiritual awakening. The track had a start, middle portion and the end,” explained Sachdev who was successful in bagging the project.
Ideally, the composer could have chosen an easy path of tracking a few folk singers from Punjab and recreating their renditions, but he chose to create something fresh. “When I took up the project, I wasn’t in the space to create folk. Plus I wanted to connect with people who listen to apple music. I wanted to create something in that soundscape,” stated the composer who then brought on board international musicians.
“Except for the singers, every musician who played for the film was an international artiste. The guitarist was Korean. We had an American bass player. The motive of bringing international artiste onboard was to create an amalgamation of sound. I wanted the tracks to sound more urban,” confessed Sachdev.
He further added, “Everybody in my team was scared. They did not know how artiste from different backgrounds would put an Indian sound together. Plus how would one connect with Punjab with a guitar in place of a dhol or tabla? But, people are accepting the album because it is modern.”
It’s not that Sachdev wasn’t sure of what he was trying to put together. He was in control of things having learnt classical music for 20 years and western classical for ten years. He has also learnt to play the piano for 10 years. However, the composer did have a few fears. “At times what you’re trying to convey something it gets lost in translation. There was worry of losing on the emotions,” confessed he.
The final result did take away all the worry as the album was accepted with open arms. In fact, the success of the songs also led to Sachdev creating a Facebook page. “Soon after the music released I started getting friend requests in hundreds. Earlier I felt someone was spamming, but later I realised the reason for this FB explosion,” laughed Sachdev.
The music composer is currently busy working on his next project, but even now watching his music on TV brings a broad smile on his face.
Here are a few of the most watched tracks from ‘Phillauri’ –