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Interviews |  27 Feb 2016 15:39 |  By RnMTeam

I worked on 'Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive' for two and a half years: Dhruv Dhalla

MUMBAI: It's rhythm, melody and harmony that define music for composer Dhruv Dhalla who has earlier given background score to movies like 'Khosla Ka Ghosla', 'Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!' and 'Tere Bin Laden.' This time, Dhalla who is a big fan of world music and German composer-record producer Hans Zimmer returns to the big screen with ‘Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive’. 

In conversation with, he talks about world music,  writer-director Abhishek Sharma and more.

When and how did you bag 'Tere Bin Laden: Dead or Alive'?

I bagged the project two and a half years ago. This is also when I started working on the project with Abhishek Sharma. I had earlier worked with him on 'Tere Bin Laden.' 

Two and a half years is a very long time to work on a project!

Yes, this is for the first time ever that I’ve worked on a score for this long. The project was very challenging as Abhishek wanted the film to sound more like 'The Dictator', 'Pirates of the Caribbean', 'Dark Knight'  and other such movies. So, the challenge was to match international standards with a limited budget. The international budgets are lot higher than ours. However, I tried to match that with the limited technology. There was a point when I reached a dead end. This is when I went ahead and attended Hans Zimmers concert and that got me back on track. I am a huge Hans Zimmer fan. 

Have you Indianised the music to cater to Indian audiences?

There is nothing called as Indian or western music. The music principles of rhythm, melody and harmony are the same everywhere. At the end of the day, every piece of music that one makes is to evoke an emotion. It needs to take you to another level and this is what I work towards. When I make a musical piece it has to make your heart heavy in an emotional scene. It should get your pulse racing in a fight sequence. 

Moreover, I haven’t been a part of a very Indian project. None of my projects have been like Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s movies that have more rags in them. 

Given the fact that it’s a prequel did you retain some of the earlier scores?

The sounds completely new. The vision of the first movie was that of a canvas for me. But, this time, the spectrum was much wider so, there was a lot more for us to do. The earlier score was very quirky more like a flubber. It would come and go. Thus, the music was hard for one to recollect. In the second part, the movie demanded a definite score. Thus, in one particular scene where the fake Osama has to behave real to save his life we gave him the sound of gods walking on earth. Because we wanted him to have that power. There had to be this grandeur for Osama as a terrorist. While we kept Obama and white house score deliberately funny.

How was it working with Abhishek Sharma yet again?

Working with Abhishek is not at all easy. But, he makes you do brilliant things. He pulls out things from you that you did not even know existed. Though this process can be time-consuming because he selects one or two pieces from fifty music pieces. With him, there are more rejections than approvals.  But, at the end of the day, the work is very soul satisfying. 

Which Indian music composers do you look up to?

I think Ilaiyaraaja’s work in 'Cheeni Kum' was mindblowing. He managed to get innocence in the film so effortlessly through his music and that's its beauty. A.R. Rahman is another brilliant man. His work in ‘Lagaan’ was so epic. On the other hand, he managed to make bubble gum music for 'Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.' I think these guys are legends world over and I am here because of them. It's their work that inspired me to take up music as a profession.

Do you still work on jingles?

Jingles are mini-workouts. You go to your studio and work for good four hours and finish a story. Moreover its music at the end of the day.

Upcoming projects?

I will be working on another project with Abhishek. It is still in the initial stage. I was earlier working on a film for Sanjay Dutt's production starring Mr. Bachchan but it was kept on hold for obvious reasons. However, I will get back on it now. There is another mafia based film that I will be working on soon.