India’s musical landscape is currently witnessing an overwhelming change and there is no doubt that independent artistes across genres are collectively pushing the limits with bohemian ideas. But the seriousness of this trend is well understood when filmmakers too show an affinity towards recognising independent talent.
Delhi-based trio Studio Fuzz, a music production house that comprises Arsh Sharma, Srijan Mahajan and Nikhil Malik — musicians associated with popular rock bands like Parikrama, Fuzz Culture, Half Step Down, Cyanide and The Circus — has given a beacon of hope to non-film artistes in the country by composing the soundtrack of the acclaimed film “M Cream”, which follows the exploits of four rebellious friends who set out on a road trip in pursuit of a mythic drug.
The OST (Original Sound Track) composed by Studio Fuzz for “M Cream” features six tracks with renowned names like Shubha Mudgal and Half Step Down’s vocalist Dhaval Mudgal. Ranging from rock, jazz, folk and instrumental pieces, these tracks reflect an immense diversity and add an aural dimension to the film.
Mahajan says the beauty of creating the score for the film was “the lack of a thought process”.
“We scored it like innocent little kids in a room (which is what it was minus the kids part, I think). We would spend about 10-12 hours a day with the film on our screen and sit with our instruments and just kind of doodle away and somehow the music just made itself,” Mahajan told IANS.
Malik says that the music was written first without keeping any vocalists in mind.
“That way we had a lot of freedom to pick and choose from. Being from the same musical circuit, we had seen a lot of these musicians live and knew what they would bring to the table,” Malik told IANS.
Unlike mainstream Bollywood films, where the music rarely serves as soundtracks but often as dance numbers, “M Cream” evokes the feel of western cinema where sound tracks are used as accompaniments to the movie’s overall essence.
“A new breed of film makers is hitting Bollywood and they are open to looking at other places for new music rather than rely on the same people to give them the same formula tested stuff,” Mahajan said.
Majahan also believes that nowadays people are also opening up to the idea of music production as a “viable” career.
“Music production is, as is anything else, a viable career choice provided you get good at what you do and are intelligent about it!” he said.
“You have to realise that when producing music for a specific purpose, you can’t be bull headed and do only what you want to do. You need to see the purpose, the vision of the director and the ultimate goal of what the music needs to achieve and combine it with what you would want to do. A lot of indie musicians don’t understand this and get stuck here I feel,” Mahajan added.
Meanwhile, Malik hoped that their work “encourages and paves the way for every kid who aspires to become a musician in our country”.
Coming from a rock background, the trio also believes that times are changing for the genre in the country.
According to Mahajan, “people’s ideas of live music is changing from listening to a band to having a band as background music”.
Sharma rues that not just India but “worldwide rock music has taken a big beating over the last ten years or so and electronic music and electronic music producers have come to the forefront”.
“Rock music definitely needs revitalising, but for that rock bands also have to change and evolve with time; otherwise we risk becoming like the dinosaurs,” he added.
(Ankit Sinha can be contacted at email@example.com)