Amit Trivedi talks about working on Gunjan Saxena: Discovering a director's taste is fun

Having first come across the playful Mann ki dori from Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl on Armaan Malik’s Instagram feed, we were certain that the track would serve as an all-purpose background score — dish-washing sessions, roti-making routines, late-night story-writing sessions, and, eventually, as an addition to our travel playlist, (whenever travelling is again a possibility). But having watched the Janhvi Kapoor-starrer a day after its release, it was easy to see that there was no other situation in which Amit Trivedi’s creation fit like a hand in glove, as it did in the movie. It would be safe to say that the subsequent offerings too — including the quirky Rekha o Rekha, and the tear-jerker, Dori tutt gaiyaan — lift each sequence in equal measure. Imagine our surprise then when Trivedi tells us that he did not have access to the rushes of the film when creating the songs, having simply worked on them based on the brief given by director Sharan Sharma.

“All the songs were created before the film was shot. The only exception being [Arijit Singh-rendered] Bharat ki beti, which was created after watching about 80 per cent of the film. The most exciting part of every project is working with different directors, and analysing their distinct tastes. That discovery is a beautiful process. My biggest take-away from this project is how fantastic Sharan is, as a filmmaker. His sensibility, when it comes to selecting a tune for a situation, is bang on. And, just like he knows what he wants, he is well aware of what he does not want too,” says Trivedi, whose YouTube channel is for a music aficionado, what a candy store is for a kid.

Since he launched his independent label AT Azaad, three months ago, Trivedi seems to have got a new lease of life. While he cherishes the opportunity to compose songs devoid of the trappings of commercial cinema, he isn’t one who can celebrate this period of solitude that has been forced upon us. “As someone who enjoys travelling to different countries, or even merely to Goa when making music, being cooped up at home is not conducive. My [best] creations have been worked on in planes, in cars, or in hotel rooms. So, doing it in such an environment is tough.”

Up next for the composer is Anurag Kashyap’s offering, tentatively titled Doing Love Story, which “has a dance-oriented soundtrack”. It will be his second attempt at creating a dance film after the upcoming Rocket Gang, a discussion on which instantly lifts his mood. “I cannot tell you how much fun I had while working on Rocket Gang,” he says of choreographer Bosco Martis’s directorial debut, an out-and-out dance venture. “Bosco’s energy is likely to get you charged-up. People will discover a new side of me via this soundtrack because I haven’t attempted a dance film before. Often, in the studio, Bosco would show me the set where the dancers would perform, and would also start dancing to depict the moves on which songs must be created,” he says, adding that work on the five-song playlist has wrapped up.

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