Multiple composers for one film: Boon or Bane? spoke to leading music directors and singers to see what they feel about the recent trend in Bollywood

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Multiple composers for one film: Boon or Bane?

Aashiqui 2, the music of which was composed by Jeet Gannguli, Mithoon and Ankit Tiwari, won the Best Music Award across all award ceremonies in 2013. Similarly, 2015 release Roy bagged the Best Music Director Award – this time too, the honour was shared by Amaal Mallik, Ankit Tiwari and Meet Bros Anjjan.

More and more films are roping in multiple music directors for their soundtrack. This year itself has seen Airlift, Kapoor & Sons, Baaghi, Azhar and some more films boasting of more than one music director.

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And if the awards are anything to go by, clearly it’s a case of ‘Two heads are better than one’.

As singer Kailash Kher puts it, “When you go for dinner, you wouldn’t want to have biryani all the time. You will obviously look for variety. Similarly, what is wrong if a producer wants a film with various elements?”

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Amaal Mallik feels that one should not take it personally if the producer or director wants another music director on board. The point to remember here, he says, is that everybody’s collective goal should be to make the album better. “If multiple composers can manage to do an album that works well, what’s the problem? The album of Kapoor & Sons had me working on Kar Gayi Chull and Buddhu Sa Mann, Arko composing Saathi Re, Tanishk (Bagchi) doing Bol Na, and Badshah and Nucleya doing Let’s Nacho. And the result was that the album was loved as a whole,” he says.

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However, he is quick to add that the filmmakers need to follow a certain protocol. “If a single composer has been signed at the start, it’s the duty of the producer or director to inform him before getting others on board,” he points out.

While Kher and Mallik may feel that the variety offered by different music directors helps in bettering the soundtrack, there are other music directors who feel that you can’t be as involved when you’re composing a track or two for a film.

Jeet Gannguli says, “I think a single composer should be given the responsibility of one film and its background music. If one composer does the whole film, he even sits for the entire process of filmmaking in order to get the background scores right and puts in equal amount of effort.”

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Even Salim Merchant of Salim-Sulaiman belongs to the same school of thought. “We will never get into a project wherein the directors want us to work with other composers,” he vehemently says before adding, “At the end of the day, if a composer does one film, he/ she is the voice of the movie. And who wouldn’t want to be the voice of the film?”

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What Shaan dislikes about the trend catching on is that music directors no longer sit down and compose a song for a particular situation. “Today, composers already have songs stocked in the bank and nothing is actually made by them keeping a particular situation in mind,” he argues.

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While there has been a surge in the trend, one cannot simply hope that roping in many composers will guarantee them a hit soundtrack. Multiple award-winning singer Sonu Nigam feels that whether a film boasts of one or multiple composers does not matter. What counts is the end product – the album. He says, “There are a few films like Aashiqui 2 which had 3 people composing – Jeet Gannguli, Ankit Tiwari and Mithoon – and the songs worked. And there are times that a project has a solo composer and the music goes unnoticed. So ultimately, it’s all about how you work. There are no set formulas in Bollywood.” Point taken.

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