Music Focus: Shankar Ehsaan and Loy

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As the saying goes, “Two’s company, three’s a crowd”… but this trio are most definitely an exception to that rule. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and popularity seem to go hand in hand. Bollywood first got a taste of their music in Hrithik Roshan, Preity Zinta and Sunjay Dutt starrer Mission Kashmir and the trio haven’t looked back since…

The trio is made up of Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendosa, all coming from somewhat differing backgrounds but with a mutual love, respect and zeal for music. With fate giving a helping hand, the coming together of the trio has been a very big boon for Indian cinema. Each of the three brings something raw to the personality of their music and together their scores have received much praise. It’s safe to say that Bollywood would now be incomplete without SEL’s extraordinary talents. Their entry into the industry achieved the almost unachievable task of inspiring interest from younger audiences. Till date, music composed by SEL is arguably that which has closed the East-West gap and their insistence on any given song being in the right “setting” of the scenario in the film has worked wonders.

Following their debut, their music became more ground-breaking with their compositions in Farhan Akhtar’s Dil Chahta Hai. The film, the story of which revolved around the relationships between three friends, needed music which would compliment the freshness of the plot… and this requirement wasn’t simply met but was exceeded. ‘Koi Kahe’ became the new club favourite, ‘Woh Ladki Hai Kahaan’ gave the audiences a lovely story-sequence within the song and the title track is still loved for its contemporary style to convey the beauties of friendship.

From Dil Chahta Hai to Kal Ho Naa Ho to Wake Up Sid, this trio’s music has gone from strength to strength. With songs fit for all occasions, SEL’s constant push for promoting new talent and their fusion-themed tunes have outdone competitors many a time. With originality as their USP, the music composers have been firm favourites of Excel Entertainment as well as Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions. They have won many nominations and taken home many awards for their outstanding work. It’s difficult to pinpoint individual songs within soundtracks which have won the audience’s hearts… Here’s a list of some the terrific trio’s effortlessly created soundtracks:

– Mission Kashmir
– Dil Chahta Hai
– Armaan
– Kal Ho Naa Ho
– Bunty Aur Babli
– Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
– Heyy Babyy
– Rock On!!
– Wake Up Sid
– My Name is Khan
– Housefull

From the list, it’s easy to say that chart-toppers are what SEL are all about. Even before a film’s music is released, the SEL stamp will always promise to deliver the most unforgettable, the most trendsetting and ultimately the most instantly noticed music any director could.

A prime example of this is their most recent soundtrack for Dharma Productions’ We Are Family starring Arjun Rampal, Kajol and Kareena Kapoor. A film that has grabbed attention pretty much since the moment it was born, We Are Family’s music has been showcased through Twitter via the film’s director Siddarth Malhotra much before getting to the music channels. Once again, the music is creating waves in the industry and with the masses. SEL’s pairing with Dharma productions has always had the same effect and We Are Family is all set to abide by that same style.

SEL are musical geniuses of a very different breed. It seems Bollywood music composed by the three takes on a whole new meaning. While we all get geared for yet another inevitable musical hit, no doubt the trio are rocking in their very first American/Canadian tour and also working on their next score to wow the audiences all over again… and wow they will, as always. We, as the audience, will never get enough of SEL’s mesmerising soundtracks and we hope they will never get enough of producing the tracks we all love so much!

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