“We should have soul touching melody no matter what style” – Jigar

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Young talent always brings a storm in the industry. That was the case when the refreshing musical duo of Sachin and Jigar debuted with their first solo album Teree Sang. Both the release of the film and music didn’t have the usual hype for a huge commercial project yet when promos started airing audiences instantly took a liking to the soundtrack and continue to love it till today. Now the duo is set for their second release, Krantiveer – The Revolution, so Bollyspice decided to catch up with both Sachin and Jigar to talk about life, cinema and music!

Now because your fans know very little about you I’ll start from the very start! Firstly and foremost, was there a specific moment in your life when you decided that you wanted music to not just be something you do on the sidelines but want it to be your career?

Jigar: As a child I’d grown up with music, playing the tabla, the harmonium and piano but never had I actually thought of it as a career then. I was in 10th standard and was studying very well. I was a student. At that time I joined Mr. Rajesh Roshan and I think it was when I met the industry people and worked in the studio that I realized that this is not something I want to do every now and then but infact something I’d like to change into my career. So that’s how it all happened. From Rajesh Roshan, to Prittam, to Sandesh Shandiliya, Anu Malik and almost all music directors in the industry have been a part of my career in some shape or form.

Sachin: Yes, for me there was that one moment which changed course of things for me. That was the advent of Rahman on the music arena. I heard Roja and like many young musicians I was swept off my feet. Compositions, rhythm and melody arrangements, voices, the sound engineering, everything was mesmerizing. I just realized there is so much challenge in a music director’s job. Until then I wanted to become Kumar Sanu (I have sung as a child singer in Hum Hain Rahi Pyaar Ke and a few films as a kid and was a regular in Nadeem Shravan’s chorus gang so I was in awe of Sanu da) but thank God Rahman’s music did it for me. Then I learnt the keyboards and started composing and arranging.

So was your family okay with the decision of you going into the entertainment industry?

Jigar: Actually my dad was a close firend to Mr Rajesh Roshan. So I told my father that I’d like to meet Rajesh Roshan and pursue my career in music. My father was okay with my decision but said that I shouldn’t leave my studies for it. So it was the only condition he set and I had to agree to that. But my family has never really told me to not go into the industry because they’ve always wanted me to pursue whatever I wanted to pursue. The only thing they said to me was to finish my graduation and then take up music full time. I think that was fair enough and that’s what I did. They’ve always been extremely supportive and have helped me to grow.

Sachin: More than my family I wasn’t sure myself if I could sustain in the very competitive world of entertainment but my parents stood by me. I was doing my CA studies and was determined to join his firm but my initial efforts in theatre were getting me some major opportunities and I was getting confused. It was my father who asked me to take a chance. He was quiet sure that media would shine in due time. My mother comes from a musical family so she supported me all throughout!

What made you and Sachin decide that you wanted work together?

Jigar: This story I would say also started at Rajesh Roshan’s. I was programming at Rajesh Roshan’s and I met Amit Trivedi who was also programming there. We both became friends there and it so happened to be that Sachin and Amit were very close friends. Sachin at the time was doing a lot of work and needed a partner and that’s how Amit introduced me to him. And from that till today I think we’ve been together at all time. Whatever I lacked he balanced out and whatever he lacked I balanced out.

Sachin: I met Jigar to share work load (I was into television mainly at that time) but in no time I realized that he was special. He is very creative and has smart ways of tackling pressure that helped me. Also we complement each other in some way (he was naturally good at rhythm and I have my classical vocal training so melody was my forte) but most importantly we’ve became great friends. We work all night, sleep in the morning and go partying in the evening. Now after years together I am glad I met him. He’s not just my partner he’s like a young brother to me.

Now in the history of Indian music composers working as duos is a very popular format (i.e. Jatin-Lalit, Vishal-Shekhar, etc.), why do you think this is so?

Jigar: Music is an extremely creative process and it’s never a one man’s game. One person can never make music. I think its about the number of ideas we get. If I am composing and he gets an idea to take it to the next level which obviously makes the song complete. If we were not partners I would have rather hired him to do work for me or vice versa because you need more than one person for this task. We match very well and we know each other’s strengths and weaknesses very well so I think that is something that other duos probably find as well to be the case. Hopefully I’m not wrong!

Sachin: Frankly every artist needs to filter his work before presenting it in front of people, and in our case we bounced ideas off each other. So if I was wrong he would politely makes a comment suggesting the change and it works. In addition, thought progression is quite obvious. Yes there is occasional tussle but you know at the end of that it’s all for the song. Maybe that’s why there have been so many duos I guess.

So what made you two decide to fly solo for Teree Sang?

It was actually nothing we decided. It all happened all thanks to God. We never thought we’d do a film’s composition or let alone that we’re capable of doing a whole soundtrack by ourselves. But even after branching out of Prittam sir we were only arranging for various composers and one fine day we met Neeraj Shridhar and Sameer who came down to our studio and heard our work. We just played them whatever random songs we had. We go on long drives and make songs for ourselves so thats all we played to them. At that time Satish Kaushik was looking for a promotion track for the film and so Sameer introduced him to us and told him that we were new but had music that might suit his needs. From there it started, from one one song to two and to three and at the end we ended up with five tracks! It wasn’t actually planned or anything. It just happened!

Did you expect all this to be so appreciated by the audiences because Teree Sang OST did definitely create waves!

We don’t expect actually! We are just sitting in the corner doing our work. We might go wrong or hit the right chord sometimes. We feel extremely delighted that people have liked it and that our approach was actually correct. It has definitely given us a lot of self confidence. All thanks to God! We haven’t really thought it was a hit or not but we have gotten positive response and we’re working towards more greater albums for everyone.

Now you both sung as well in the album and I feel that ‘More Saiyaan’ was the most popular which features both of you as singers?

Jigar: No!!!! We’re both not singers, no idea how to sing! Sachin has 8 years of singing however I don’t! If we go on a mic without the computer helping us it would be a full flop we’re sure! But for the film with Ruslaan’s character being young and school boyish Satish Kaushik thought our voice no matter how “besuraa” was most suited. Obviously the technology helped us. We don’t see ourselves singing again unless a director forces us!

Alrighty! So tell us a bit about making of Teree Sang‘s OST, the preparation and inspirations behind the album.

Jigar: Actually Teree Sang was made two years before we came into the project. The film had songs in it already but Satish Kaushik felt that they weren’t working for the film. So on the first day he came to listen to us causally and only after a bit of confidence in us he decided to play us some scenes from the film. He explained to us that it’s no lip syncing and told us to stick to the concept of a young guy and girl who are in love. The best part about Satish ji was that he didn’t stop us from doing anything. He believed in us and told us to do whatever we wanted to do and just stick to the melody and story. None of the songs actually were for Teree Sang except ‘More Saiyaan’. ‘More Saiyaan’ was the only song we specifically composed for the film. The others we had composed for ourselves and listen to in our cars. ‘Rab Milya’ Sachin had composed for his wife for their anniversary.

Sachin: Yes I still remember it was my third anniversary and I wrote this song as a gift but I was getting too sentimental and choked every time I tried to take on the mic. Jigar and I used to sound quite similar then so I asked him to dub it instead (laughs) and he did such a fabulous job. My wife just kept laughing when she learnt this fact but right then we’d decided that if we get to do this song it would be in his voice. Teree Sang was our first. We weren’t even ready for it. Satish Sir just wanted one promo song when Sameer Sir introduced us to him but in that one sitting we just played our randomly composed tunes luckily it fit his script so well that he took 5 tunes from us eventually. Till today we are pinching ourselves to see if this all is real. I sit down to think what a major decision it must have been but Satish Sir so strongly supported us. We were concerned about our arrangements as tunes were more or less in shape. We had worked arrangers for many music directors so all eyes were upon our first solo album. So we put our heart and soul in it. We really worked meticulously on the production and mixing and I’m glad that we could give it so much time and will want to do that for all our future work.

Well it all worked out brilliantly well! Speaking now more about inspirations, tell us who are some contemporary composers who inspire you both?

Jigar: Of course Mr A.R. Rehman, then Prittam and Amit Trivedi whom we really like. And to a great extent Jatin-Lalit who inspire us a lot.

Sachin: Rahman of course (he is my God), Lucky Ali for his amazing sufi vibe but I have loved Vishal Bharadwaj recently for his fearless approach to his work. He hasn’t worried about commercial-non commercial at the same time has given good shape to his compositions. From the West I have loved Lionel Richie, Steve Wonder and Vangelis. I also Black Eyed Peas, I think whatever they do turns to gold!

What about singers?

Jigar: Neeraj for sure, Kay Kay, also Mika who’s approach to songs I really like. Amongst females no one can beat Sunidhi and Shreya. I think it’ll take us all quite a bit of time to figure out just how do these ladies do what they do! Oh and Anushka Manchandani!! I cannot forget my favourite Anushka.

Sachin: I really love Kishore Kumar. I think he was an amazing actor and that made all the difference to his vocals. Bryan Adams is my favourite from the West. In the female singers I love Nelly Furtado and Norah Jones for their uncanny spoken sung styles.

Do you feel that the style of music audiences like now has evolved?

Jigar: Our audiences are not only accepting new stuff but are also expecting different genres. There was a time when India was full of tabla, dholaks and harmoniums but now I’m really happy that we’re changing and doing things like hip hop, RnB, electro, jazz, rock, etc. At the same time the 70s and 80s are coming back too. We like going back in a more contemporary matter.

So with audiences expecting and accepting more and more what makes you guys stand out and what according to you is your USP?

Jigar: We don’t know actually. We have to figure it out. We’re just going with the flow. I really think that whatever the style of music the one thing that sticks to Indian audiences is the melody. We should have soul touching melody no matter what style. Contemporary, or old, it should have melody that has repetitive value and can touch the soul. That’s all music is about, it’s about expressing yourself. Also I think fusion is our special thing because we love to do fusion whatever we know. And whatever work we’re doing now we’re trying to explore authentic Indian instruments and mix it with the technology available.

Speaking of your upcoming albums, what are some of them?

One of the films is called Faltoo, directed by choreographer Remo D Souza. Another film is one that has been directed by the maker of Bheja Fry, Sagar, which is called Hum Tum aur Shabana. All these will be post September.

We wish both of them the best of luck and cannot wait to hear more of their fabulous compositions! Be sure and check out our review of their newest album Krantiveer-The Revolution!

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