From creating a “70mm soundtrack” for Yash Raj Films’ “Shamshera” to creating romantic songs for films like “Khuda Haafiz: Chapter 2 – Agni Pariksha” and “HIT: The First Case”, mithoon has had a turbulent year so far. With ambitious scores for movies like “Salaam Venky” and “Gadar 2,” he plans to continue captivating listeners with interesting music in the coming months.
In this interview, the music composer talks about the biggest lesson he learned while working on a period film, why his films’ disappointing performance upsets him, memories of KK, what spirituality means to him. , breaking down language barriers and more.
You spent several months putting together the album and background music for ‘Shamshera’. What is this thing that remained with you after you finished working on the film?
I learned a very important lesson while working on ‘Shamshera’. I realized that if you explore uncharted territory, you can discover a lot. Karan Malhotra was a big inspiration to me in my creative journey on this film. He helped me to explore several elements in me as a musician. I realized there were so many different soundscapes that I enjoyed. I have witnessed a lot of growth during this process as a musician.
For this film, it was necessary to create a grandiose soundscape marked by heavy orchestral arrangements. Veteran composer Pyarelal Sharma is your uncle. As a composer duo, Laxmikant – Pyarelal were associated with this kind of sound. How was entering this particular space?
It is a big compliment for me to be compared to Laxmikant-Pyarelal as they have been my gurus. Contrary to what many people might think, I didn’t see the film as a challenge. For me, it was important to enjoy what I was doing. In fact, that’s the kind of energy that Karan Malhotra brought to the studio. I remember him telling me that if we don’t enjoy what we do, it won’t show on the screen. He wanted me to hang on to the melody and that’s what I did. I tried to maintain my signature melody in each of the songs. I used a lot of organic sounds and acoustic instruments. For ‘Kaale Naina’, for example, more than 40 instruments were recorded.
‘Shamshera’ did not do very well at the box office. In the past, you worked on many films like ‘Aggar’ (2007), ‘Lamhaa’ (2010), ‘3G’ (2013) and ‘Traffic’ (2016) which did not work and the music did. suffered. . Does a movie’s disappointing box office performance bother you?
Yes, it bothers me. I never had a song bank. I always ask the director to share the script with me or give me a narration. I always create fresh music for a film. I only start composing after establishing a connection with the script and the characters in it. When people don’t relate to a film I’ve worked on, I’m disappointed. At the same time, I respect the public and the verdict given by them.
‘Gadar’ (2001) had a very memorable soundtrack composed by composer Uttam Singh and lyricist Anand Bakshi. What kind of music can we expect from ‘Gadar 2’?
I’m doing the full score of ‘Gadar 2’. While I created an original score for the film, I also used some elements from the ‘Gadar’ soundtrack as a tribute to Uttam Singh i and Anand Bakshi saab. As a composer, I lent my own expression to the story.
Your father Naresh Sharma contributed greatly to the industry as a composer and arranger. What was his influence on you as a musician?
I owe everything to my father. What I am today is thanks to everything he taught me. The whole fraternity knows the role he played in my musical journey. I was nineteen when I made ‘Zeher’. He always gave me the right advice and the right mentorship. ‘Aashiqui 2’ was my tribute and ode to my father.
You collaborated with him to recreate Jal’s ‘Woh Lamhe’ for ‘Zeher’ (2005). After that, we did not witness a professional collaboration between you two.
I will have to convince him to collaborate with him (laughs). I hope we can work together on something soon.
You said in an interview that reading the Bible changes you as a person. You also said that you were greatly inspired by the characteristics of Jesus Christ. Has spirituality played an important role in your musical creation process in recent years?
I firmly believe that spirituality plays a very important role in our lives. However, following a certain path does not necessarily make us spiritual. Spirituality also refers to the way we speak, behave and treat people. For me, this is the true essence of spirituality. You should do or practice whatever makes you a better person. The world needs more love and compassion today. Inclusiveness is the need of the hour.
You originally planned to become a concert pianist. Is this dream still alive?
My dream was hijacked by Hindi film music (laughs). I always wanted to become a concert pianist but at 16, I decided to become a film composer. When I do concerts, I try to do a solo piano piece for the audience. When I did the musical reality show “Times Of Music” in 2020, I put together a classic western interpretation of the “Tip Tip Barsa Paani” riff.
Although you have been a prolific Hindi film composer, you have also composed for films in other languages. Besides the Tamil film ‘Mercury’ (2018), you also composed for a Malaysian film named ‘Diva’ (2007). Is this something you will continue to do in the future?
I have always been open to this idea. India is not just a language. Our diversity is our beauty and our strength. Even the “Shamshera” songs were recorded in Tamil and Telugu. I personally supervised all recordings. I worked with wonderful lyricists like Madhan Karky gaaru and Chaitanya gaaru. Working with them was a great experience. I want to compose music for films made in different languages. I would like to explore all possible facets of our culture as a musician.
‘Beete Lamhein’ (‘The Train’) and ‘Musafir’ (‘Shab’) are some of the wonderful songs that KK sang for you. His death left a huge void in the music industry. What are your memories of him?
He was the epitome of success for me. It did not meet the accepted standards of success. He created his own terms and succeeded without compromising them. He didn’t feel obligated to do something just because others around him were doing it. He only talked about music, his beliefs, his family and what made him happy. In my opinion, it is a real success. He has always inspired me as an artist and a human being and will continue to do so.
Apart from being an accomplished actor, Revathi is known to be a sensitive filmmaker. What kind of music did you compose for his production “Salaam Venky”?
It was my first collaboration with her. I really enjoyed the process of working on this film. In addition to the songs, I also composed the background music for the film. The film is based on a sensitive subject. The music is set to be released in October.
You underwent intensive training for several years before embarking on a career as a music composer. In your opinion, how important is training for a musician?
Personally, I think it’s very important. Jab tak bharoge nahin toh chhalkoge kaise? My grandfather Pandit Ram Prasad Sharma i started the tradition of music in our family. Several people in my family including Pandit imy father, Pyaré babaGorakh Sharma iAnand Sharma i and Monty Sharma i pursued music as a profession. Learning music is part of our family tradition.
On professional collaborators:
He was someone who believed in me when very few people would believe in a student and allow him to compose the music for their film.
He’s been a big part of my journey in movies. Also, he is someone who made me discover the world of poetry and taught me the tehzeeb and tame of shaayari.
He was my first poet friend in the industry. Ever since he was a senior, I used to call him ‘sir’. He told me “you mujhe sir mat bol, yaar. Mujhe Amitabh bowl.” He has one of the purest smiles I’ve seen on a human being.
He is God’s gift to the world. I feel extremely lucky to have had the opportunity to work with him on so many songs.
Besides being an extremely talented writer, Manoj i is someone who represents the rich tradition of India. Every time I meet him, I try to immerse myself in him. He has a great knowledge of history and literature. People like him are extremely important because they can educate young people and show them the right path to move forward in life.