Composer / Music Producer Gulraj Singh talks about his latest project ‘Sardar Ka Grandson’ and his musical journey | Odisha News | Latest Odisha News
Composer / music producer Gulraj Singh has left his mark on films like “Ungli”, “Fukrey Returns” and the popular devotional album “Ganaraj Adhiraj”. He also worked for a TV movie titled ‘Shaadi Vaadi And All That’ for the song ‘Dil Lajawab Hai’. In a recently released film “Sardar Ka Grandson” on Netflix, Gulraj did the background music.
Sharing his experience with us, he said, “’Sardar Ka Grandson’ happened to me last year when Kaashvi called me about this project. Before that we were talking about the song we did in ‘Shaadi Vaadi’ where she gave me a hint about this project. She also told me things were stopped due to the lockdown and everything. So we had a brief discussion on the whole thing.
Kaashvi and I worked together for “Shaadi Vaadi”, a TV movie released a few years ago on MTV. And without a doubt, we have both had a great experience working together. Kaashvi’s directing style and the kind of music I wrote for her film went well. This is the first feature film she’s made and I feel humbled to be a part of this project.
Gulraj’s journey in music began as a keyboardist at an early age. Later he went on to explore the bigger picture he informs about, “I consider myself lucky enough to have covered a wide range of concerts during this time by being associated with rock bands. Since I grew up in Thane I used to do a lot of local Marathi shows there where I got to know the amazing Marathi music and musicians. Then I was part of a neo-classical group called “Defying Gravity”.
“As a keyboardist, my first celebrity experience was with singer Kunal Ganjawala. Then the opportunity presented itself with Shankar Ehsaan Loy. For a few years, I played with them live, at the same time as I worked for other composers. Then I was associated with Ranjit Barot Ji, ultimately Salim-Suleiman. Since 2013 I have been playing for AR Rahman sir, which is another great experience. I used to work as a keyboardist and composer with other music directors, but I always focused on my compositions, ”adds Gulraj.
Little known to many, Gulraj’s debut as a music composer came with the film “Tutiya Dill”. Speaking of which, he says, “’Tutiya Dil’ was my first film as a composer. I had done all the songs and BGM for it. My dear friend Manoj Yadav wrote the lyrics. However, the film did not fare well at the box office. But then the song “Pakeezah” from the movie “Ungli” worked well. I sang and composed the song. I had made the theme song for ‘Ungli’ which is ‘Aadaraniya Ungli’.
His devotional album ‘Ganaraj Adhiraj’ has earned him great fame and recognition. “The album ‘Ganaraj Adhiraj’ was a dream project for me and Manoj. A friend of ours in Thane had a studio and wanted an album by rearranging existing Ganesha songs. But this idea did not work. Then Manoj and I had the idea of making original Lord Ganesha songs. The intention was to be completely transparent. From Hariharan Ji to Shankar Ehsaan Loy and Salim Merchant, Akriti Kakar, Siddharth Mahadevan etc., all sang a song there. It was a 3-4 year process. This album gave me that introduction as a composer / producer. I got the movie ‘Ungli’ a bit because of this album. ‘Ganaraj Adhiraj’ came in trilogy – 2011, 2012, 2013 respectively. The album opened a lot of doors for me and Manoj. We are also planning to reboot the album.
Music for me is very natural rather than conscious effort. When you make independent music, its goal is to put your free expression first. Here, the artist in you does not pass through any filter. So it’s very pure in terms of intentions and what you want to do. There is no director or producer to give you instructions. For example, there is this album called ‘Ganaraj Adhiraj’ which I made with lyricist Manoj Yadav, which is an example of an independent project. And I’m glad a lot of people still like it. I composed and produced as it came naturally to me. Manoj wrote the lyrics the way he felt. So there were no limits, ”he explains.
Gulraj has mainly worked as a music composer / BGM in the industry. Asked about his experience, he said: “Coming to mainstream BGM or songwriting projects which I call commissioned work, because here we are dealing with a particular film or series, and so on. good. So here you have to respond to the given situation with the music because it has to move the story forward. So you have the situation and sometimes references too. And in BGM, you write music that would add to the storytelling process. So it takes the form of the storytelling that the film tries to convey. Another thing is that sometimes your music also turns according to the taste of the director. “
He adds: “I think writing music for comedy scenes is very difficult. There is a very thin line to make the music / movie very cartoonish or cliché. So you have to be very subtle with the music because it has to convey humor. With ‘Sardar Ka Grandson’ it was very difficult to do justice to the comedic parts because the film carries a very moving story at the same time. The BGM has to adapt perfectly to the length of the film with multiple emotional, serious and funny moments.
For me, the music of a film is a sound, even if there are different composers, BGMs or songs. So I make sure I use elements of the songs in other parts of the movie that add to the script. That’s why I like to work for films where I can also compose the songs and the background music. There are other projects where I do BGM, songs, etc.
“I strongly think BGM and the songs represent the sound of the film. Well, the BGM score takes a longer duration. For ‘Sardar Ka Grandson’ I took a month. The time taken depends on the length and requirement of the film. In addition to the music programming we also record live instruments, singers / backing vocalists which also add to the timeline. Some composers like to make BGMs more than songs, ”he adds, citing his latest project“ Sardar Ka Grandson ”.
Speaking about his other projects, he informs: “There are two films on which I have already worked. One is ‘Paani’ directed by Addinath Kothare and produced by Priyanka Chopra. I made songs and BGMs for it. The film won a national award last year. We hope it will be broadcast on OTT or in theaters given the severity of the pandemic situation. There is another movie called “Unaad” directed by Aditya Sarpotdar. This movie has five songs that I wrote where the music is a big part of the story. During the songs, the story moves forward. I also composed made BGM for the film. There are also other projects in the pipeline. “