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    With Kahaani 2 hitting screens today, Clinton Cerejo talks about collaborations and the need to go old school.

    Coming from a family of academicians, music was never an easy choice for Clinton Cerejo.

    However, the Mumbai-based singer-composer has carved a niche for himself with iconic numbers like Madaari (2012) for Coke Studio and movies like Te3en(2016) and Kahaani (2012) to his name, besides his active presence in the country’s indie music scene, think The Dewarists and the latest Jammin Live initiative with A R Rahman.

    The singer, composer for the songs and background score of Sujoy Ghosh’s Kahaani 2, the 29 year-old speaks about his musical journey, changing methodology in the industry.

    Two sides of a coin

    Talking about his work on the film, Cerejo says, “We didn’t want something general or too eclectic. So striking that balance was crucial. I had to find a way to make it musical without alienating the listener.”

    The movie marks his second collaboration with lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya with whom he shares “competitive creative tension”.

    Pointing out the ease of working with Ghosh, the Kya Karoon (Wake Up Sid!)singer says, “It is great when the director of the film has a vision for where he wants the soundtrack to go musically. For instance, when Shefali Bhushan (director) came to me with Jugni (2016), she was very clear that the film’s music would have to be earthy and organic, steeped in Punjabi folk. Having a musically sound director is always a bonus.”

    The artiste, who also has a band, Ananthaal, with singers Vijay Prakash and Bianca Gomes, does add that in contrast to film music, in an indie studio the onus is on the musician, you become the face of your own music.”

    Parallel paths

    His stint with Coke Studio produced some memorable tracks and the artiste does admit, “It’s been over four years since Madaari happened and it’s gratifying to see the love it continues to receive. Working on Coke Studio was a blessing, in a way, because it helped me find my sound as a songwriter and producer.”

    An old-school musician, Cerejo isn’t particularly fond of the music of today. “There was a time when you heard albums where every single player was a virtuoso, a master of his craft. There’s a limit to what one can achieve at home with a laptop,” rues the artiste who is currently hooked to Sting’s new album 57th and 9th, lauding it for its vintage songwriting.

    Kahaani 2 hits screens today.

    — Lavanya Lakshminarayanan

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