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    Shankar Mahadevan and Ehsaan Noorani on the joys of composing, and discovering fresh talent

    This year has been a mixed bag of sorts for Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. While their soundtrack for Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s romantic musical Mirzya came as a breath of fresh air, Rock On 2 failed to capitalise on the popularity of its prequel.  The trio also recently performed at Mood Indigo, Mumbai. On composing Shankar Mahadevan says, “Nothing is easy if you want to do it right. When you’re singing, you’re already in a position where the melody, lyrics and arrangement are born. When you compose, it’s a maternal responsibility of sorts because you are literally giving birth to a new creation.”

    Decoding the formula
    As for music trends in the country, bhangra pop, old classic remakes and classic-inspired tracks have been the rage this year, Shankar observes. Having recently recreated the iconic Nestle School Chalein Hum campaign for modern audiences, the 49-year-old adds, “We wanted to avoid being monotonous and preachy and do
    something fun so we took the iconic phrase and created something completely new.” Guitarist Ehsaan Noorani is quick to point out that a set ‘formula’ was in place during the golden days of R D Burman and more recently A R Rahman. “Formulas do not work in today’s day and age where audiences are exposed to so much global music,” adds the 53-year old musician.

    Future bright
    The two have taken to the judging on two separate shows, Rising Star on Colors and The Stage on Colors Infinity. “We have more talent now because people are opening up to the possibilities of singing as a career. It is being seen now as more lucrative. This however doesn’t mean that the talent pool is diverse,” notes Shankar. Ehsaan takes a more optimistic view. “To see English singing talent coming from deep places like Mandi, Mizoram and even Rajasthan is so heartening” While the duo chose to stay mum over the projects coming up next year, Shankar adds that they are waiting for a project as meaty as Vishwaroopam to be a part of soon.
    Details: shankarehsaanloy.com

    —Lavanya Lakshminarayanan

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