He is the proverbial hit master of Bengali music. Singer, songwriter, and composer Anupam Roy is busy shuttling between Kolkata and Mumbai, doing what he does best: delivering hits. In a candid chat with RBN, Anupam speaks about the present state of music production in Bengal and his future projects.
Okay, so let’s begin with…
Five minutes. Not a second more (laughs).
Sure thing. Let’s begin with your upcoming projects straight away
There are a number of projects lined up for release. Prosit Roy’s Pari is the first to come. The film will release on 2 March. This will be followed by Mainak Bhaumik’s Ghare and Baire on 30 March. Shoojit Sircar’s romantic drama film, October, will release on 13 April. Kaushik Ganguly’s Drishtikon will release sometime in summer, followed by Srijit Mukherji’s Uma in June.
And Srijit’s adaptation of Chowringhee?
Well, Chowringhee is at least a year away from now. Honestly, I have not even started thinking about it. Not a single song has been penned (laughs). I have my hands full all these months. So really haven’t thought about the film.
Any basic album on the cards?
Yes of course. I am actively planning a basic album. Let’s see how things shape up.
Private albums are passé in Bengal. Artistes are mostly bringing out singles these days. Do you think this is the way forward for basic songs?
As an artiste we are really not in a position to predict the future. But singles are an undeniable trend and none can ignore it. These days, usually two or three songs of an artiste become a huge hit. Now, in an album that has 10 songs, the rest seven-eight songs don’t find any takers. For just a couple of hits, no one will be interested to buy an entire album. A major reason is that people have less time now to listen to a full album. That aside, in the earlier days, a lesser number of songs were produced and people could listen and re-listen to the songs for a longer time. Songwriters and composers these days find it worthwhile to concentrate on one or two songs rather than an entire album.
Are basic songs being overshadowed by film music?
Yes. Film music is much more popular these days because of the marketing and branding associated with it which a music company usually can’t afford for a solo artiste. The trend has been going on for several years now. Shelf life of a film song is of course more than a basic song since its video is shot by a big director and promoting the song is much easier. The revenue model for a film song is integrated into the film itself which is easier to realise. It’s a win-win situation here both for both the film and its music which you can’t get in a basic album.
You yourself had a not too pleasant experience with Bakyobagish
No I did not (laughs). Bakyobagish released in 2014, the same year Srijit’s film Chotushkone hit the theatres. Chotushkone’s music was a huge hit and Bakyobagish almost went unheard.
Does the audience differentiate between a basic song and a film song?
No, never. Song lovers love the music. My audience will love my music, irrespective of whether it appears in an album or a film. As a composer, I never segregate the two. My creative energies are synergised in all the songs that I produce.
Is the singles trend here to stay?
Like I said, we can’t forecast what’s going to happen in the days ahead. Maybe the trend will change in two-three years time. I will be happy if that happens.
Tell us about Pari’s music
I am super-excited about Pari. My last Hindi film was Sunaina Bhatnagar’s Dear Maya which released in June 2017. The film was not much of a success and neither the songs were heard by the audience. I have worked really hard for Pari’s music and hope that both the film will be successful.