New Delhi: Director-composer Vishal Bhardwaj has said he always dreamt of owning a record label dedicated to non-film music. Vishal Bharadwaj realised it with and Gulzar’s ‘Dhoop Aane Do’. It is a poem about hope amid the coronavirus pandemic. Bhardwaj loved the poem and during a walk he started thinking of lending a tune to those words. He eventually sent the composition to the veteran poet-lyricist.
“He (Gulzar) heard it and said ‘it is very beautiful’. I had made some musical changes and because of that, he readjusted his lyrics. He asked me ‘Why don’t you record it?’ the director said.
Bhardwaj, 54, said he liked the idea of recording the song. However he was hesitant initially. This is because he is someone who has always been averse to songs that mark a tragic event.
“Whenever some tragedy happens in our society, many songs come out. I really dislike it. There have been some great songs like ‘Ae Mere Watan Ke Logon’ by Lata ji during the Indo-China War. What happens is that a lot of trash also comes out to exploit the emotion of the tragedy,” Bhardwaj pointed out.
This is why, the director said, he had resisted such offers in the past, but ‘Dhoop Aane Do’ seemed ‘heartfelt and internal’. “I told Gulzar sahab about my apprehension. He said, ‘You are overthinking. Just record it for me’. When the song was recorded, I also started feeling nice about it. There was something unusual about it. Then came the question of releasing it,” Bhardwaj said.
“”For a long time, I had this dream of owning a record label. So I decided this is the song I should open my label with. I feel it is a great phase for my music. I want to explore more music in me now,” added Bhardwaj.
Winning trio back
‘Dhoop Aane Do’ brings back the winning trio of Bhardwaj as composer, Gulzar as lyricist and singer Rekha Bhardwaj. Incidentally Rekha is also the director’s wife. They have collaborated on many hit songs in the past, most famous ones being ‘Namak’ in Bhardwaj’s 2006 directorial Omkara. Another song that turned out to be a hit was ‘Darling’ from 7 Khoon Maaf in 2011.
Ready to experiment
Bhardwaj said under his eponymous label, he aims to release one song a month. He will explore all the possibilities that the restrictive format of cinema does not allow him.
“Film music is very rich in our country. It is a part of our culture but there is one problem. It does not give space to any other kind of genre or music like ‘classical’, ‘thumri’ or ‘ghazal’. It can restrict you,” said Bhardwaj.
“I have been a musician for a long time. I wanted to do songs that could not be measured by likes and dislikes. They are composed just for fun. They are complete in the emotion they want to convey,” Bhardwaj asserted.
Famous movies under Bhardwaj’s belt
Bhardwaj is best known for his modern-day adaptations of Shakespearian tragedies ‘Macbeth’ as Maqbool in 2003’Hamlet’ as Haider in 2014. He said unlike movies, that require a huge budget, creating a song is not that challenging financially.
“It is a non-commercial platform for me. I can express the texture of my being or the call of my soul there. I needed an outlet to express myself where I record a song from my own money, make a video. If that money does not come back, it does not matter. God has given me enough for my music. I can take that much loss. This label is to explore the inner soul of my music,” he said.