BANGALORE: The thrum and frenzy of Bengaluru Ganesh Utsava is on and on the evening of August 31, minutes before performing on stage with Vishal Dadlani, Shekhar Ravjiani spoke to City Express for a few minutes. The duo were in Bangalore in June and left on a sour note when the organisers did not pay them their fee. The two had still performed for a packed house and says Shekhar,“The fans come first and we performed because we did not want them to suffer for someone else’s mismanagement.”
The conflict was not just about the fee, clarifies Shekhar. As one of the few music directors who are also first rate vocalists and performers, when they commit to a show, they expect certain modalities in place right from sound to stage management to a certain level of professionalism.
The fact that none of these were in place bothered the two more than the fact that they had been expected to perform without any payment.
They also have two big releases coming up, Siddharth Anand’s Bang Bang and Farah Khan’s Happy New Year, and says Shekhar, “Farah and Shahrukh are friends that we have loved working with them right from Om Shanti Om to Happy New Year. The great energy we generate together also infuses the music.”
Vishal-Shekhar have navigated the highs of a boisterous contemporary sound and a deep soulfulness in their scores right from their breakout hit Jhankar Beats where they channelled R D Burman. Other hit albums like Dus, Bachna Ae Haseeno, Dostana, Anjaana Anjaani, Ra.One, Student of the Year, Chennai Express and many more have established just how rooted they are in traditional musical while keeping abreast with fresh trends.
Says Shekhar, “Our roots define who we are and where we come from. They represent our families and the way we were raised.”
That is also why he says they have composed music for Marathi films like Balak Palak. Shekhar is particularly thrilled with the response to his rendition of Hanuman Chalisa which he says is possibly the only non-film composition to have become an iTunes bestseller. Both Vishal and Shekhar have also been active tweeters on social issues.
Shekhar says, “I don’t consider myself a celebrity or an opinion maker who can change or influence the way people think. I share what I think because it is my way of expressing myself. We do the same with our music.”