Tanishk Bagchi is best at catching the audience pulse not only through his re-creations but also exotic originals. The talented music composer talks about his musical journey and releasing his latest single ‘Khud Se Zyada’ with the gorgeous singer-songwriter Zara Khan in an interesting conversation with loudest.in.
Tanishk Bagchi grew up in a musical family of Calcutta both his parents being musicians. His mother Sarmistha Barman being a Hawaiian guitarist and a pianist, who teaches both western and Indian classical music and his father Nand Kumar Das a blues and jazz player. Talking about his childhood and how he chose to be a ‘Bagchi’ he tells, “I come from a very different family where, everybody has their own surnames and I took Bagchi from my grandfather and great grandfather, I’m glad that my father did not felt offended with my decision, Chuckles.”
So when did the interest in music develop, Bagchi says, “Home had so much music, I grew up listening to George Benson & Carlos Santana as my dad played it and mom liked Indian classical as she also played tabla.In fact, I never took music seriously in my childhood because I felt it cannot fund a family. I was interested in studies and wanted to become a pilot. I started music in bits and pieces and when I was around 5-6 years old, I learned to play the piano but left it after 5 years, during my school days in Frank Anthony Calcutta. Eventually, I started singing in school and people liked my voice, that’s when I started getting some shows from where little money came in. All this while my mother encouraged me to pursue music and used to pinch me saying how good my father’s disciples were performing because she wanted me to be a musician. Finally, I realized at the age of 14-15 and started learning from dad.”
So when did the composer came out in him Bagchi tells, “I started writing Hindi songs at the age of 12, as I loved the language. Eventually, I understood that to be a musician and to be able to produce music, you have to do the lyrics, mix it and sing it yourself. Gradually, I learned the art on my own. Today I write, compose, sing and produce my own songs.”
Talking about his inspiration and influencers in music Bagchi says, “I think my biggest influencer has been A.R Rehman sir and after listening to him I understood how to combine both the cultures together. So being an Indian I understand the importance of our culture which is too vast and has such rich folklore from Bengal, Rajasthan and from across India. Today, western musicians are imbibing our culture to create music taking samples from India and making drops like ‘Sneak’ has done who have taken ‘Shehnai’ an Indian classical instrument to use it in music. Ironically our youngsters don’t value our rich musical tradition and always run after the western genres, since they have more reach. I always wanted to carry my culture and spread it globally. I’m a proud Indian as that is the only thing left in me.”
Coming to the tinsel town Bagchi says “I came to Mumbai in 2000 to study while I was also composing then. Since I sang and played guitar all the colleagues wanted me to stay there. I had great fun then as in the morning I was in the Scottish Church, while in the evening I was in a City Colleage where I was enrolled into a B.Sc course which I never enjoyed as now I only wanted to sing, or play football of cricket.”
Talking about his first commercial break, “My first big break came from the film ‘Tanu weds Manu’ and I’ll be always very grateful to Aanand L Rai because he understood me and showed faith in my capabilities. He told me that he liked my compositions especially the originals and I needed someone to understand my work, he would give me an opportunity and if I prove myself it will be my game.”
“Also, I consider Karan Johar as one of my mentors, as his way of saying things is very different, as he will very clearly explain to you what he wants and that process is very encouraging. I worked on ‘Badri ki Dulhaniya’, ‘Bolna’, ‘Simba’and he has always appreciated all my ideas, ” added Bagchi.
Talking about creating original music vs recreations how does he understands the pulse of the audience Bagchi says, “I did ‘Leja Leja’ that was a recreation, while ‘Vaaste’ was an original. As a composer, you have to understand that the audience is very receptive today and wants everything from recreation to original and independent music.”
Staying true to his style, Bagchi has experimented and seamlessly infused new pop beats making ‘Khud Se Zyada’ an alternative pop sound. Bagchi and Zara Khan, the singer-actress who featured as a lead in an Oscars nominated movie ‘Khoj’ and the daughter of the iconic Salma Agha make their debut as singer-songwriters with their first single Khud Se Zyada in collaboration with VYRL Originals. ‘Khud Se Zyada’ is a beautiful romantic track, with a young, happy, urban vibe that will make you groove instantly. Furthermore, the verses of the track act as a soul to the melody and make you live and love in the moment with every listen. The song has already crossed 3 million views on Youtube since its release.
Curating the track ‘Khud Se Zyada’ Bagchi shares “My inspiration behind writing this track ‘Khud Se Zyada’ is not just love but my dedication and adoration I have for music. Music has been with me for all my life and my music will be with people even after I’m gone, so for me ‘Khud Se Zyada’ – i.e. more than me… is my passion for music.”
Talking about attempting a single with Zara Khan Bagchi says, “Working with Zara and zeroing on her voice was what God wanted to happen, as she met me and gave her music samples. I did not know then that she was a singer and thought her to be an actress. But, when I heard her voice, I felt she has the potential to be an independent artist and then I recorded her. I wanted a male voice against her but sang the demo myself. When I heard it I realized that our voices matched so well together. With this single, I feel I’m back to square one, as whenever I create a new song, I consider it as a debut for me.”
On facing the camera in the song Bagchi tells, “Well it was universal’s idea, as they always want an artist to feature in the video, which is a very good thing for an artist and I respected their predictions and confidence they showed in me that I should feature in the video. I have done this song with passion. I feel can make people listen to it as my original composition and trust the audiences will love it too.”
Talking about what goes behind composing a melody, “I think my mind is like Logic, a platform on which I work. It has tracks, and so does they run in my mind in which I put lyrics, and then I think which voice will fix in the best. Like Nikhil and Dhvani sounded so good in Vaaste, so I got that idea and changed it last minute. The composing starts as I catch the expression of the situation, for example, if it’s a romantic track I place myself there to understand what the situation is. Like when I composed ‘ Ve Mahi’ for T-Series I was told that it is a romantic yet a sad song, as it sees a journey when two lovers meet for the first time and one of them dies, so I had to keep in mind these nuances to create something that is soul touching.”
Talking about judging the audience pulse, “To understand the audience you have to be the audience and the first time you hear a song you have to judge a song’s potential, and that comes instinctively to me, there is no second time.”
Talking about his future projects and collaborations Bagchi said, “Lots on the cards, my favorite film ‘Shubh Mangal Zyada Saavdhan’ for which I did the first version. This time it is more challenging since I did many quirky tracks for the sequel. I am also working on a couple of fusion projects to exploring different genres as I love ballet, Sufi, Ghazals, which what would love to dwell in.”