2021 has been a very good year for Gourov Dasgupta. While his two songs from ‘The Big Bull’ were received very well by the audience, his latest song ‘Hanjugam’ from the film ‘Bhuj The Pride Of India’ has become a chartbuster. There were also singles like ‘Saiyyonee’ and ‘Dream Mein Entry’ that became very popular.
In this interview, the composer talks about the success of his latest releases, composing for Ajay Devgn, collaborating with Jubin Nautiyal, recreating old songs, releasing his guitar album, the urge to start a band again and more.
‘Hanjugam’ is your third collaboration with Ajay Devgn. Apart from putting together the album of ‘Total Dhamaal’, you had also done two songs for ‘The Big Bull’, which was co-produced by him. What’s interesting is the fact that he had already shot a song for this particular situation in the film but he liked your song so much that he went ahead and got the song re-shot so that ‘Hanjugam’ could be a part of the film.
Yes, that’s right. I have always had a lot of respect for him and he always met me with a lot of love in his hear. He is somebody doesn’t over-commit, over-promise or over-praise anybody but if he likes something, he shows his appreciation for it. He had a lot of faith in the song. When he took the song, I didn’t know it was going to be used in ‘Bhuj The Pride of India’. Somebody else’s song had been used for this particular situation in the film but they went ahead and reshot the sequence.
You had earlier collaborated with Jubin Nautiyal on ‘Dil Kya Kare’ from ‘Kaabil’. How was the experience of working with him on this track?
Collaborating with Jubin on a song has always been fun. He had actually sung a lot of other songs for me in the past but since he is signed with a particular label, we couldn’t retain his voice on those songs. I guess there is a right time for everything. I am glad we could collaborate on ‘Hanjugam’.
Your single ‘Dream Mein Entry’ became quite a rage too.
Yes! Saregama pushed the song very well. I had done ‘Total Dhamaal’ with them. Since they wanted the song to reach out to a song to a large number of people, they got Rakhi Sawant on one of the two videos that they shot for the song. Rakhi’s presence added a lot to the song. This is probably the first song of mime which I have heard on the streets. I have heard it in the salon and while travelling in rickshaws. I am glad it has reached out to the masses.
A couple of years, you had put together an album called ‘Satrangi’ which had recreated versions of some yesteryear hits. You also recreated songs for films like ‘Kaabil’, ‘Force 2’, ‘Commando 2’, ‘Mubarakaan’ and ‘Total Dhamaal’. How do you look at this trend of recreating songs?
Most of the recreations I had done were received very well by the listeners. I was happy that I could do an original part in those songs. Only the hook was borrowed from the original song and the rest of it was a fresh composition. Then, came a time when labels asked me to just remix a few of the old songs and not recreate them. I told them a music producer or a DJ could remix songs. I didn’t want to be a part of something in which I would not be able to contribute anything as a composer. That is not the legacy I want to leave behind. I want people to remember me by the original songs I have composed. I have refused doing a lot of recreations in the recent past. if I am doing a full soundtrack like ‘Total Dhamaal’, I could do a recreated song there but if I am doing one or two songs in an album, I would prefer doing only original tracks.
‘Don’t Cry’ by Guns and Rose was the first song you learnt to play on the guitar. You have always described guitar as being an extension of yourself. You always had a plan to release a guitar-based album. Are you working on it?
I actually have that album ready. I just need to invest some time in it and get it out. It’s called Cosmic Roulette. Thanks for reminding me about it (laughs). It’s an amazing piece of work. I want to put it out on the right platform. I hope to release my guitar album soon.
Back in the day, you and your band members have formed Cyanide Angels, Kolkata’s first progressive rock band. Do you miss being a part of a band-like setup?
I was just talking to my music producer about this. He used to be a drummer in Kolkata. I was discussing the possibility of starting a band with him and a few of our friends. There are so many things I want to do as a composer but I can’t do while being in the Bollywood space. I love rock music but I have realized it will never be mainstream in Bollywood. Heavy metal being heard in a Bollywood soundtrack is a distant possibility. These are some of the genres that I could explore as a part of a band.
From not listening to Hindi film music to being a Bollywood composer, how do you look at this journey?
I still don’t listen to Bollywood music. I always wanted to be in a space where I could listen to whatever I liked to and then, create something completely different. I can listen to a Dream Catcher album in the morning and make a ‘Hanjugam’. It’s been more than a decade since I have been working in this industry and I am glad I am still able to strike that balance.