When there is a personal bond between two working professionals, work becomes more productive. Kaushik and Guddu are cousins who decided to team up and create music together. The result was hit songs like “Sajan Bade Senti” (‘Badhai Ho’), “Loveyatri Title Track” (‘Loveyatri’), “Main Hoon Saath Tere” (‘Shaadi Mein Zaroor Aana’), “Sacchiyaan” (‘Bhangra Paa Le’) among others. They now have a big song coming up in the Akshay Kumar – Katrina Kaif starrer ‘Sooryavanshi’ and several other interesting projects. In this interview, they talk about their bond as cousins and musicians, the re-emergence of non-film music, launching a regional music label and more.
You have been part of the national award-winning film ‘Badhai Ho’? How was the process of putting together the track “Sajan Bade Senti” for the film?
Kaushik – A song in a National award-winning movie will always have some special sentiments for the lifetime. “Sajan Bade Senti” has been special for us in more than one way. When we first read the script, we immediately knew that the concept was very unique and different from anything that had been made so far. So, the music, too, had to be fun, quirky and complement the novel storyline of the film.
Guddu – The situation around the song was quite challenging to work around. The composition needed to justify the mood and character of the marriage ceremony yet there were some personal stories in it. The efforts were special too. We revised the original composition almost every day for more than a month. What seemed to be okay during the day seemed to be incomplete within the half-awaken sleep during the night. We instantly rose up to tweak the composition till we were satisfied until the next day when we again discovered some deficiency. Finally, the after a lot of hard work and care, the composition was ready.
How important it is to have your own original sound as a composer?
Kaushik – Everybody wants to leave their signature to create an identity of the sound they produce yet it is very important to break the prototype and sound different every time. We try to offer the audience something fresh every time we come up with a new song. That makes music so challenging and extremely fascinating.
How smooth or challenging is it to work as a duo? What are the key bonding and compatibility factors?
Kaushik – In our case bonding, what we would say, is genetic (laughs). We are cousins living in the same place from childhood. So, understanding and compatibility are natural and never been a challenge for us.
Today, there are so many softwares like Melodyne and Auto-Tune which help in correcting the pitch of the singers. One can make anyone sing these days, they say. Do you agree?
Guddu – If that had been the case, composers would not be putting in so much effort to look for the right voice (laughs). Technology helps in embellishing the track but it makes singing no easier than what it used to be years back.
In the past several years, we have seen the non-film music scene growing up rapidly. Do you think the golden era of 90s non-film music will come back?
Kaushik – New-age platforms like Gaana, Saavn, Spotify are doing their bit by giving equal prominence to independent music. Actually, everything boils down to the audience’s acceptance. As composers or even as music buffs we would love it to evolve into multiple formats and dimensions and grow even more.
Your first non-film project as Kaushik-Guddu was “Dil Ka Fitoor” with National Award winning singer Monali Thakur. Can you take us through the journey of this collaboration?
Guddu – Every first is unique and memorable and “Dil Ka Fitoor” is no exception. Independent music gives you the space to explore and the opportunity to experiment with a few things. At the same time, creating something without a brief is like finding your way in the labyrinth. It is really exciting but at the same time, you need to be very careful about the options you choose. We worked as a team and enjoyed it thoroughly at every step. Monali is one of the best singers we have and this time, she was a producer too. It is something which demands more involvement and a completely different skill set. She played this new role to perfection and the project shaped up so well because of her.
“Dil Ka Fitoor” was released during the lockdown and it got a great response on YouTube and streaming platforms. According to you how important are these digital platforms for independent artistes?
Kaushik – Every platform, which caters to an audience, is very important. Digital platforms have helped many independent artistes reach out to the audience with their music and that is incredible.
You have launched a regional music level called Taakdoom. What inspired you to start this new venture?
Kaushik – Taakdoom is a Bengali music label which would focus on promoting independent music. We work primarily in Bollywood where we have to work according to the specific needs of the film. So, we thought of having a platform where we can do certain experiments with subjects, forms and events that touch deeply from the inside. It is a Bengali label as we wanted to ensure that remain in touch with our roots and at the same time can offer audiences across the globe a flavour of our culture.
Guddu – It is good that the regional industry is growing and evolving into a new landscape. We want to contribute to this change too and create opportunities for other budding music talents to showcase their work.
You have a big song coming up in ‘Sooryavanshi’. What can you tell us about it?
Kaushik – At this point, we cannot reveal much about the song. It is always nice to have a mystery around certain things. ‘Sooryavanshi’ is one of the most awaited films and people have huge expectations from the music for the film as well. The song we have put together for the film is very special. We are hopeful that it will touch the hearts of everybody who listens to it.