Comments (0)
Interviews |  17 Nov 2017 16:14 |  By Zinal Dedhia

With SongFest we are focusing on original content: Gaurav Dagaonkar

From engineering lectures to the first song composed by him, Gaurav Dagaonkar’s musical journey has been a natural. There no forced attempt to be a musician, it just happened. Gaurav today is a successful music director in Bollywood. As a music director, he has done movies like Heartless, Joker, Will You Marry Me and recently worked on Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s upcoming release Babumoshai Bandookbaaz.

However, just like any other artiste Gaurav too dreamt of creating something for him and this is how SongFest came in picture. SongFest is Gaurav’s YouTube channel that will be creating original songs along with a few recreations.

In an interview with Radioandmusic, Gaurav talks about his musical journey and SongFest. Excerpts

Tell us about the turning point of your life.

I always wanted to be a cricket player. I had no interest in music at all; my life was all about academics and music. During my engineering years, I was introduced to rock music. Then I started learning music day in and out.

Just like most engineering students ‘atleast in Mumbai’, I had heartbreak. Later for that same girl, I composed a few songs. In fact, that girl was the first one to hear my song and she loved it.

On a serious note while making the song is when I realised that it is so amazing to compose your own songs and sing. That is when I decided to get into music for the rest of my life.

I did my MBA and decided to not go into the corporate world. I was in touch with many people from the industry and they advised me to take up music as a profession at the earliest.

How did SongFest happen?

 The writer of the song, Anurag Bhomia and I have been friends for a while. One day he sent me a love song and somewhere in the middle were these lines tum si hi tum raho, tum khubsoorat ho. These beautiful lines just struck out of me and I loved the message it conveyed that ‘you be who you are, you don’t need to change.’

Then I called up Anurag and asked what if instead of a love song, we write a song around these lines dedicating to all the women in our lives. Then he went ahead and wrote the lines. For us starting with a song like this for SongFest made a lot of sense because the idea of this platform is to put our meaningful songs, one people can relate to. Thus Tum Khubsoorat Ho became our first song.

How long did the making of the song take?

 The idea of putting up songs in series was always there on my mind but for some or the other reason, it was getting delayed. Until August I was caught up doing music for Babumoshai Bandookbaaz, my last film as a music director.

Then I finally pulled up my socks and decided to only concentrate on SongFest from September. Then I sat with Anurag for the songs. Having an old friend like Ask King I decided to call him as soon as the song was ready. Shuttling between UK and India, Ash was luckily in India and he loved the song and came out and sang it.

The song was shot in multiple locations of Mumbai. Ash takes a little more time than normal to record because his Hindi is little weak. This song overall was done in around four to five days with the vocal and guitar recordings separately.

The theme of the song is unique. How did that come into the picture?

We presented our song to Onboard Films and they came up with a very interesting storyline. This is a very powerful message in a way because today in the society everyone is so cautious about the looks or appearance. We all use filters and technology to make our pictures look better than what they are, trying to look better than how we look and as a society also we are trying to move towards that perfection, fit and fine. So in a way, the sequences come in the video are very special for me because they resonate it. I just want people to be tension free about their appearance and believe that we are beautiful in what we are.

Check the song below: 

Tell us about SongFest’s exclusive content.

One we are giving out original content. As the songs come out one will understand they have certain coherence and reliability. USP of Songfest is definitely its music. We have also worked on some interesting re-creations. What separates us from other platforms is that we integrate our fans as a part of SongFest. We understand that how difficult it is for a common man to be a part of an established platform. Well, I understand this well because when I started music, there was no YouTube and the first few years went in understand how I should go about it.

So, SongFest will also have one of a kind show, chat and jam sessions with musicians. Any artiste coming up with a song, SongFest will be happy to promote it. We are ready with content for the next six months. Gradually we will be increasing the frequency of our songs which is as and when the resources and our network build.

Are the SongFest recreations from a particular era?

Starting from the 70’s we are re-creating songs which are the melodies from the legendary. We believe those are the songs people actually resonate with. Primarily songs from the 90’s are in my mind and body because being a 90’s kid I have grown up with them and a lot of those songs are very special for me.

Our first re-creation which is under the property called the SongFest Twist will be with Shalmali Kholgade. This will be the next song after Tum Khubsoorat Ho. 

Recreations are making space for themselves in Bollywood. What do you have to say about it?

Every director wishes to create its own music but the competition these days is so vast, that there is always the fear of losing. Thus, recreations have started taking place because they are sure that this song will surely be a hit. So one started and the rest are following. Unlike us, with original content, we are also doing recreations because we are sure our audience is going to like it. But with SongFest we are focusing on original content.

What are the promotional strategies for SongFest?

We are mainly targeting into social media because we have observed that the youth today is disconnecting from television, a lot of visual content is majorly consumed by the phone or computer. Also, there are a few songs that go viral on YouTube and Facebook, so we will accordingly promote them on those platforms and plans for special content revolving around music for Facebook is under process.