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Interviews |  09 Jun 2018 17:02 |  By Minal Metkari

As a music producer, I do face the commercial pressures of making a song sound hit in Bollywood: Meghdeep Bose

Meghdeep Bose is one name, who has been doing rounds in the Bollywood circle for his quintessential music production as well as arrangement since he came into the picture with the Bollywood film, Hero. Hailing from Indore, Madhya Pradesh, Meghdeep is known for producing music for hit songs like Swag Se Swagat, Bahut Hua Samman, Main Hoon Hero Tera, Tumhe Apna Banane Ka, Besabriyaan, Bol Do Na Zara etc.

The 27-year-old stands out for effortlessly bringing together various genres and musical sensibilities into songs. Winner of IRAA awards, for two consecutive years, Meghdeep’s music production is not limited to Bollywood and has reached digital platforms as well as international platforms. His work has won him accolades from many, in fact, Amaal Mallik was quoted as saying, "A sharp ear for music and a technically sound musician is what one would call Meghdeep Bose. His ability to learn your vision and put it down in his system is immaculate. More importantly, he's one of the few music producers who have a signature sound. A Meghdeep Bose production is recognisable from a distance and that is a fantastic trait to have."

In an exclusive interview with Radioandmusic, Meghdeep Bose talks about music production, his father, Bollywood innings and more.

Your training sessions began at your father's studio. Was music production always your passion?

I happen to be the fourth generation of musicians in my family. My great grandparents, both maternal and paternal, were musicians. However, it was my father (Dilip Bose) who took it up professionally. I spent a majority of my childhood in the studios, observing how my father worked through various projects of his. When it comes to music production, it gives me a tremendous high. It is not only an important part of the music industry’s functions but also the most holistic one. I would say that music is not just my passion, but almost my religion.

How different is music arrangement from music composition?

The composition of a piece of music basically involves the tune, which is sung by the singer along with lyrics. Whatever (in terms of instruments) accompanies the vocal line is the arrangement of the song. A music producer's task not only comprises of arranging the song, but also to envision the sound, feel, elements etc as well as to deliver the final master. Music Producer is responsible to deliver the final record as a soundtrack which he creates out of the tune composed by the composer. To make it simple, the tune of a song is the naked body, and the attire that gives it the distinct look is music arrangement and production.

You chose to work on-field in Bollywood over attending Berklee College of Music in spite of receiving 50 per cent scholarship. What led you to take this decision?

I was selected for the prestigious Berklee College of Music, Boston in 2012 with a Dean's Merit Award and a 50 per cent scholarship. But, the remaining 50 per cent of tuition and other fee was out of my family's economic capacity. Also, there weren’t any scholarship programmes for musicians in India then, nor did any banks provide loans to music students. There came a point where I knew it was not going to work. Hence, I moved to Mumbai as learning was and has always been my motive. Also, I was fortunate to get absorbed by Mr. Raju Singh into his team right away. I worked as his apprentice for three years, where he taught me the art of film scoring besides helping me in the polishing of my arrangement and production skills.

The Spanish film, ‘Enredados La Confusion’ is your first film as a score composer. How did this association happen? Tell us more about it. 

It was during 2016 that I got an opportunity to compose the score of Enredados La Confusion. My work had reached the filmmakers through word of mouth as by then few of my songs with Amaal Mallik were already a hit.

You recently won two awards at the Indian Recording Arts Academy Awards (IRAA), one for the song, 'Uff Ye Noor' from the film, 'Noor' and other for a non-film song.

It was a double win at the Indian Recording Arts Awards (IRAA) that honours exceptional talent in music, soundtrack recording and mixing in Indian music for albums and movies as well as innovation in music composition. I was overwhelmed as the function marked an attendance by dignitaries like A R Rahman, Ehsaan, Loy, Sonu Nigam, Srinivas Murthy etc. Also, I was privileged to receive the award from Mr. Sivamani. Besides, this is my second consecutive win at the IRAA awards. I had won IRAA award, last year in the music production category for the song, Bol Do Na Zara. I feel that I’m being heard, hence that gives me a huge responsibility to work even harder and set higher standards after this win.

When it comes to Bollywood, your music production innings began with 'Main Hoon Tera Hero'. And, by now, you have produced so many hit songs like 'Swag Se Swagat'. How has your experience been so far?

Hero was one of the very initial films with Amaal Mallik, as the music composer. He was seeking someone to produce the title track of the film and overheard me during one of my mixing sessions for a London based producer, that began my Bollywood music production innings. Being at the tip of a creative waterfall called Bollywood is a challenge to make something that could touch and inspire millions of listeners out there. For me, every song is a challenge to sound like never before.

What are your upcoming Bollywood projects?

I’m producing songs for Vishal Shekhar’s music compositions for the film, Student of the Year 2 and Bharat. I’m also producing couple of film songs for both Amaal Mallik and Amit Trivedi.

Do you also have any plans to venture into music composition with these Bollywood projects?

I haven’t planned anything as such; rather I am playing by the ear on this one. I’m focused on doing justice to whatever task I am entrusted with. But, yes, I’m open to music composition, whenever I get such an opportunity.

Producing music for films or digital platform, which is more challenging?

I have been majorly composing music for the digital platforms, though I only produce it for Bollywood. But, as a music producer, I do face the commercial pressures of making a song sound hit in Bollywood. But then again, with great constraints comes great rewards. I feel restrictions bring the best out of you as you feel the challenge to do your best within certain bounds. I believe restrictions are like a springboard that motivates me to deliver a better product.

Working with which music composer is your dream?

Though many of my dreams have been fulfilled, with me having got the chance to work with music composers like Salim Sulaiman, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Amit Trivedi, Clinton Cerejo, Ram Sampath etc. my biggest dream remains to work with A R Rahman and Vishal Bharadwaj.

Who is your mentor or inspiration, whom you would credit for the success you have achieved in music production?

My father is my first mentor in life. He is responsible to give me the right foundation in music. Though he never sat and taught me, he has inspired me a lot through experiences. I was fortunate to be further polished by some great mentors, but my father started it all!

What are your thoughts on music created today?

Evolution is an important and unavoidable process. Music has to evolve too. Music created is beautiful today, but definitely, there is room to learn from the old evergreen eras and apply to the current ones.