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News |  03 Mar 2021 11:20 |  By RnMTeam

After Made in Heaven, Gaurav Raina and Tarana Marwah turn music directors for Bombay Begums

MUMBAI: One half of the legendary Indian electronica duo Midival Punditz, Gaurav Raina and Delhi-based singer and electronica producer Tarana Marwah aka Komorebi joined forces in 2019 to compose music for the Zoya Akhtar-directed and critically acclaimed OTT series Made in Heaven. Their second project together is the highly-anticipated Netflix series, Bombay Begums, that releases on March 8.

While Raina helmed the musical direction of Bombay Begums, he and Tarana were responsible for composing the background score for a show that revolves around five women across generations who wrestle with desire, ethics, personal crises and vulnerabilities to own their ambition in contemporary urban India.

“Bombay Begums has Western Orchestral music with hints of electronica infused with Indian elements like flute, sitar and tanpura,” says Tarana, who has also sung five jazzy numbers on the show. “I have a good hold on theory and harmony, thanks to my background in Western Classical Music. Gaurav has a deep understanding of varying genres of music especially Indian folk and classical, coupled with so many years of experience in the field.

And for Bombay Begums, we’ve focused on character themes. Every Begum has her own piece that encapsulates her personality and journey on the show,” she adds.

The Alankrita Srivastava-directed series features the return of yesteryears Bollywood actress Pooja Bhatt to acting after a 10-year-gap.

For both Raina and Tarana, the process of composing for another medium for required new levels of learning, and unlearning.

"The art of making a background score is very different from making original songs or album music and I had to unlearn a lot of principles and techniques I have used in my career to write music,” says Raina, who as Midival Punditz has performed all over the world including at festivals like Glastonbury and released on celebrated labels like Six Degrees Records.

“The main thing is the story and one must be able to tell it in music. One must put on a storyteller hat and enter that world, along with the director and actors. It’s literally like writing music to a vocal that’s been given to you, except here the vocal and lyrics is the film itself,” Gaurav adds.

Music in OTT shows has recently picked up interest, both from fans – lakhs of viewers are tuning into OSTs of web series either via You-Tube or through music streaming apps – as well as the music industry with major music labels like T-Series and Sony Music getting involved, and old Bollywood hands like Udit Narayan and Shreya Ghosal on recording duties.

Additionally, OTT platforms represent an opportunity for talent that may have been overlooked by the mainstream film industry, like Raina and Tarana whose penchant for multi-genre experiments makes them a perfect fit for diverse storylines set in new India.

“Having your music heard by people across the globe via a show that actually resonates with who you are and what you believe in. That kind of reach is rare, and special,” says Tarana.

After Bombay Begums, Raina and Tarana have another big banner OTT series under their belt, Amazon Original series Fallen, directed by Reema Kagti and starring Sonakshi Sinha as a tough cop.