ACE MUSIC PRODUCER MEGHDEEP BOSE ON HIS RISE, HIGH PROFILE COLLABORATIONS AND FUTURE PLANS
by ASJAD NAZIR
BOLLYWOOD has a lot of secret weapons and one of them is Meghdeep Bose. The creative genius has added magic to high-profile soundtracks and helped elevate the work of A-list music directors in Hindi cinema.
Big names who have collaborated with the respected music arranger and producer include AR Rahman, Vishal Shekhar, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Salim-Sulaiman and Pritam. He has delivered big songs, including Swag Se Swagat (Tiger Zinda Hai), Slow Motion (Bharat) and many blockbuster hits he has not been officially credited with. More projects on the way, including venturing to the west, means the musical maestro won’t be a best-kept secret for much longer.
Eastern Eye caught up with Meghdeep Bose to talk about music, remakes, recognition and his future plans.
What first connected you to music?
My father. I am fortunate to be the fourth generation in a family of artists. My father is the first music producer of central India. My childhood was spent in studios. However, he never imposed music or any training on me. He let me choose my gurus and my kind of music.
Who were your big influences growing up?
AR Rahman, Yanni, Salim-Sulaiman, Alexandre Desplat, Michael Jackson and many more artists have influenced me.
What drew you towards Bollywood?
Indian cinema, which combines all major film industries, including Hindi, is a huge non-purist place. It’s a vast canvas with multiple genres coming together and underlining cinematic narratives. It’s not just beautiful and intriguing, but challenging. I’ve always loved the idea of fusion and blending various genres together, and so I was drawn towards Bollywood since an early age. The other biggest reason is music director AR Rahman.
Which song was the turning point for you?
Two songs have been decisive in my career as a composer (or as music producer in Bollywood lingo). Main Hoon Hero Tera (top line by Amaal Mallik and Kumar) released in 2015, got the ball rolling for me. The song was our breakthrough, and it established my image as a romantic producer. I was looking for a breakthrough in re-instating my image as a versatile producer. In 2017, Tiger Zinda Hai happened and the song Swag Se Swagat (top line by Vishal-Shekhar and Irshaad Kamil) finally checked all boxes for me in Bollywood.
Apart from that turning point song, which compositions have given you the most joy?
In 2017, I did a project based on songs by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. I did my take on two of his songs Jodi Tare and Tomar Holo Shoru. Till date, that project remains the most satisfying experience for me.
Which Bollywood music directors do you enjoy working with most?
Salim-Sulaiman, Vishal-Shekhar, Amit Trivedi, Pritam and Amaal Mallik.
You have contributed to lots of soundtracks and songs toplined by others. As a music producer, how do you feel about not getting credit for a lot of your work?
After working on a few projects in the west, I realised that what I do for the Indian film songs is actually called ‘composition’. The top line writers (known as composers/music directors in Bollywood) collaborate with us to achieve songs together. However, production houses and film producers aren’t aware or educated about it and haven’t yet acknowledged that we are equal collaborators on the songs. We are not included in any contracts and neither are we given any share in royalties. However, the composers make sure we, and the music team, are credited everywhere possible.
What inspires you musically?
The fact that music being an intangible entity can touch millions.
Can you tell if a song will be a hit in the studio?
Yes, we feel it. But it has also happened that something I’ve not liked has done extraordinarily well.
What is your opinion on the trend of Bollywood music remakes?
Melodies must be respected. I am not against remakes, but I strongly disagree with the deliberate modernisation of a song for its packaging.
What is the plan going forward?
I’ve set sails westwards. I would not speak much about it as I want my work to speak for me.
Who would you like to work with?
I wish to write and produce for Adele, Sam Smith and Ed Sheeran.
What music dominates your own playlist?
Future bass, as of these days.
If you could learn something new in music what would it be?
Jazz. It’s something I’ve never been able to understand.
Why do you love music?
I’ve had a tough childhood and school life. Music gave me the strength to steer through it. Music is my language and weapon. I speak and express through it.