Interview By: Devanshee Singh
Shamir Tandon is known for his music in national award winning film ‘Page 3’, followed by other Madhur Bhandarkar’s film ‘Corporate’ and ‘Traffic Signal’. Recently, the talented music composer had curated, the world’s first transgender band – ‘The 6 Pack’ Band along with Y-Films. We had an interaction with him recently about his journey and experiences.
“With ‘The 6 pack’ band, our objective was to make a change in society through our modest efforts”
You are a cost accountant and management graduate. How you landed up being a music director?
Music has always been a passion for me. As a young kid, I would never miss the opportunity to sing in school and college festivals. Even at that tender age, composing my own songs is something gave me great joy. In fact, it is only when I went on to do my MBA and Cost Accountancy and started my career in Merchant Banking did I put music aside as a hobby. My first break in Bollywood was with the National Award winning film ‘Page 3’ in 2003. I bumped into Madhur at a coffee shop in Marriot Juhu, we got talking and the rest is history. I was fortunate enough to get the opportunity to compose the songs Huzoor E Ala and Kitne Ajeeb Rishte Hain Yahaan Pe which were much loved by Asha Bhosle and Lata Mangeshkar who lent their voice for these compositions. After the success of national award winning ‘Page 3’, I went on to score music for ‘Corporate’ and ‘Traffic Signal’ which were movies by film maker Madhur Bhandarkar. At the same time, I created One Love with boy band Blue from UK that went on in a film featuring Abhishek Bachcan and Bipasha Basu and Bure Bure & Say na Say Na for ‘Bluffmaster’ featuring Priyanka Chopra.
How challenging it is to come up every time with something new?
I die to create. I love creating. I create a tune a day as a habit. I am not a very learned musician so I just land up composing by instinct. It’s called ‘aamad” in urdu – tunes just comes from the divine power of almighty. I don’t struggle to compose- I make tunes on the go, it’s a natural flair, it’s a gift of god. No science to it, it just comes. At the same time, I do listen to a lot of music and I am sure all the subliminal influences play a role in my works.
How did ‘The 6 pack’ band happen and how was the experience?
It was an idea that germinated at the YRF office with Ashish Patil who heads the youth wing. I am grateful that Ashish Patil chose me to spearhead a project of this nature. He gave me the responsibility to go out and curate the band and score music for the entire album. Our objective was to make a change in society through our modest efforts – our aim was to use music as tool to the target community express their desire to get integrated with mainline society and give them a platform to be vocal about their expectations from the government and people at large.
What is more challenging and exciting to do- music for films or for ads and why?
I enjoy all the fields equally; be it scoring for film or albums or live shows, I love it all as these are all semi verticals emerging from the genesis of music. Being a management graduate, I just enjoy making jingles also and of course film music is in our DNA so that most important. I have more than 500 compositions in my music bank.
What is the mission and vision of Shamir Tandon’s Entertainment & Music Boutique?
As the name suggests, we are an outfit that is a 360 degree music solution provider. So be it composing for films or jingles, or for that matter artist / talent syndication, or live gigs or setting up studios or counseling and music education – we do it all.
You worked with legends like Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Manna De, Jagjit Singh and Bhupinder Singh. Any experience or learning you would like to share with us.
I think the greatest change that comes about when you work with someone of the stature of Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Ji, Jagjit Singh or Manna De is a sense of humility. Humility is not just towards the profession, but a sense of humility towards life as a whole. These are individuals who have accomplished so much in life, yet the humility and grace that they carry themselves with is awe inspiring. It’s impossible to work with such noble souls and not have their good influence rub off on you. Their legendary status comes not just with their immense talent but also their discipline, consistency and devotion towards their art. I remember how every time I have a rehearsal or recording with the 2 biggest sisters, they are before time and they learn the song like children. They add a lot of value to a tune. They get involved. It’s not just a rendition it’s a value addition from them. With Jagjit ji I learnt a lot in conversation – learning about importance of good poetry etc.
How do you see your journey in Bollywood?
Journey in Bollywood has been fun. Loads to do. Haven’t even started. While all this just learning and still learning and now want to play a long innings starting now.
What kind of music you love and who is your favourite music director?
I love all kinds of music – contemporary jazz, Blues and even EDM. I am in for Trap these days. I like good music and it comes from most composers. I personally thank Kalyanji Anandji as I am a student of Anandji bhai who I think is one of the under rated legends in this country – If you see their body of work in the last 5 decades.
Any future projects that you would like to share with us.
There is some good music coming up that I am excited about it. When the right time will come I will share it and hopefully that is going to be soon.