Considering the plethora of talent in the Indian music industry, thanks to the numerous talent hunts, it is not often that a singer or a music composer leaves an everlasting impression on you, in the very first song or album. With A.R.Rahman probably being the only exception who made it big in his first film composition Roja, I am sure many talented composers have come, established themselves after a couple of movies, and stuck on as a few of the reliable music composers before fading away or getting stereo-typed with the same music genre forever.
In 2009, there was a new composer who came with a promise and had a good outing in a relatively less-popular soundtrack in Aamir, which probably didn’t make a name for itself as much as the movie did (Trust me, Aamir has wonderful soundtracks including a great Sufi composition). Amit Trivedi, who calls A.R.Rahman as his god, made his presence felt in the Indian film music scenario with the cult classic Dev.D (an Anurag Kashyap movie that I am yet to watch), and instantly struck a chord with the youth of today with the number ‘Emotional Atyachaar’. The movie had a total of 20 songs in different genre and a majority of them became chart-busters, apart from blending well with the movie and its theme (from what I hear).
A musical journey of Dev.D began with Nayan Tarse, which floored me with just the attitude of the singer himself, following which I moved on the classically rich ‘Paayaliya’, which featured the best usage of the instrument Veena in recent times. ‘Dil Mein Jaagi’, ‘Dhol Yaara Dhol’, ‘Duniya’, ‘Ek Hulchul Si’, and ‘Yahi Meri Zindagi Hai’ had a fresh feel to them, which was probably earlier seen when A.R.Rahman first composed for Roja. And it came as no big surprise when Dev.D won the coveted National Award for the best Music of 2009, after being ignored by most award ceremonies, that relegated it to just a background score, rather than considering it as a complete album.
Amit Trivedi could have been yet another one-film wonder following Dev.D (or a two film-wonder considering Aamir). There were no albums from him for close to 18 months except the soulful ‘Iktara’ in Wake Up Sid and a composition ‘Bombay Bombay’ in the movie Striker. He made a wonderful comeback with the albums Udaan and Aisha in the summer of 2010. While Aisha was a routine romantic comedy with the storyline based on the premise of Emma, it had some immensely likeable music including the evening melody ‘Sham Bhi Koi’, the Punjabi dance number ‘Gal Miththi Miththi’, and a peppy title track. My personal favorite from the album was ‘Lehrein’, which features among my favorite tracks of all-time, for its sheer brilliance with the violin and Anusha Mani’s amazing vocals.
Udaan, as such, is a movie that moved me emotionally, because of its coming-of-age theme, which was very well-accompanied by the soundtrack that featured a gem of a track ‘Aazadiyaan.’ It will be blasphemy if I don’t mention the main strength of the movie apart from the performances. It is its subtle music. Probably the best example for a movie where silence is used as the strongest emotion, and its remarkable how Amit Trivedi underplayed the background score such as to make an everlasting impression on the audience.
At the fag end of the year 2010, Amit Trivedi struck back with another album ‘No One Killed Jessica’, which is currently on my ‘now-playing often’ playlist. The songs Yeh Pal, Dua and Aitbaar have grown on me instantly, while Dilli has been catching up too!
Amit Trivedi, the rightful successor to A.R.Rahman, you sure have arrived, and we just hope you don’t fade away or get stereotyped. Best wishes for a successful long musical career, we sure want to hear more from you!