Bollywood gets its own Sachin


Sachin Sanghvi (left) and Jigar Saraiya

Sachin Sanghvi, of F.A.L.T.U. musical duo Sachin-Jigar, reveals how collaboration means pulling each other’s hair

Bollywood has always adored musical duos – whether it’s Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Shankar-Jaikishan, Shiv-Hari, Nadeem-Shravan, Jatin-Lalit or even Vishal-Shekhar. Now there’s a new pair to add to the list: Sachin-Jigar, the composers of Vashu Bhagnani’s F.A.L.T.U.  Their songs Chaar baj gaye and Le jaa tu mujhe are being spun to much applause in major nightspots. Sachin Sanghvi lets us in on his equation with his collaborator Jigar Saraiya, dealing with the pressure of being a part of Jackky Bhagnani’s relaunch and the state of independent music scene in the country today.

How did Jigar and you decide to work together?

We used to compose music for television shows-. We became friends and soon realised that we complement each other very well. It then became a habit to share almost every project. So, when we started composing for films, it was a natural step to team up.

So, how did you decide whose name would go first?

Actually, it wasn’t a conscious decision. We initially wanted to be called J & S; we thought it would be cooler. But many people told us it wasn’t a good idea. This just came about. Someone’s name had to come first. It just happened to be mine.

How do you handle opposing viewpoints in a collaboration?

We fight, we pull each other’s hair. But we have a great understanding and we even love the same food, so we would always patch up with food after a fight. When I do something, he is my checkpoint and vice-versa. We share that rapport so we can tell each other if something’s not going very well.

Do you compose the music first or go with the lyrics?

We do it simultaneously. For F.A.L.T.U., we worked with Sameerji on the songs. For the Party abhi baaki hai song, we didn’t have a tune or a hook first. We really worked hard but nothing was working out. Finally, we went for a drive and that inspired us to get the hook. Once we got that, the entire song was ready in 20 minutes. Sameerji is very chilled out. He doesn’t insist that we have to go with what he has written. He just tells us what he thinks and gives us freedom to work on it. Jigar and I were very lucky to have a great team to work with.

You have done Satish Kaushik’s Tere Sang and Mehul Kumar’s Krantiveer – The Revolution. Was it tough to get a break in a big-budget film like F.A.L.T.U.?

Jigar and I had done two songs for Do Knot Disturb and Vashuji had liked our work. Sameerji has also been a guiding light for us. He has had a 21-year-old working relationship with Vashuji. So, when Remo (D’Souza, the director) was looking for someone fresh, they suggested us. Initially, there was a lot of pressure, as it is Jackky Bhagnani’s second film, but working with Remo eased it for us.

Are you happy with Vashu Bhagnani’s decision to sell the music digitally?

It’s a good idea and we have no other choice. How long can we ignore music piracy? Earlier, music companies would queue up to buy music rights, but nobody is interested anymore. So, producers also feel that there is no need for them to sell the rights, when they can control the sales of the songs and make money. The only disadvantage is that everyone is not comfortable using a credit card to buy songs online. Despite this, five lakh people have already downloaded the entire album from our site. We travelled to remote interiors recently and we found that film music reaches there only through the radio. There’s no Internet or CDs. Once people become more aware, the idea will work even better.

Independent music is very popular in several countries, including Pakistan, but not in India. Why do you think this is so?

I was once part of a rock band, complete with long hair and all. We had a contract with a music company for three albums over three years. It’s been more than 10 years now, but we’ve not been able to lock songs for the second album. There was a time when Daler Mehndi, Alisha Chinai sold albums just with their names, but now music companies are being run by people who don’t know music. There’s no value for an artiste in our country. Elsewhere, each genre has a dedicated audience who will follow the artistes and their music. That is slowly happening here with YouTube, and more awareness spreading among people. Lucky Ali recently released his album on the Internet, without any middleman or any label. That said, films promise a certain level of entertainment for Rs 150, so film music will also have dominance. Salman Khan dancing to a certain song will definitely help it to work more. It’s a more powerful medium.

What about music reality shows? Do you think they are a good development?

I love these shows. When we toured in the interiors, we realised that we have a lot of talent. They can win our hearts with their music. It’s a lack of opportunities more than a lack of talent that’s stopping them from coming to the forefront. But now thanks to these shows, even producers are realising that people don’t listen to only established singers. They are actually listening and voting for these newcomers. These shows have broken the shackles for young, shy talent and opened minds of rigid producers. And even parents. So many parents are now aware that media can bring fame and money that other fields can’t. But we need to increase the quality of our shows. If you compare the first American Idol to the latest one, there has been a huge increase in quality. We need to do that, too.

What are your future projects?

We are composing the music for Shor In The City (out in April) and Hum Tum Aur Shabana (out later this year).