We decided to make a Punjabi song that isn’t Punjabi – Vayu
Vayu Srivastava of the Vayu – Tanishk duo talks about composing their first film song, the quirky, peppy number – ‘Banno Tera Swagger’, for Tanu Weds Manu Returns.
How did you bag your first film song?
Primarily, I write and have been writing scripts, lyrics et al professionally. I did compose for mostly all the songs I wrote but then going ahead as a Music Director happened with Tanu Weds Manu Returns. I have collaborated with Tanishk (Bagchi) earlier too, we used to jam together and he suggested that I now compose professionally. We started working and released our first single called Oopar Oopar Renn De, which Anand Sir (Director of Tanu Weds Manu Returns) saw and approached us.
Can you tell us about the whole process of composing ‘Banno Tera Swagger’?
We were aware that Krsna Solo is doing the music for Tanu Weds Manu Returns. So we never thought that we had any scope of doing even one song for this film. But if you remember, Tanu Weds Manu had this promotional song called ‘Saadi Galli’, which actually did a lot for the film. And Anand sir wanted to continue that thing and wanted a promotional song for this film as well. Apart from Krsna, he was looking for new composers. He wasn’t openly asking people for it though. When we got to know about it from internal sources we got in touch with him. There was no particular brief given by him. We only knew that the film has Kangna in a double role so that’s why if you listen to the song there is this phrase which is repeated – ‘jugni dugni’. That thought came because the film has two Kangnas, the words were later used lyrically.
First we thought of working on the thought of twins itself because when you make songs you need to have some concept to start with, which mostly becomes the hook of the song. So we started with ‘jugni- dugni’. But we weren’t convinced about what we were composing because it was becoming a typical Punjabi shaadi song. We very well knew how everyone, when making a shaadi song, ends up making a Punjabi song. So we decided to make a Punjabi song that isn’t Punjabi. We picked a Rajasthani folk hook – ‘Banno teri ankhiyaan surme daani’ and added the word ‘swagger’ to it. That was the only line we kept non – Punjabi, rest we added the Punjabi angle to the song. The parallel thought in our minds was to do something traditional, non – traditionally.
Talk about the Banno team.
All of us are new in the song team, so it was one big opportunity for us. The singers, Brijesh has been a friend and Swati has been working with Tanishk for a while in his independent projects. When we started we got in touch with both of them. But we didn’t know whether Anand sir will like the voices. Still we went ahead with our belief. Brijesh’s voice was quite suitable for the song but Swati had never sung a song of this kind before. We didn’t have a reference of her voice for such a song. We recorded a scratch with her and it clicked.
What were your feelings after seeing the final product and audience reactions?
We had butterflies in our stomach before the song was about to release. The time earlier had all gone into making and developing the song so we didn’t have time to react to the thought that it’s our first film song! We were not surprised, but were happy to hear the accolades the song got.
A song making process is quite a long one. From the birth of the idea, to conceptualizing then composing, making a scratch, showing it to the Director who then tells you what he doesn’t like about it, etc. While that was happening Anand sir told us, “When Tanu Weds Manu Returns is scheduled to release, around the same time there are other big films also releasing, which will have big songs, so if your song doesn’t create a stir, I will beat you up”. He said it very fondly of course. But we did have this in mind whether the song will be a hit or not, will we be able to deliver or not. Also its our first song, so we were really excited to know how it will work in the market. When it was well received, more than anything we were relieved. Thanks to Anand sir’s trust we made it till here.
Do you have any dream director you want to work with?
For me, it’s less about the Director/ Producer more about the content I need to deliver. What my song will bring to the platter, what story it will tell on its own – that’s important. The content, the story within the song excites me. The brief of the song excites me the most. I don’t have a particular name, I want to work with all good storytellers.
What’s your style of music?
I believe in concepts, songs which have some kind of a story, meaning to it, songs which have powerful content to work on. Having a background of a Lyricist and now a Composer I want to marry them both seamlessly in my songs. And that’s the edge I have. What the song says is of prime importance.
Who are your favorite composers?
There are many we look up to. A R Rahman remains on op, Sachin – Jigar also have fabulous songs in their kitty. Anybody who experiments, nationally or internationally, we are trying to learn from them. I feel for any creative person the one thing that’s extremely necessary is to observe. So we continuously try to do that – observe, learn and get inspired. Inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere. We have kept the doors and windows open.
What are your upcoming projects?
I can’t disclose the project names as they are in initial stages but yes there is some interesting work coming up, some really quirky songs. A film we did has two to three songs from us – quirky, romantic. So we are looking at working in different genres which will showcase our versatility.
Other than Hindi films, are you working on your independent projects?
We definitely want to do more of Indie projects, and there are people interested. We’ve also had discussions about it with Ravi, who commissioned our first single Oopar Oopar Renn De. So whenever we make anything worthwhile, we will release it. We really want to do it, for the love of it. But right now, there is nothing concrete or in process to talk about.