Rachita Arora talks to Joanne D'silva about the process of composing songs for Kangana Ranaut and Rajkummar Rao's JudgeMentall Hai Kya. She revealed whether she reads the script of a film before composing songs and what her expectation if of the tracks from the audience.
Rachita, you have composed tracks for many films in Bollywood - how has the experience been so far?
My experience has been great. I started off with Anurag Kashyap sir's Mukkabaaz, then with Aanand L Rai I did Shubh Mangal Saavdhan and Newton. The experience till now has been great and I have worked with beautiful music directors and learned a lot and, of course, have had a lovely journey.
Do you think it is a plus point when a composer is also a singer?
I am a Hindustani classical musician, so that is kind of a composing tool for me. I think the more you know - instruments or any genre - or the more you explore, you enhance your composing skills. And also, I believe that composers have their personal composing tools; some of them love guitars, some love pianos, some love singing, and that is how their composing tools develop. So it actually depends on the composers as well. But yes, for me that is definitely a plus point, because I started my career with learning singing from my guruji and then I started doing compositions for theatre, so it is definitely a plus point for me.
What is it like composing music for various theatre productions? Can you shed some light on that? How was your experience working with Makrand Deshpande?
Yes, in Mumbai also I have been making music for Makrand Deshpande sir, and it is such a beautiful experience being with him and working with him. It is always a different kind of lesson you learn from him and the way he treats everyone and every scene is such a great learning experience. Theatre is just awesome and it is full of energy and it is a completely different vibe altogether.
What do you prefer, theatre music or recording in a studio?
Theatre is live and it is full of energy and the instrumentation is totally different, because on stage you are already giving that energy. So music is just a bit of a tool to express something; more than that, it is the expression of the actors on stage. So that is a totally different thing. Also, making music for films is different, because you have to give so many colours and there is a theme that has to be followed. Also, it depends on the kind of theatre you are working in- some are really musical and some don't require music. It totally depends on the project as well. But yes, whether it is theatre or films, it is amazing to compose and I can't really choose one.
You composed Para para from JudgeMentall Hai Kya - how did you come up with such a quirky tune? Can you also give us a brief on your other songs in JudgeMentall Hai Kya?
I have done two songs for JudgeMentall Hai Kya and a little background score and one hard rock version of the title track. But this song, Para para, it was so much fun to do. First I started with a girl singing, then a harmony coming in so it was more like the blues. Since the first half is a complete madness, we wanted it to be more quirky. So from there to jump to the quirky thing and putting in all the brass section and getting that beat up, was so music fun. In the studio we enjoyed ourselves so much as well. It was fun to compose Para para with my musicians and Arun, and the lyricist Prakhar did a great job.
How was it working with lyricist Prakhar Varunendra?
He is a very nice person. He has always been there as a mentor and has supported me and my music. He trusted my work and it was a great experience working with Prakhar sir.
Did you read the script of Judgementall Hai Kya?
I got the synopsis from Prakhar sir and didn't exactly read the whole script. But he told me about the situation for the song, because it is important - he told me about every bit of the song, all the nuances of that particular scene and where the song actually has to come.