The latest project of music director and arranger, Ritesh Bhoyar, started as a simple gesture of a fan. He wanted to develop a wider audience appeal and, at the same time, pay tribute to lyricist Gulzar, who has had an influence on his musical sensibilities. “I thought that the best way to do this was to try and bring out my own version of one of Gulzar saab’s greatest songs,” he says. He picked Ijaazat’s Mera kuch saaman which, while being popular for the beauty and melancholy of its lyrics, is also one of the most difficult melodies that music director RD Burman had to compose.
Bhoyar was determined to remake the song. He infused a new energy in it and shot a video of its making. Once uploaded online, it quickly spread among fans. Bhoyar says he was a little surprised by the immediate popularity. “It’s a great song, of course, but I am happy to see my version being accepted by so many people,” he says. The video has received more than one lakh views since it was uploaded in April. Bhoyar followed it up with another reworking, this time of the classic Thade rahiyo from Pakeezah. “For Thade rahiyo, I decided to get more creative and got lyricist Aslam Hasan to write the lyrics for a whole new version,” he says. The result is a song called Thade rahiyo..wait karle yaar that retains the seductiveness of the original but adds a more youthful note.
Reworking classic Hindi film songs is only one project that the Raipur-born Bhoyar has immersed himself in over the years. The music director, who is also trained in Indian classical music, has worked with the likes of music composer Julius Packiam and producer-arranger Aggi Fernandes, who worked on the background scores for movies such as Ek Tha Tiger, Kick, Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
Bhoyar also composed a powada — a Marathi ballad that originated in the 17th century — which is yet to be released. He is looking forward to the release of two Hindi films, Tomchi and Extra, for which he has composed songs. “They are both children’s films. I have composed two songs for the former. The song for the latter has a more motivational tone,” he says.