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Bollywood has always been about the Punjabi culture: Pritam

In ‘Love Aaj Kal’,Pritam has just delivered another hit album for Imtiaz Ali. While his fans jive away to music.

Written by Premankur Biswas | Kolkata |
July 30, 2009 11:13:17 am

In ‘Love Aaj Kal’,Pritam has just delivered another hit album for Imtiaz Ali. While his fans jive away to his spiffy rework of the Hemant Kumar classic Tan dole (Nagin),he himself is trying to convince the media that he is not all about Punjabi funk. “People ask me why are my songs so Punjabi in flavour,well my answer is that because they have been composed for Punjabi characters. Jab We Met had Punjabi protagonists,Singh is Kinng was a very Punjabi film and a large part of Love Aaj Kal is set in Punjab. Bollywood has always been about the Punjabi culture isn’t it?” he asks at an event to promote ‘Love Aaj Kal’ at Inox,City Centre this Monday.

He has had to deal with accusations of plagiarism for most of his career,which is probably why the Love Aaj Kal soundtrack carries three credit notes to sources,even if they’re small and not the core tune’s inspiration. The first song with a credit is ‘Twist’. The credit reads,‘Courtesy Saregama (India) Ltd,for the Instrumental hook of the song Twist from Man dole — Nagin,composed by Hemant Kumar’. The second is ‘Aahun aahun’. The credit reads,‘Kadi te hass bol ve’,lyrics and melody traditional. And the third,‘Ajj din chadeya tere rang varga’ — Original line by Shiv Kumar Batalvi. “I had made some wrong decisions earlier. I was young and I needed as much work as possible,so I had to bow down to the demands of the producer. But with Love Aaj Kal I wanted to start afresh,” he says.

The change,however small,seems to have inspired a new energy in the composer who talks about his Love Aaj Kal compositions with the earnestness of a school boy showing off his award-winning science project. “I have infused a mix of sounds in the album. The bin of the tan dole song is in direct contrast with the modern instruments used in the album. Yet,they make a composite whole,” says Pritam.

The next few months will see some big releases,including Yash Raj’s Dil Bole Hadippa. “It’s another Punjabi soundtrack,so be ready to do the bhangra,” he smiles. Interestingly,the next few months will also see the release of good friend Anurag Basu’s much-hyped Kites. Does it feel bad to not be a part of an Anurag Basu film,a filmmaker for whom he had composed chartbusters like In Dino (Life in a Metro) and Lamha Lamha (Gangster)? “Anurag is a dear friend and we share a great working rapport . Kites is a big film for him and is a Hrithink Roshan starrer,how can I grudge him this? I’m actually looking forward to the album,” he says.

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