Partners in Rhyme

Partners in Rhyme

When Sachin Sanghvi and Jigar Saraiya first met over a decade ago through a common friend,they got along amicably.

When Sachin Sanghvi and Jigar Saraiya first met over a decade ago through a common friend,they got along amicably. It was later while working together as music arrangers for Rajesh Roshan that the two forged a stronger bond that paved the way for their professional journey together. Today,the two,better-known as the music composer duo Sachin-Jigar,have completed nine years in partnership and have delivered hit tracks for films such as Shor In The City and FALTU.

“It might sound obvious,but simply getting along or liking each other is crucial,only then can two people begin to make beautiful music together,” states Jigar.

Sachin-Jigar are not the only Bollywood music composers currently making music in partnership. Several top musicians these days prefer to work in pairs — Vishal-Shekhar,Sajid-Wajid,Justin-Uday,Salim-Suleiman,Ajay-Atul,Amjad-Nadeem,Anand-Milind,Dilip-Sameer and the musical trio,Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.

“In this field,the pressures are high and one is constantly looking at dividing labour. Who better than your partner to share the burden with?” says Anand Srivastava of the duo Anand-Milind. The team,which was active until a few years ago,is making a comeback in Bollywood with Yeh Khula Aasmaan. “Also,if one composer is busy with a recording session,the other can have sittings with producers,” says Lalit Pandit of Jatin-Lalit. Together,the duo delivered some of the biggest hits of the 90s — Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge,Khamoshi and Pyar Kiya Toh Darna Kya.


Partnering to compose music has been a trend in Bollywood right since 1944,when Husnlal-Bhagatram teamed up to work on the film Chand. Shankar Raghuvanshi of Shankar-Jaikishan trained under them before joining hands with the latter in 1949 to create music. The trend was followed in the 1970s by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Kalyanji-Anandji,who gave

Indian music — which was largely based on classical music — a contemporary touch.

By the 1980s and 1990s,to make music as a team had almost become a norm. While Jatin-Lalit forged their entry with

Khiladi and Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander,Nadeem-Shravan’s Aashiqui is considered among the biggest musical successes credited for redefining Bollywood music. “Films in those days had eight to ten songs. Working in a team assured that we could take up more assignments,” says Lalit.

Many partnerships come about because the two people can complement each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Kalyanji-Anandji,the erstwhile musical duo that gave us many hits in Don,Saraswatichandra,Qurbani and Safar,worked on this principle. Anandji explains,“Kalyanji came from a classical background; I was influenced by Western music. Hence,we were able to add a contemporary touch to our music while retaining the classical flavour.”

But musical matrimony comes with its own set of challenges — compromising on one’s view,shared glory,creative differences and also issues in personal life. These challenges have also sometimes driven a wedge between these partners,causing them to split. Jatin-Lalit and Nadeem-Shravan are cases in point. Lalit attributes the rift to unresolved creative differences. The latter partnership ended after Nadeem Saifi moved base to London.

However,most duos think that creative differences are healthy. “Also,two heads are better than one. The partner can help guard music from being overwhelmed by over-familiarity when the team has been composing for many years,” says Jigar. Anand adds that it is important that partners are in the same age group as it helps them understand each other’s ideas better.

Brothers Amjad and Nadeem Khan,currently working on Kismat Love Paisa Dilli and Zila Ghaziabad,add that they would never have made a mark in the industry as individuals. “Amjadbhai is good with music arrangements and marketing and I am good with creating melodies,” says Nadeem.