“Hello, I was waiting for your call,” says a voice bristling with energy. Sacred Games composer Rachita Arora’s infectious vigour bounces off the phone and that sense of spirit is easily recognisable in her compositions as well. Rachita has composed two tracks for Netflix India’s first original series Sacred Games – “Dance Capital” and “Labbon Se Chhukar.” As soon as the songs begin, all you want to do is bob your head along to the music. So was there any brief given to her by directors Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane for the tracks?
“Anurag sir just wanted me to listen to 80s music, which is essential disco music, as far as Bollywood is concerned. The one track that I really paid attention to was Bappi Lahiri ji’s “Jawaane Jaaneman” from the 1982 film Namak Halal. That helped me get the nuances of the sound right, and the rest was all about following the narrative,” says the young musician.
Anurag Kashyap is the only Bollywood director Rachita has worked with twice (Mukkabaaz and Sacred Games). Talking about their relationship, Rachita says, “Anurag sir has always given me space to grow and to be creative with my compositions. One often hears about producers and filmmakers who tend to impose their opinions on music directors. He is not one of them. In fact, he is quite musical himself. Mukkabaaz’s track “Mushkil Hai Apne Meil Priye” is originally a poem by Mr Sunil Jogi, and a few lines sounded a bit dated for the movie, so Anurag sir changed it to suit the times,” Rachita reveals.
Kashyap is indeed as willing to experiment with his films’ music as he is with scripts. Be it the jazz sound of the Bombay Velvet soundtrack, the more raw and rusty vibe of Gangs of Wasseypur movies or Piyush Mishra’s rooted in the ‘real world’ compositions of Gulaal; Anurag knows how to pick them.
Ask Rachita about the lack of female composers in Bollywood and she says that is unfortunate, adding that she thinks of herself as a composer and as a creative person first. “There is a lot of struggle in store for you when you decide to make your passion your job, but I don’t think I had to face the kind of hardships people often discuss about,” says the musician.
It all started when on one fine day, Rachita chanced upon actor Makarand Deshpande at Mumbai’s Prithivi Theatre, who after hearing her music decided to rope her in as a composer for his play. Makarand was the one who then recommended Rachita to Anurag. “Honestly, there has never been a day when I have had to knock on someone’s door for an opportunity. It has always been the other way around,” says the Delhi-born musician who shifted base to Mumbai some time ago.
On the work front, Rachita will be composing music for another Anurag Kashyap project and Sanjay Mishra’s Kaamyab.