Salim-Sulaiman’s Independence Day song, Jun Gan Mann, is a tribute to freedom fighters
Bollywood music composer duo Salim-Sulaiman are on a musical high. They have finally launched their own record label, Merchant Records, and have already dropped a few songs under the label. We just grooved to the beats of Beech Raaste featuring talented singers Armaan Malik and Nikhita Gandhi in funky animated avatars and found out that the much-loved composers have planned their musical calendar till March 2021! In the sidelines of Beech Raaste, giving out the song-release for this month, they informed the launch of a special tribute song Jun Gan Mann. Excerpts:
How productive was your lockdown?
Sulaiman: We have managed to utilise this time of lockdown in the most efficient manner possible. We have been wanting to start a record label and to produce songs which had our essence and our style under our own umbrella - Merchant Records. We now have a lineup of songs ready for release all the way up to March 2021.
Salim: We never really got the time earlier and the lockdown has given us that opportunity to compose songs and structure this label called Merchant Records. We have already composed about 5 or 6 songs under the label.
In the last song, Beech Raaste, Armaan Malik and Nikitha Gandhi’s Memoji avatars, Ady and Ada are funky. Tell us more about them.
Sulaiman: We were wondering how we would be able to shoot videos for our record label during the lockdown and we were playing with the phones and the Apple MemoJi came up and we thought that’s a cool way to do things. Addy and Ada are two cool millennials travelling in a futuristic world.
Salim: It was Shakti Haseja’s idea, the director, and I always been very fascinated by Apple Memoji technology that allows us to create a beautiful 3D animated avatar which you can actually design yourself. Earlier on we wanted to an actually incredible video, a car drive video with real characters – Armaan and Nikhita but knowing that the lockdown was extended. Of course, the weather is not perfect for a car drive shoot we decided to go with this idea of new characters. We are going to continue Addy and Ada for some time through different songs.
Beech Raaste sounds groovy. Tell us about the theme of the song and its music.
Sulaiman: Beech Raaste is a travel song. It’s something that you would put on in your car while you’re taking a long drive. We have had this idea for about two years now but it was only during lockdown that we actually got to execute it. We had different thoughts and ideas on how to produce this song but ultimately went with a funky upbeat groove with a strong baseline that would keep the song bouncy.
Salim: Sulaimaan and I love car songs. Grooving to some nice feel-good music was the basic concept of the song and while composing it I came up with this Beech Raaste and that just seemed very unique and musical. Armaan and Nikhita came in and their voices blended perfectly. It just turned out to be magic.
What else can we expect in August?
Salim-Sulaiman: In August, we are presenting a new version of ‘Jun Gan Mann’ which is a tribute to the freedom fighters of India and it features some new, very young, promising and upcoming artistes from India. Merchant Records is hopeful to work with them individually in future. That will be followed by a really fun Punjabi rap song; a groovy number, a duet between Jonita Gandhi and Ashkin.