Anand Bhaskar on working on Bombay Begums and why he prefers the OTT over the big screen
Anand Bhaskar was all about the corporate world when he quit his high-profile job to carve a niche in the world of music. His debut as a playback singer in Bollywood, with Get Ready To Fight Again from Tiger Shroff’s Baaghi 2 was followed by few noteworthy collaborations in Mission Mangal and Mirzapur. The music composer, singer, and songwriter has since then has come a long way, from forming a band, Anand Bhaskar Collective (ABC) to becoming the face of Netflix’s women-oriented show — Bombay Begums’ tracklist. We spoke to him recently, close on the heels of the release of the web-series. Excerpts:
Your big break was from Bollywood. And now you have crafted a niche in OTT. How different or similar are these two experiences?
When we speak of OTT platforms, the storylines are more liberal than Hindi cinema. Since these shows and movies are subscription-based, the directors are open to fresh ideas and new concepts. And this works for me. I like creating experimental music. With digital shows, I am given a chance to channelise the musician in me effectively. But mainstream cinema comes with its set of restrictions. Music plays an integral part in a movie’s success. Therefore producers invest more money in commercially-viable music. So, yes, you can say that I enjoy working on these OTT shows more.
Was there any roadblock while you were composing for Bombay Begums? Did the success of your previous outing, Mirzapur come as added pressure?
While I would not call it a roadblock, Bombay Begums pushed me out of my comfort zone. Earlier, I have done only Indian music, but with this show, I explored retro and modern elements in my music. And, thankfully the director, Alankrita Shrivastava liked and enjoyed all four tunes. And to answer the last part of your success, there is always pressure in a competitive field.
Do you have a favourite track from the show?
Ah! Do I have one? But, if someone were to ask me this question at gunpoint, I would say, Khel. I have never composed anything on the lines of retro and disco earlier. And, I personally love ’80s music and I also wrote the song myself. So, yes, it was like a cherry on the cake.
Finally, what is it like working on Bombay Begums’ music?
I think my biggest achievement from the entire experience was the director liking the tracks I composed immediately. I feel elated to be a part of this success. The show is just out, and I cannot wait for everyone to listen to the tunes I composed.
What’s next for you?
I am scoring and composing for a new web-series for a major OTT streaming platform. My next album with my band ABC is ready and will be released soon. I am also working on Hindi and English albums. So, yes, I am excited about the line-up.