Composer-singer Anand Bhaskar opens up about his latest work and talks shop and more!

Known for his amazing work on shows like Mirzapur and Masoom, Anand Bhaskar is also known for the immensely popular Anand Bhaskar Collective
Anand Bhaskar
Anand Bhaskar

Anand Bhaskar, who is famously known for his Anand Bhaskar Collective and is almost always trending on Music Mojo on YouTube is also a composer and has composed for quite a few popular shows including Mirzapur Season 1 and 2 (Amazon Prime Video) and Masoom (Disney+ Hotstar). The singer-composer is currently in the news for his latest projects, including Dr Arora (SonyLIV); a short film called Gray directed by Sakshi Gurnani for Amazon Mini; another short film called First Second Chance directed by Lakshmi Iyer for Disney+ Hotstar; and the score for a film called Rat On A Highway starring Randeep Hooda which was unveiled at Cannes Film Festival, earlier this year. We catch up with Anand to find out more about his current projects and more…

When and where did your career begin?
My career effectively began in the year 2015. Before that I had spent a decade in the advertising industry. I retired as the vice president of the company I was working for following which I decided to pursue music professionally. I am a Malayali, but born and raised in New Delhi.

What genre do you usually compose in?
I am by default a rock musician, but with experience and practice I’ve learned to write music purely on the basis of melody and rhythm in a very genre-agnostic process. Once the melody and basic rhythm are created, I can fashion the song into a composition that can fit any genre.

Can you tell us a little more about your background in music?
I am a classically trained vocalist, can play the guitar and I use the piano compositionally. As a vocalist, I can sing across a multitude of genres that includes pop, rock, hip-hop, R&B, soul, Indian Classical, folk etc. I’ve been interested in music composition since childhood and started composing tunes when I was about 15 years old. This led to my stints with various bands and led to writing my first album for my band Anand Bhaskar Collective. After I took up music professionally I decided to teach myself music production and mixing, which led me to write, compose and produce songs for various web series and films and even many of my solo independent releases.

Anand Bhaskar
Anand Bhaskar

Is composing for online content very different?
Music composition is music composition no matter what you’re composing for. The process of composition doesn’t change in itself. The difference comes in what brief you’re composing to. For OTTs the directors are more new-school and open-minded and therefore very open and enthusiastic about trying out newer more non-traditional routes of composition.

How would you define your personal sound?
My personal sound is heavily defined by melody. I find it absolutely imperative for all my songs to have melodic and catchy choruses because at the end of the day that’s what the audience takes home. I’ve also been told that I think like a percussionist and/or a drummer because my songs have such a strong and unique rhythm scheme, and I think that’s true because for me a song ideally either starts with a melody or a rhythm.

Any artistes that you would like to collaborate with in the future?
Off the top of my head, I’d love to produce a track for Divine or sing on a track that he’s producing. He’s one of my favourite hip-hop artists in the country. I’d love to collaborate with Sunidhi Chauhan, Sukhwinder Singh, Divya Kumar, Arijit Singh, Brodha V, Santhosh Narayan, Sushin Shyam and Sambit Chatterjee, among others.

Anand Bhaskar
Anand Bhaskar

One song/composition that changed your life and why?
Sad but True by Metallica. It was the first heavy metal song I had ever heard and it opened up the beautiful world of rock and metal to me, and to this day I listen to some heavy metal if I need a pick-me-up because that’s my favourite genre of music and a lot of my songwriting and musical arrangement is inspired by metal and rock music.

If you had to choose a muse you imagine most of your compositions in, who would it/they be?
At present my favourite female voices are Madhubanti Bagchi, Keka Ghoshal, Isheeta Chakrvarty, Shilpa Surroch and Hamsika Iyer. My favourite male voices currently include Romy, Jatinder Singh, Vivek Hariharan and Anurag Mishra, among others.

What can we expect next from you?
I am working on my band’s third album, a solo album in Hindi, a solo album in the R&B—hip-hop space in English, lots of instrumental music releases and a few web series and films.

Your favourite music composer from the South and from the East?
Alokananda Dasgupta from the East; and Santhosh Narayan, Sushin Shyam, Deepak Dev and AR Rahman from the South.

Streaming on YouTube.

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