Meet the musician behind Dhaakad's high octane background score
Apart from the high-octane title track, Dhruv has composed the songs Babul and Lori
Bollywood music composer Dhruv Ghanekar teams up with long time associate, director Razy Ghai, and produces three songs and background score for the Kangana Ranaut-starrer action drama Dhaakad. Apart from the high-octane title track, Dhruv has composed the songs Babul (sung by Richa Sharma) and Lori (sung by Sunidhi Chauhan and Hariharan). Dhruv, who has been off the radar of Bollywood for a decade, talks about making a comeback with this film and collaborating with international artistes for Dhaakad. Excerpts:
What made you come on board Dhaakad?
The director Razy Ghai and I go back over 20 years. We have worked together on a ton of advertising commercials. Razy spoke to me about the film way back in 2019 and he won me over with his clear vision and passion for the project. Razy brings an incredible aesthetic and style to every project that he works on and Dhaakad is the culmination of over three years of blood sweat and tears.
Tell us about the songs you have composed. Also, how distinct are they from each other?
I began working on Dhaakad in January 2020 with the song Lori as it was integral to the story. Unfortunately due to the lockdown, I couldn't record it in person, so Sunidhi had to record it by herself remotely. The process was challenging but we pulled it off. Hariharan recorded much later in person at my studio. For this song, I tried to imagine if a Tim Burton film had a Lori how would that sound? Hence it has a very dark atmosphere that encapsulates the character upon whom it is based. The endeavour was to transport the listener into the dark world of the antagonist. The song has been beautifully penned by Ishitta Arun.
Babul is a bidai song and had to evoke a strong reaction, and it does with the help of dark trap and breakbeats treatment. Richa Sharma sung it well. Dhaakad was again born out of the score as I needed a strong character theme and the song opens with the thematic interpretation of the melody. It is the song of the main protagonist Agni. The song needed to embody her character who is fierce yet vulnerable. From a composition point of view too, the track needed to encompass all the characteristics in lyrical and musical form that underlines the titular character’s journey in the film. It endeavours to transport the viewer into the film’s world whilst keeping the universal appeal that captures the best of East and West.
You have also given the background score. Tell us about that.
Razy has a very clear idea of the music and my job was to interpret and deliver a sound that's close to his artistic vision. I was given a lot of freedom to experiment and explore different genres as the story flashes back in time and the sound needed to travel with the images.
The score is dark and rich with collaborations and contributions from musicians from all over the globe. The score features the amazing Olena Uutai from Siberia, Mark Hartsuch from the US, Symphonic orchestra of the city of Prague and Budapest and Indian greats such as Taufiq Qureshi, Mohini Dey, Navin Kumar, Indrajeet Sharma, Ravi Chary Nandini Srikar and many others.
It's after a long time that you are composing for any movie. What kept you away from Bollywood?
I’ve spent the past 10 years collaborating and producing music for many award-winning commercials. I’ve won practically every global award in advertising multiple times over. In between that, I have been producing independent music for myself and for artists across the globe. But in all earnestness, I do intend to get back to scoring music for movies now.
What’s next after this?
I intend to finish two of my own projects first. One is Voyage 2 which is a continuation of the album that I put out a few years ago and another is a collaboration.