Ravi Basrur: I wanted KGF 2 music to be universal
The composer talks about his musical journey for KGF: Chapter 2, working with Prashanth Neel, and more
If the audiences thronging the theatres to watch KGF: Chapter 2 are screaming their throats for Rocky Bhai, it is not just for Yash or director Prashanth Neel. It is also because of Ravi Basrur's thumping background score and scintillating songs.
In fact, such has been the response to his music that Ravi has kept his phone on silent mode to spend quality time with the family. However, the magnitude of appreciation is not something that Ravi hasn't appreciated. "Kushi aguthe (A sense of happiness)," says the usually recluse Ravi, adding, "When you are hungry, everything you eat will feel tasty. Similarly, I like living in the moment, and for now, it is KGF 2 that is bringing me all the joy."
While Ravi admits that he is not very active on social media, he is aware of the appreciation coming his way from celebrities and fans alike. However, it is the calls from Team KGF that he holds closest to his heart. "The first call came from director Prashanth Neel at 3 am on April 14, and he said, 'Ravi Ji, you have done an extraordinary job'. I felt half the success of my work came from his call. Appreciation from producer Vijay Kiragandur, and our very own Rocky Bhai, Yash, was also special. When people who have travelled with me on this KGF journey are happy, what more can I ask for."
Although Ravi is aware that his music has received widespread appreciation, he is quick to acknowledge the criticisms that have come his way. Attributing it to his attempt to bring something new to KGF, Ravi says, "The music of KGF is very trendy, which is why a lot of youngsters have loved it. But I understand why there are some sections of the audience that aren't pleased with it. However, I don't want to limit the scope of my music to just Kannada or even Indian music. I wanted my music to be universal and cater to the widest section possible."
Ravi Basrur believes in experimenting with his music, and it is the confidence he received from KGF Chapter 1 that pushed him to expand his horizons in the sequel. "It was a challenging process to keep the continuity between parts 1 and 2, especially with the background score," says Ravi, adding, "Understanding the pulse of Prashanth Neel's cinematic vision provided the motivation to come up with the tunes. While I did want to keep the audience keep engaged, I also wanted to create hope in their minds."
The composer shares that his team even worked during the Covid lockdown, and he connected with a lot of International musicians to produce the various sounds of KGF. "Not many understand that a sound producer or a sound engineer are also lucrative professions. Our audience love to watch international films like Avengers but they are not aware of how many people work on the sound of such projects. There are sound engineers here, who strive hard, but they don't have it easy. That's one of the reasons I chose to connect with International teams, who came with their expertise. The content produced by them was later improvised here," says Ravi Basrur.
Talking about the process of composing for KGF: Chapter 2, Ravi shares that he had at least 300 people in his team, and most of the singers were fresh talents. Even for a heroic number like Toofan, Ravi reveals that he didn't employ the usual template where one singer is joined by a chorus. "Since Rocky Bhai is considered one among 20,000 people, I felt he shouldn't be represented by just one singer. We had 60 voices for 'Toofan'," says Ravi, who was then asked to pick his favourite from KGF: Chapter 2. "The mother song is my favourite. I believe in composing songs for the cinema, and it is not that cinema is made because of the songs."
Ravi Basrur's collaboration with Prashanth Neel will continue with Salaar, and his pan-India connect will be seen in Upendra's next, Kabzaa. "I don't like taking on too many projects because I want to enjoy the musical process," he says.
Being someone who loves to follow his heart and go with the flow, Ravi Basrur strongly harbours dreams of putting his village of 'Basrur' on the global map. "I have opened a music studio here because I want to represent my village. There are a lot of people who left the village. However, Covid brought a lot of them back, and I want to be an example for them to show how our village will always be home," he signs off.