I don’t mind going supernatural with music: Tushar


Express News Service

Western and Indian classical tunes have often been met in various fusion projects by many artistes. But it may never have been done in a fashion where familiar tunes of Hollywood’s most popular background scores or songs meet the soul-soothing tunes of the Indian classical instruments. This is how young composer Tushar Lall had started out. After leading The Indian Jam Project (TIJP) on YouTube for all these years, and some majestic original pieces like Sifar, Lall made his debut in Bollywood with Brahmastra.

He has now produced yet another striking song with a unique flavour, called Quaid, for the Randeep Hooda-starrer Sergeant. We sit down for an exclusive chat with the young musician and learn more about the song and his work in multiple documentaries.

Tell us about your song, Quaid. What is it about?

Sergeant is essentially a film about  this  individual who’s really troubled. He went through a lot in life and is not able to operate in the same capacity that he used to, because of some impediments. So, Quaid is a song that represents that helplessness and how he’s shackled by his own circumstances. Additionally, the director picked a very interesting route, when he told me ‘Why don’t we make this a dark jazz song?’ It’s not like the quintessential sad song, though. 

You have also composed scores for Dancing On The Grave (DOTG). What are the things you need to keep in mind when you score for such projects?

With a docu-series or documentary, I think  the  narrative  and the talking heads are very important. But even though I’m new to this, and don’t fully know the difference yet, what I’ve understood so far is that in a film, you have to make visuals evocative, and you can do it in a way which is a little unbound. Music and visuals go hand-in-hand. 

You are also associated with James Bond through another documentary, The Sound of 007. How different was it to work on this project?

DOTG is a beautiful show that Patrick Graham (director), Ankit Gupta, and Chandni Ahlawat Dabas (the creative producers) have made. As the music composer for the show, I understood there are two things that needed to be done there. One, to show crumbling aristocracy, and then there is an underprivileged sociopathic side. So we needed a score, which catered to both. With The Sound of 007, it was an insane honour. You have artistes like Hans Zimmer, Billie Eilish, and FINNEAS talking here! I was scared initially, thinking ‘What value addition can I make?’ We represented the Indian legacy of James Bond music, and representing India within such a context felt very cool.

How did it feel to take TIJP to a live audience at the NMACC?

It was really exciting. More so because it was genuinely better than all the venues we played at. I’ve seen Broadway in New York, and after seeing the Sound of Music musical here, I couldn’t draw any differences between the two. Tiny things, like the green rooms, the structure of the tech alley, the console — they have done an insane job with the venue. 
You were very clear early on in your life that you wanted to pursue music. What about the field called out to you?

Music has such power over me. I really believe that it’s floating somewhere in the cosmos and when you play something, let it flow through you, and it will come onto your instruments. In every other thing in my life, I’m very theoretical, but this is the one thing where I really don’t mind going supernatural.

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