Composing music is not new to Pranaay. His latest composition, ‘Ho Tayyar’ for the movie ‘OMG 2’, has already crossed seven million views in YouTube alone since the release of the song three weeks ago.
In the last 15 years, apart from a slew of films like ‘Raaz 2’, ‘Ragini MMS 2’, ‘Munna Michael’, ‘Baaghi 1’, ‘Baaghi 2’, ‘Baaghi 3’ besides his latest film, the Mumbai-based composer has also scored for several web series and almost 100 advertisements.
But cutting an album of his own is his first time.
"Music is music. That said, I think the difficulty of releasing it independently is far more, you know. Because you are not only the composer, you practically have to look after the marketing, the reach and the collaborations and all that," said Pranaay.
Be it film music or jingles or his album now, the one thing that Pranaay said he learnt over the years is the fact that nothing in music can be forced. "If it fits, it fits. Personally, I don’t think about trends because, for one, if it’s trending then it’s already done right? It’s better to do music that resonates with you and as long as your directors and your producers are also supporting you in that, I think that’s the way to go," he said.
As it happens, although he doesn’t know the language, his album will have two Tamil songs. And the lyrics are by Madhan Karky, veteran Tamil film lyricist Vairamuthu’s son.
"Normally, when we make a song, we put some dummy words. If I’m making a Hindi song, then I will put some Hindi words. But, somehow, the dummy words that I put in for these two songs phonetically sounded like Tamil. I mean, I don’t speak Tamil or any of the southern languages, but it sounded like that. So, I reached out to Karky," said Pranaay.
According to him, Karky loved the tune and agreed to write. "I am happy because it felt like it couldn’t be, you know, a Hindi song or even a Telugu or a Malayalam song. Only Tamil," added Pranaay.
Unlike the regular trajectory, Pranaay said his foray into the film world was not via advertisement jingles.
"It was the other way round. I actually started my career with films, with ‘Raaz 2’. And then I realised that for films, the turnaround time was very slow. It sometimes takes about six months to a year for the songs to come out." Pranaay said as he was in his early 20s and coming from a family that has no clue how music composing as a career works, he decided to give advertising a shot where the source of income is constant. "I had to prove to my family, especially my dad, that my choice of career was not a bad decision," he said.
Interestingly, according to Pranaay, breaking into the film world was far easier for him than the ad space. "I was 19 years old when I approached (director) Mahesh Bhatt and said ‘I made a couple of songs that I’d love to play to you’. And he said, ‘Fine, come, come over to the office’. And ‘Raaz 2’ happened. That’s how simple it was," said Pranaay.
With advertisements, the music composer said he was often told, "Oh, you are a film guy, you don’t understand how to create jingles in 30 seconds".
Pranaay said the ad world is where he understood that he has to get to the "hook" immediately. "Nobody wants to watch an ad, right? I mean you are just waiting for that ‘skip ad’ button for the first five seconds. So, our job as music composers is to give something that catches your ear in the first five seconds," said Pranaay.
Pranaay also feels that constant experimentation in South Indian film music has led to a soundscape that is far ahead of the north Indian scene.
"I think the south guys ace in the arrangements. In terms of melody, I think, whether it’s Bollywood or south, we are on par. You listen to ‘Brahmastra’, which is a spectacular album, or any of the Hindi movies, you will find beautiful melodies. But when it comes to arrangement, yes, the south has a definite advantage."