Grammy awardee makes debut as music composer in Hindi film

NEW DELHI: World renowned sitarist and Grammy awardee Shujaat Husain Khan has now entered the world of Bollywood to give music for ‘Mr Singh Mrs Mehta’.

Shujaat, however, is not alone from his family to venture into giving music for films. His father Ustad Vilayat Khan had composed music for Satyajit Ray’s masterpiece Jalsaghar.

The music for the film will be a mix of ballads, ghazals and sufiana songs. Shujaat has not only composed the music but has also lent his voice to the song – Aye Khuda.

“The soul of Mr Singh Mrs Mehta lies in its music. And who better than Shujaat Hussain Khan, the Grammy awards nominated sitarist to create the music for the film,” says Pravesh Bhardwaj, the director of the film.

“I had heard this particular track of Shujaat Khan Sahib Lajo Lajo on the internet which stayed with me for a long time,” he says. “When I connected with Shujaat Bhai for the film he asked me what kind of music I wanted. I had told him that I would like the music of our film to belong to my father’s record collection. Shujaat Bhai gave a hearty laughter,” he adds.

“People having been approaching me to compose the music for their films for a very long time but they expect me to compose item numbers without having the respect for the kind of music I am known for,” says Shujaat Husain Khan. “And here came a first time director who said that he wants my kind of music. There was no way I could say no,” he says.

In keeping with Hindi film music tradition, Shujaat Husain Khan has actually composed music to pre-written lyrics, a rarity in current times where tunes precede words. Amitabh Varma (Metro) has penned the lyrics for the film.

“I’m very proud of my work for Mr Singh Mrs Mehta. It is easily the best work I have done till date,” says Amitabh Varma, the lyricist of the film. “I got a chance to write a sufi qawwali, a ghazal, a romantic ballad, a sad song… you name it. This film is special to me for two reasons. One, this is the kind of music (and lyrics) I have always listened to and liked. The other reason is that here I got to write the songs first and then they were composed, a rare phenomenon these days."

Starring Aruna Shields (Prince) and Prashant Narayanan (Waisa Bhi Hota Hai, Chhal) Mr Singh Mrs Mehta is the story of Ashwin Mehta and Neera Singh who find that their spouses are having an affair. Drawn together by shame and anger, they find comfort in their growing friendship even as they resolve not to be like their unfaithful mates. The film releases 25 June.

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