Music composer Manan Bharadwaj, who composed the music for the film Shiddat is ready to roll, finds his godfather in Bhushan Kumar: The Tribune India

Sheet metal

Music composer Manan Bharadwaj is from Haryana. He has done a number of projects in Bollywood in a short time. As he gears up for the promotion of his debut film Shiddat, we catch up with him on his journey so far, his mentor Bhushan Kumar, some upcoming collaborations with Punjabi singers.

The abundance of content made artists look for a unique selling point. Has finding a USP become important?

If you stay true to your art, everything is secondary. My job is to do my best. My work never leaves my studio if I am not convinced to devote myself 100% to it.

Your title track for the movie Shiddat just released. What’s the takeaway for listeners?

I believe this song is like water and will eventually take its own course. We tried to bring something new and I got good feedback so far.

Do you like to experiment? Does it make you nervous?

Trying something new is always risky if the composer isn’t confident, but you can’t let fear rule the creative side. When Roja came out, his music was something we had never heard before. If it had not been published; I wouldn’t have been a composer. Mr. AR Rahman’s songs (listening to the Roja tape over and over at the age of four), his interviews were part of my education.

You worked with director Kunal Deshmukh in Shiddat and you are now about to work in films like Radhe Shyam and Hit. So, which director became your favorite?

I’m new to the industry and I’ll be able to answer this maybe 10 years later when I’ve worked enough with different directors. Picking favorites is a complete no-no, just like a composer can’t afford to have a favorite genre.

Did you compose music for hit songs like Veham, Kandhe Ka Vo Til, Pehle Pyar Ka Pehla Gham and Teri Aankhon Mein? Who do you give credit for your success?

As my bio says, I am officially and happily owned by T-Series. So credit goes to Bhushan sir (Bhushan Kumar, music producer and MD of T-Series) for noticing the potential of my compositions. He is like a godfather to me. I remember sending Teri Aankhon Mein to him at 5am. I am happy that Divya Khosla Kumar (Bhushan’s wife) is featured in the song. It brings me immense pleasure to be the composer of the song which has crossed 360 million views.

You don’t have a favorite genre as a composer, but as a listener, do you have any favourites?

My music playlist is out of sync with the current time. I listen to Western music to keep up to date. I also listen to Ghulam Ali sahab, Mehndi Hassan sahab, Jagjit sahab and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan.

As Bollywood has become the ultimate promoter of Punjabi music, have you had the chance to collaborate with Punjabi artists?

For Shiddat, I collaborated with a gem of a person and a powerhouse of Sufi Punjabi music, Master Saleem ji. He is always full of energy. We had been recording all night and yet when we got home he sat down with his harmonium and sang. He sang Chitta Kukkad, a rendition of a Punjabi folk song, for which I donated music. Also, Guru Randhawa and I will be releasing a song soon.

Was it a proud moment when Haryanvis showed his excellence at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics?

Be it a Haryanvi or any part of India, we are always proud when Indians do something great for the country. I believe ‘jaise Bihari ka dil toota hai toh UPSC clear kar deta hai, vaise Haryanvi ka dil toota hai to voh medal le aata hai’. We do everything with passion.

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