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Indian composer Amit Trivedi has proven his innovative vision and versatility by scoring qawwali-style songs, folk-fusion, sweet love songs, fast rock numbers, and kitschy experimental tracks. Trivedi is a trendsetter and a man of few words, who permeates our hearts through his music and who has been dubbed by many as the next A R Rahman.
Amit Trivedi was introduced to Bollywood with Aamir (2008). The album received rave reviews for its flawless, simple and varied mix of tunes. The Khusro inspired Sufi song ‘Ha Raham (Mehfuz)’ is a hit and ‘Phas Gaya (Never Mind)’ sung by Neuman Pinto has jazz tossed in with some clever lyrics.
Trivedi’s musical journey started at Rizvi College, Mumbai, where he was part of a fusion band called OM. He went on to score for jingles, TV serials, Dandiya-Rass and theatre. Playback singer Shilpa Rao later introduced him to Anurag Kashyap. It was with Dev.D (2009) that Amit Trivedi finally arrived to the Bollywood music scene with a brilliant 18 song soundtrack. The song ‘Emosanal Attyachar’ had a street band baaja flavor to it and became a popular catch phrase for the masses. The album is a pulsating thematic compilation of raw Punjabi song, Haryanvi folk tracks, an Awadhi number, a hard rock track along with a 1970s pop track and it also has pieces sung and composed by the artist himself. Worth listening to are the tracks ‘Paayaliya’, ‘Duniya’, ‘Yahin Meri Zindagi’ and ‘Saali Khushi’.
Dev.D was meant to be Amit Trivedi’s debut release but because the film ran into some production delays, Aamir (2008) eventually became his first Bollywood release. He went on to win the National Film Award for Best Music Direction in the 55th Filmfare RD Burman Award for New Music Talent for Dev.D. Amit went on to compose the background score for the film Wake Up Sid (2009) and also composed a song called ‘Iktara’, a remarkable tune strummed on guitar along with breathtaking vocals by Kavita Seth and Amitabh Bhattacharya for the female version and Tochi Raina, Amitabh Bhattacharya & Raman Mahadevan in the male version, which went on to win the Best Film Song in the Global Indian Music Awards and became the winner of the Airtel Mirchi Music Award for Listeners’ Choice – Best Song of the Year in 2009.
Amit closely works with his college band mate and lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya to create music relevant to the story and script he is working on. The music for Udaan (2010) is a masterstroke with tracks ‘Naav’ and ‘Aazaadiyan’ that are awe-inspiring. This film fetched Amit awards for the best background score at Filmfare Award and Global Indian Film & Television Honors and winner of the best soundtrack award at Giffoni Film Festival.
Departing from the thought-provoking music in offbeat films like Udaan, Amit delivers vivacious music for a mainstream commercial film like Aisha (2010) with equal ease. ‘Gal Mitthi Mitthi’ from Aisha is a bubbly track that became popular and the same album has the track ‘Shaam’, which is a soothing, by-the-beach kind of song. In the same year, Trivedi composed for the contemporary film, I Am (2010) and surprised us with tracks like ‘Baangur’ and ‘Saye Saye’ with contemporary melodies.
Amit blows listeners away in No One Killed Jessica (2011) with his heavy metal rock interspersed with Punjabi fusion, even in hard-hitting tracks like ‘Aali Re’. In the same year, he composed songs for children’s film Chillar Party (2011) and British-Swedish-Indian drama film, Trishna (2011). His tapori style song ‘Tai Tai Phish’ went on to become popular, but tracks like ‘Chatte Batte’ and ‘Ek School Banana Hai’ were soft and inspirational.
In 2012, Amit gave us a head banging number with ‘Aafaton Ke Parinde’ in a grunge rock style. ‘Chokra Jawaan’ was an unusual duet with tons of tease and taunt and his ‘Pareshaan’ track starts smooth and goes onto a powerful crescendo. Trivedi also gave us ‘Aunty Ji’, a foot-tapping track from the film Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu and his track ‘Kikli Kaler di’ from the film Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana comes with a major Punjabi tadka.
‘Dreamum Wakeupum’ with Bappi da style disco beats and an Aiyyaa interlude is a super hit masala song and then there is ‘Aga Bai’, a Marathi song composed in a fusion style for the film Aiyyaa.
For Sridevi’s comeback film English Vinglish (2012), Amit composed brilliantly the title track ‘English Vinglish’, which is peppy and full of hope about discovering a new language and the world at large. ‘Navrai Majhi’ is a contemporary twist to a traditional Marathi wedding song.
In 2013, Amit worked on films like Ghanchakkar, Bombay Talkies, Kai Po Che! and Lootera. Amit successfully showed poetic love in Lootera with songs like ‘Swar Loon’ and ‘Zinda Hoon’. With Ghanchakkar, Amit delivers a quirky album full of wit and humor.
‘Shubhaarambh’ and ‘Manjha’ from Kai Po Che! take you to the festivity and wonder of Gujarat with their authentic instrumentation. His music for Bombay Talkies displays an honest zest for Bollywood films.
In 2014, Amit Trivedi ruled our hearts like a king with his songs for Queen (2014). He made us dance with the energetic ‘London Thumakda’, and delighted us with compositions like ‘Badra Bahhar’ and ‘Harjaiyaan’ that took on a journey of a woman’s self-discovery. He went on to win the Filmfare Award for Best Background Score for Queen in 2015.
Shaandaar (2015) is a fun and catchy album. The song ‘Gulaabo’ is a quirky bachelorette’s song with urban beats. Bombay Velvet (2015) is a complete vintage treat, re-creating the 1950s era with jazz, cigars and a club scene. ‘Mohabbat Buri Beemari’ sung in three versions was a popular track from the film. ‘Mata Ka Email’ from the film Guddu Rangeela (2015) presents a modern relationship between man and God and the ‘Sooiyan’ composition gives you goose bumps. Highway (2015) marked Amit’s debut Marathi soundtrack that has three tracks – ‘Kangaroo’, ‘Kalandar’ and ‘Pinjade Wale’.
Trivedi’s songs for Udta Punjab (2016) are dark and stark. On the one hand, the songs have a strong folk influence but on the other they are trippy and edgy. The choice of local singers gives each song a personality of its own. The song ‘Da Da Dasse’ is sung in a trip-hop style which grows on you each time you tune in. Songs like ‘Ikk Kudi’ and ‘Hass Nach Le’ are melodious and tells the story of reality and self-exploration, thereby lending depth to the album. Fitoor (2016) released earlier this year gives us a love ballad in the form of ‘Tere Liye’ and then strong Kashmiri folk rendition in form of ‘Haminastu’ can soothe your soul.
Amit Trivedi also composes live music performances for Coke Studio at MTV, an Indian television series that features various artists and a myriad of musical traditions from the Indian subcontinent. The latest song, ‘Teriyaan Tu Jaane’ is about fearless love, with powerful Punjabi vocals by Harshdeep Kaur, Jyoti Nooran and Amit himself. ‘Rabba’ is a lovely melody sung by Tochi Raina along with Jaggi’s rap and the Algoza (a folk instrument) played by Sukhwinder Singh.