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You Would Have Never Thought These Indie Bands Would Make It To Bollywood, But They Did! Cover Picture

You Would Have Never Thought These Indie Bands Would Make It To Bollywood, But They Did!

No, you won’t find any item numbers in this soundtrack. But there’s plenty of punk, rock and metal if you like those. Director Dibakar Banerjee’s Detective Byomkesh Bakshy features a sountrack that is crafted entirely by a range of independent artistes and bands.

Poster of Movie Detective Byomkesh Bakshy

These include popular electro-pop duo Madboy/Mink (comprising Saba Azad and Imaad Shah) and mode.AKA, punk band Blek, singer Gowri Jayakumar, rock band Peter Cat Recording Company, metal outfit Joint Family and trio IJA. We caught up with a few artistes and got them to talk about their Bollywood stint.


‘The film was taken to a new level with the music’

- Imaad Shah (Madboy/Mink)

Imaad Shah (Madboy/Mink)
Photo: Rocky Khurana

This Mumbai-based electro-swing duo has composed the song ‘Calcutta kiss’. Imaad tells us the interesting story behind it. “Dibakar likes our music and he wanted to narrow down on the one song that fit the plot of his film. He liked ‘Taste the kiss’ a lot and the initial plan was to use it as is. But then he suggested why don't we include the word Calcutta in it. We three (he, singer Saba and Dibakar) were in the studio and we decided to use Calcutta kiss in the chorus. It just fit perfectly. After rearranging the music and lyrics, this new song was good to go,” says Imaad, who is the son of veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah.

Madboy/Mink is also working on another indie film. How does he see the future of the sound of Bollywood? “It’s a great thing that directors are opening their minds to include music from the indie space. Even with this film, you can see how it was taken to a new level with its music,” he says.


‘Dibakar simply told us, surprise me, so we went to town with the song’

- Sandeep Madhavan (mode.AKA)

Sandeep Madhavan (mode.AKA)

This Bangalore duo contributed ‘Chase in Chinatown’ to the soundtrack. Sandeep says Dibakar’s brief to them was to keep the track modern and edgy. ‘Before meeting him in Bombay, we used to Skype. He simply told us, surprise me, so we went to town with the song’. We made a few tracks of which he liked two, so he suggested we mash them up. I was a little unconvinced at first, but later loved the results.”

The musician hopes that the indie-Bollywood affair goes on. “I wish this is not a one-off thing.” And is he getting more offers for similar projects? “Yes, I am in talks with some people, but nothing is finalised yet.”


‘I would like to see things in Bollywood being shaken up’

- Rishi Bradoo (Blek)

Blek Band

The likelihood of finding a punk track in Bollywood is only slightly more than that of witnessing flying elephants. And fans of Mumbai-based band Blek are still coming terms with the fact that one of their songs is in a mainstream Bollywood movie.Band vocalist Rishi tells us that the whole process of working on the film was exciting. “Dibakar’s team got in touch with us and when we met him he said he was looking for music for some important sequences in the plot. We rearranged our song ‘Fog + strobe’ to fit the brief’. The addition of vocals by folk singer Usri Banerjee gave the new track ('Byomkesh in love') a different character.

Ask him how he envisions the new sound of Hindi films and Rishi says, “I would like to see things in Bollywood being shaken up. I would like to see more such collaborations.”

The film released last week to mixed reviews. Sushant Singh Rajput's portrayal of the cult Bengali detective might not have created much excitement, but the soundtrack of the film clearly has.

Listen to the entire album here:


Words: NS