Millennium Post
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Riding high on success

In their two decade long career, music maestros Radhika Rao and Vinay Sapru have worked with legends like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle and Jagjit Singh

Riding high on success
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Song director-duo Radhika Rao-Vinay Sapru is set to be part of a musical film with Bhushan Kumar and T-Series, scheduled to go on floors in May 2021, to be shot in London, and have a November 2021 release. The music legends are currently riding high on the success of their track 'Besharam Bewafa', starring Divya Khosla Kumar.

In their two decade long career, Radhika and Vinay have seen it all. They have worked with almost everyone in the field - from musical maestros like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle and Jagjit Singh to the current heartthrobs Arijit Singh, Neha Kakkar and many more.

'Millennium Post' interacted with them to know more about their journey, their latest hit and more.

Excerpts:

How did 'Besharam Bewafa' happen?

When the song came to us we were very keen to tell a story about a tragic tale of romance. The lyrics have a lot of pathos. We have been telling a lot of collage romances, popcorn stories till now, so when this project came along, we were very excited.

What is the job of a song director?

Our industry is more inclined towards playback singing. Since the early days, there used to be a director, who had a story and the composers wrote the songs. For pop songs, there is no story. We get the lyrics written, tunes composed and then we tell if we need a mid-temp dance track or ballad. Then we get the ballads composed into it. Then comes visualisation.

Having worked for years, how is it working with today's generation of actors?

We are not very old (laughs). We wanted to tell the story of the younger generation. The journey surely has been long and we are now senior directors. The stories are the same; just that Romeo and Juliet cannot be talking in the Shakespearian language anymore. We are very much exposed to the young generation, which we integrate into our story so that it does not get dated.

What are the youngsters thinking?

I will tell you a story. I asked the sound recordist in the studio, a young boy, whom is he dating. His answer was, 'Dating is not a big issue. Sex is not a problem anymore. I'm in search of true love.' I laughed aloud as during our young days, sex was such a big issue. But today's generation thinks differently. 'Vaaste', 'Nayan', all our new songs are doing well because of that.

'Vaaste' crossed 1 billion hits. Is there a mantra?

There is no mantra. Most of my songs have been blockbusters. When you hear a sound, you shut your eyes and listen. What you listen to and what visuals it throws up in your mind, is what you create. 'Leja Re' and 'Yaad Piya Ki Aane Lagi' are a few songs that I did some 15 years ago. And I again redirected them. For both, the visualisation is different. The sounds we hear now throw up other visuals from the earlier ones. We start with a blank slate.

Of the two partners, who is more dominant?

Ask Radhika (laughs). It is more complementing rather than dominating. Like in any partnership, you do not have any agenda, any egos. We are honest and blunt with each other. We both agree that she is better in certain aspects, I'm in others. And finally, we leave the veto to one person. We also realised over the years how we think alike. Years of working together also make your thought processes alike.

After working with legends of the industry, how about dealing with the younger singers?

After working with legends like Asha Bhonsle, Lata ji, Jagjit Singh and the likes, we had stopped directing for three years. We thought where are we going to find another Lata ji or Jagjit ji. But then we said we want to create new stars and new artistes. To our surprise, we found Neha Kakkar is fab. The expressions she brings in, energy levels are different. Arman too is superb. When we shot with Darshan Rawal for 'Kheench Meri Photo', he brought in something else. It is a revelation. We are always super excited to work with newcomers.

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