It was the easiest to make Sonu Nigam sing - Musician Puneet Awasthi

Mumbai and Film City is the city of dreams. Every day hundreds of people come here from every corner of the country to fulfill their dreams. The luck of many of them brings them success quickly.

By Bollyy
New Update
It was the easiest to make Sonu Nigam sing - Musician Puneet Awasthi.jpg

Mumbai and Film City is the city of dreams. Every day hundreds of people come here from every corner of the country to fulfill their dreams. The luck of many of them brings them success quickly, while some people keep struggling for many years. This struggle becomes more difficult for those who come from non-filmy families. Struggling in a similar film city, Puneet Awasthi, from a non-film family in Alwar, Rajasthan has carved a niche for himself as a musician in a very short time. Till now, he has lost many singers including Sonu Nigam, Sona Mahapatra, Javed Ali, and Palak Muchhal under his musical direction. These days, he is in the news for the music of the film 'Kaisi Yeh Dor', which was shot in Varanasi, and released on 15th December.

sonu nigam

Here are excerpts from an exclusive conversation with Puneet Awasthi...

When did you think of making a career in the music industry?

- I am originally from Alwar, Rajasthan. There has been an atmosphere of both education and music in my house. My father Shri ML Awasthi is a professor and also a musician. He writes songs, composes music, plays harmonium very well, and also sings bhajans. But his profession is that of a teacher. But after listening to my father singing, my interest in music developed in me too. I also used to sing bhajans in the evening. But my father repeatedly talked about studying first. After completing secondary education, I asked my father to give me a primary education in music. In this way, I got my first education in music at home. After this, I took education in Indian classical music and ragas, etc. from Ustad Mammal Khan in Alwar. But there was pressure to get a good education. So after 12th, I studied Mechanical Engineering in Chennai. Not only this, I got a music education from 'KM Music' in Chennai. Here I learned everything from making music to music production.

How did you reach Mumbai?

- We had heard a lot about Mumbai. That's why my father did not want me to come to Mumbai. Apart from this, we did not even know anyone in Mumbai. But God listened to me. I got a job at Tata Company and reached Mumbai. Here I lived in Thane. But considering my musical interest, I used to roam around the Aram Nagar area of Andheri in Mumbai every Saturday and Sunday, meeting people and making friends. Meanwhile, I got to know some people in my profession. I asked him to introduce me to producers and directors so that I could ask them to give music to their films. During this time I met the musician nephew of Late Aadesh Srivastava Nitish Srivastava. Like me, he is also interested in working in classical music. Because of this, we became friends. We started working together and then did a lot of work. After Aadesh ji died in 2014, Nitesh and I gave music in jingles and short films. While working with him till 2018, I kept composing some different types of musical tunes and sending them to directors. So that I can get the work of music direction independently.

So it can be assumed that you did not have to struggle in Mumbai?

- Look, you are familiar with the working style of the film industry. I also had to struggle. I didn't even know how to start. How to meet directors. Even when you reach from one city to another, you have to struggle. That's why I don't cry for struggle. I believe that there is a struggle to achieve success in every field. What matters is how you take it. I used to work in Tata Company during the day. Then used to make musical tunes at night. I also did theater in the beginning. So I continued to work while enjoying the struggle. I was sure that my hard work and dedication would yield good results, which it did.

How did you meet Aadesh Srivastava and Nitesh Srivastava?

- As I already told I also did theater in Mumbai. I also did theater with Shahid Kabir for two years. When Shahid Kabir heard my songs, he composed the music for the film. The third song had to be programmed. In which a pianist was required. So I met him through a friend. He programmed my songs. After that we both became friends.

   I was working on classical music. Because of this also we came very close. You also know that not a single semi-classical song was released from 2008 to 2012. Then Aadesh Srivastava came with ‘Mora Piya Mose Bolat Nahi’ and ‘Ras Se Bhare Tore Nain…’ I learned from Aadesh Srivastava to never forget your roots.

How did you get your first film as a musician?

- While working in the theater and roaming on the streets of Aram Nagar, I became friends with many artists. I gave the song composed by me to some artist friends so that when they meet a director, they can listen to my song and talk about me. I met director Prabhat Kumar through an artist friend Masoom Singh, in those days he was planning the film “Ek Ank”. He asked me to compose the music for a song he had written. I worked on that. Hearing this, he gave me the task of composing the music for the film “Ek Ank”. And I got the first song sung by Sonu Nigam. And now my second film as a music composer “Kaisi Yeh Dor” has been released on 15th December.

2018 to 2023...this gap of five years..?

- Sir, in 2018 there was talk of 'Ek Ank'. After that work on this film started, and the film was made. This film was released in 2020. Then the lockdown was imposed due to COVID-19. But even during the lockdown, we worked on the single song ‘Saathiya Tere Bina’, which was released in the market from ‘Zee Music’. The video of this song was shot in Nepal. Even during the lockdown, this song got two million views in a day.

How did you get the opportunity to compose music for the film 'Kaisi Yeh Dor'?

- It was through a friend that I met Ratna Pandey, who was making “Kaisi Ye Dor” based on Varanasi. He wanted raga-based songs. Many years ago, I had composed the song 'Rang Rasiya' written by my father, which was heard by Ratna Pandey. This song is on Raag Tilak Kamod and Raag Desh. Ratna Ji said that she is taking the song 'Rang Rasiya' for her film. Apart from this, I will also compose other songs for them. This is a lovely story about the relationships of a family in Varanasi. It has four songs, out of which one song is in Bhojpuri. For the first time, I have composed a Bhojpuri song along with a raga-based song. I got the Bhojpuri song sung by Padma Shri awardee Soma Ghosh. Whereas we got the song ‘Rang Rasiya’ sung by Sona Mahapatra. Javed Ali sang a song. While Keshav Kumar has sung a romantic song.

As a musician, what special feature did you see in the film ‘Kaisi Yeh Dor’?

- See, the songs of the film should have a connection with the story of the film. I liked the story narrated by Ratna Ji and I realized that I could do something new in its songs. Regarding the romantic song, she said that a guide's eyes fell on a girl on the banks of the Ganga in Varanasi and he fell in love. So I made a song – “Tu ban ja heer meri, main ranjha ban jaune tera…” Similarly, he told the background of the sad song. When a filmmaker is passionate about narrating a story, the song gets its kick.

Which singers have we lost so far?

- See, first of all, I made Sonu Nigam sing for the film 'Ek Ank'. Palak Muchhal and I sang the romantic song ‘Naino Ka Jadoo…’ in ‘Ek Ank’ itself. Papaon sang a sad song. Jyotika Tangri, Sakshi Holkar, Keshav Kumar, Sona Mahapatra, and Dr. Soma Ghosh also sang for me.

How easy was it to compose the song ‘Rang Rasiya’ on the keyboard?

- The song is based on Rang Rasiya raga. If I had created this using a keyboard, its soul would have died. There is 'Sur' and there is 'Shruti'. There are many Shruti between ‘Sa’ and ‘Re’. 'It is difficult to catch them from the keyboard. The song 'Rang Rasiya' has Sarangi in the beginning, which was recorded by Ustad Mammal Khan's disciple Sagar with Sarangi, while Tabla and guitar were recorded by Vishal Pandey.

Which singer was more comfortable to work with as a musician?

It was easier to lose Sonu Nigam. The melodious voice of Sonu Nigam is as simple a person as he is. He is a gentle-natured supporting singer. He listens to the musician and also discusses matters. He always tries to make the song better and better.

Are you doing anything else?

- Work on two films is going on while four singles are ready.


- Shantiswarup Tripathi


Tags : sonu-nigam | Musician Puneet Awasthi


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