While most of us are getting adapted to the ‘new normal’ in the wake of Covid pandemic, there are others who took this as an opportunity to breathe life into projects, which otherwise were on hold owing to time constraints. So, all the music lovers out there, grab your earphones or turn the speakers on to experience music like never before. In a conversation with Hello Vizag, music composing duo Salim and Sulaiman Merchant share their journey after having launched ‘Merchant Records’ at the beginning of the lockdown.
While the Merchant brothers are popularly known for their live gigs across the globe, they felt the need to celebrate talent, to create music devoid of commercial tropes and to provide a platform for independent music. Cooped up at home, the duo utilised the time available during the lockdown to promote independent music through their record label.
The label’s first release was ‘Mangi duaein’ which featured Raghav Chaitanya, who didn’t get a chance in the past to perform. The other songs of Merchant records included ‘Maalik Mere’, ‘Beech Raaste’ which garnered millions of views. And then there were more songs which followed successively by a new single release every 15 days.
Speaking to Reshma Jain, Salim, said, “The most cherished, desirable and revered project is the album ‘Bhoomi’ which is the best thing we had done around 20 years back. We had created this album and got singers from across India for it. It had artistes from Kashmir and Bengal being featured in it and language was never a barrier. But then, we got busy with making film music, but continued to cherish that album. Finally, we grabbed the opportunity to release ‘Bhoomi 2020’, as part of our newly launched record label this month.”
The Merchant brothers who have scored more than 100 films, said, “The seven-track offering Bhoomi 2020 features artistes including Arijit Singh, Shreya Goshal, Jonita Gandhi, Nikita Gandhi, Salman Ali, Osman Mir, and Kaushiki Chakraborty, among the other musicians. This project enabled us to learn about our own music sensibilities. We were not bound by the commitments of creating it around a story, or other commercial requirements. It was an effort to experiment with music, and the result has been overwhelming.”
Speaking on the scope for independent music, Sulaiman, said, “Music, now is being consumed online through apps like Spotify, YouTube, Gaana, etc. The audience have an array of options to choose from and consumes what is available. Independent music has created a wave and there is a need to encourage independent music which empowers artistes with unique talents. There are no limitations with regard to the song genre, hence the scope is high.”
Salim also added that music with a meaning and depth makes a personal impact. Speaking on Mann Mein Aman- A message of Peace and Humanity (A Salim Sulaiman and Ricky Kej collaboration which was released in October), Salim said, “The track has a timeless vibe with cutting-edge grooves, while maintaining a deep Indian essence steeped in peace and tranquillity.”
Stay tuned today as the folk song ‘Saanwal’- a song under the album of Bhoomi 2020 will be released in a few hours.
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