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Grooving To A New Tune

Music composer and singer Sneha Khanwalkar, in a candid conversation with Komal Sharma, talks about breaking away from quirky music and composing something fun and young for the upcoming film Hanuman Da’ Damdaar

Sneha Khanwalkar is known for her quirky songs and music in films like Gangs Of Wassseypur, Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! andLove Sex Aur Dhokha. Now, she’s all set with an exciting new project, the animated film Hanuman Da’ Damdaar.

An ardent fan of animation films herself, Khanwalkar says, “I had some idea of how the process of animation films works. Creating music for animation films takes time but it is an exciting process.”

She says that while composing the songs of the film, she had to focus on the lyrics. “Lyrics should be interesting for kids but they don’t have to be childish. Nowadays, kids listen to all kinds of lyrics and even sing them out loud. For the music, I have incorporated a fun element, and it is groovy, light-hearted and happy. Otherwise, I really like dark music.”

Khanwalkar reveals that she has known the director of the film, Ruchi Narain, for a long time. “The first film which we made was Kal – Yesterday and Tomorrow, and I did the title track of that film. After that, we became good friends. When the story of Hanuman Da’ Damdaar was narrated to me, I really liked it. Also, it was interesting to work with her again. Ruchi is also someone who will let you work the way you want to.” 

On collaborating with Udit Narayan, Khanwalkar says, “The title track Tax Free is sung by Udit Narayanji. He is the hero of the song. His voice is very warm and is like a cool cloud with a blue sky. The texture of his voice is amazing. He has the kind of voice we can all relate too. We just asked Uditji to be himself while recording the song and we got what we were looking for, for our title track.”

A film on Hanuman is incomplete without the trademark Hanuman Chalisa, speaking of which the composer reveals, “First, we got Sneha Pandit to sing it for us. She is just 11 years old. She was excellent and her diction of Hindi and the Hanuman Chalisa is very correct and effortless. It’s not like we had to keep recording it again and again with her. To differentiate it from the rest, we have tried to make it a little groovy and easy, so that everyone can sing it and have a melodic rap as well. Overall, it’s a nice, groovy Hanuman Chalisa that we have.”

Apparently, even Salman Khan, who has lent his voice to one of the characters in the film, wanted to sing the Hanuman Chalisa. “He still might sing it,” smiles the composer.

Khanwalkar has also lent her voice to a character in the film called Seety.

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