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Striking Gold

Sharing his sentiments on being a hit music composer with his debut film Toilet – Ek Prem Katha, musician Vickey Prasad talks to Bhakti Mehta about how a small-town boy climbed the ladder to work with the likes of Akshay Kumar.

When you strike gold with your first attempt, it’s just overwhelming. Not surprisingly, Vickey Prasad
cannot stop smiling. Prasad talks about the success of his first big Bollywood venture, Toilet – Ek Prem Katha, saying, “I am extremely happy because this is my first movie and I got such a big break. People like my music, so I am a little overwhelmed. This is nothing less than a dream come true.”

Recalling how he came on board for this project, Prasad says, “The associate director in this film, Mr Manoj Rajdutt, knows me very well. So when the film’s director Shree Narayan Singh wanted some fresh music that would gel with the subject, Mr Rajdutt told him that there was this guy who hadn’t composed for movies before but did good work. The director was interested. They didn’t have an issue with me not working on films before. They only wanted good music. When I got to know that the movie had Akshay Kumar in it and was related to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Swacch Bharat Abhiyaan, I knew I had to do this, no matter what.”

How did he go about composing the unconventional tracks for this unusual story? “The film needed instrumentations like folk with a rural setting. When I got the song Toilet ka jugaad, it made me a little nervous because it needed a live arrangement and it was me who had to make it at the initial level. When I left the office, I took a rickshaw and recorded the tune for the hook line on my phone. Then I recorded stuff that shows the routine of that life in a small village. That’s how I started,” explains Prasad.

About his other songs in the film, Prasad says, “For Bakheda, I composed the song twice, as the first draft wasn’t perfect. And as for Has mat pagli, I was on the sets when I got this song, a very sweet love song. I wanted to make something special so I tried to combine the flavour of the 90s with a current twist and add some folk elements.”

Prasad has not only composed but also sung the title track in the film with Akshay Kumar himself. On that experience, the musician says, “Meeting Akshay Kumar sir was a legendary experience. I come from a small town in North East India and have never seen a big superstar like him in real life. When he entered the studio on the first day, I felt that he was walking in slow motion. He greeted me very warmly. Then he asked me, mujhe kaise gavaoge? But when we got to recording the song, he was amazing and gave the track the energy it needed, completing the recording in just two hours. He also complimented me on my work and said he would like to work with me again. That is huge for a newcomer!”

When asked what the future holds for him, Prasad remarks, “I am doing a small-budget film that stars Sanjay Mishra. Coincidentally, it is also based in Mathura. Ekees Taarikh Shubh Mahurat is the name of the film and I am the solo composer. I have also sung a romantic track for the film.”

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