Friday, February 23, 2024

Samira Koppikar : Music is a way to ‘Explore, Experiment, and Evolve’

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Donning multiple hats in the field of music, Samira Koppikar has created her own niche with her songs like Aaj Phir Tumpe, Mohabbat Barsa De, Kabhi Jo Baadal Barse, and more. In an exclusive chat with The Pioneer, the songstress discusses her new album, creating her original music, and more.

K. Ramya Sree

The movie Hate Story 2 became popular for many reasons. But do you remember the song Aaj Phir Tumpe from that film? The song was so sensuous that one can, even today, easily recall the lyrics of it.

Well, it was Samira Koppikar the voice behind not just this, but also many popular songs including Mohabbat Barsa De from Creature 3D, Kabhi jo Baadal Barse from Jackpot, amongst others. She was nominated as “Female Vocalist of the Year” at the Mirchi Music Awards 2018.

She was also nominated for Best Lyrics at the Mirchi Awards for the song Maati ka Palang in the Anushka Sharma starrer NH10 in 2015. She proved her mettle as a composer with the song Bairaagi featured in the film Bareilly Ki Barfi starring Ayushmaan Khurana, Kriti Sanon and Rajkumar Rao featuring the talented Arijit Singh. She dons many hats that of a music composer, singer, and songwriter.

She has come out with her album which consists of four songs. She exclusively spoke to us about creating her original music in the independent non-film music space and said, “In the independent space, one experiences complete freedom in expression and the extension of one’s own musical vision. What better way than to put together a collective of songs that are unique, with your own storytelling and sound? Evolution happens when one experiments; that has been the beauty of this creative experience. One reflects on and understands one’s musical strengths and weaknesses. There’s nowhere to hide. My strength is melody and relatable, good lyrics. I’ve been exploring new sounds and discovering my sonic identity through this journey.”

She confessed that the response she has been receiving for her EP has been amazing. People are appreciating the musical and lyrical range as she has vocally tried to push boundaries.

“Baat Kya Hai is a romantic song about moments when you are perceiving your lover through all your senses, being one with nature. The winds whisper sweet nothings; you can feel the beloved’s presence in the sounds of the sea or a wafting fragrance. It’s a unique and catchy melody, upbeat with a Bossa flavor, and foot-tapping. It draws you in with a catchy, vibrant space. penned beautifully by the talented lyricist Shelle. It features clarinet playing by Shankar Tucker rendered in an unusual fusion style. It’s been interesting to explore a new Sonic realm with this song.

The second song called Sang Baarishon Ke is special for her since it is one of the first songs that she’s written lyrics for. “The vivid imagery, the lyrics, and this soulful melody came to me simultaneously. The music is deliberately minimal so as to keep the vocals upfront. The soundscape comprises only acoustic guitars, a live cello, and some ambient elements that give the song an intimate and relatable feel. The song drifts lyrically into a parallel English verse. It’s very different from what one has created and vocally rendered before.”

Going ahead, Boondon ki Saazish is a song that captures the romance of the monsoons, when one feels like dancing in the rain or going for long drives, taking in countless shades of green. Then there is Iss Dil Ka, a melancholic song where one is pining for the beloved. The heart is helpless, and so begins a tug of war between the heart and mind.

She has composed music for many stars. And when it comes to composing, the musician only considers the vision of the filmmaker, script, story, and character that the star is playing in the film. “So far, I’ve not had to keep the film star’s image in consideration, but if that ever comes up, one shall do the needful,” she said.

For Samira, music happened at a very young age. She shared, “Music has been part of my life since a very young age. I had formed a band in college and then went on to sing jingles for advertising. Then I started composing my own music, and along the way, composing and singing for Bollywood happened. My first project for a feature film was NH 10, Anushka Sharma’s film directed by Navdeep Singh. There was no turning back after that. I have composed and sung several film and non-film songs, and I find this journey of creating music really satisfying.”

She has been part of many successful songs and stories and we wanted to know which is her favourite so far. And o this, she said, “Bairaagi, a song from the film Bareilly Ki Barfi, is one of my favorites amongst songs that I have composed music for and co-sung. Vocals were rendered by Arijit Singh and myself. It was such a pleasure working with director Ashwini Iyer Tiwari on a song that featured Ayushmann Khurrana and Kriti Sanon.”

She further added, “Working with production houses and filmmakers like Colour Yellow, Aanand L Rai, Ajay Rai, Junglee Pictures, etc., and good directors like Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari and Navdeep Singh has been such a wonderful experience! These people have had a clear vision, which helps in the process of coming up with the music effortlessly.”

Her journey has been one of evolution and reflection so far. She shared, “It is beautiful to be able to tell stories through your music and songs. Songs are sometimes a form of catharsis, an expression of broken dreams or relationships. Some songs reflect the romance and the varied nuances of relationships. One feels special to be able to make a difference to people and transport them to a different world through one’s music. One needs to keep creating and keep putting out musical content. That’s the only way we will explore, experiment, and evolve. It’s important to be authentic and not be too affected by what commercials dictate. Yes, bread and butter are important. But as musicians, we create from the soul. It’s important to find a balance.” About her upcoming projects, she said, “There are some interesting collaborations, including a song that I composed for the title track of an upcoming feature film. I’ve featured IP Singh, lead singer of the band Faridkot. There are some non-film collaborations with artists like Anand Bhaskar Collective and Sanam in the making. I’ve composed a very catchy Punjabi song for an upcoming series, and I am planning to feature the Nooran sisters on this track.”

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