When “Bandish Bandits” was released at OTT last year, it came as a breath of fresh air to music enthusiasts. Giving the best of both worlds, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy’s music was a treat for both Hindustani music lovers as well as pop music addicts. Music has always been an integral part of Indian cinema, but now the concept of five songs and a plot in Hindi films had a competitor. With the advent of OTT, long-form content has been king. Music has slowly gained prominence in streaming shows, woven as background scores or with songs placed if the script requires it.
Amidst dozens of web shows released every month in India, there have been a few that have been able to preserve the Indian culture of songs in one story.
In “Little Things”, the theme song “Pause”, sung by Prateek Kuhad, was soul-stirring and stayed with the audience due to Kuhad’s popularity quotient.
“Broken But Beautiful” received huge praise for music. The four melodic songs in the series were sung by Akhil Sachdeva, Amaal and Armaan Malik and Anusha Mani.
“Four more shots please!” gave many peby as well as soothing songs sung by Darshan Raval, Saachi Rajadhyaksha, Medha Sahi and Zoe Siddharth.
“Fittrat” had a mixed bag of songs by Altamash Faridi, Jonita Gandhi, Sharvi Yadav and Sandman.
Shankar Mahadevan shares the kind of experience he had when he created music for the web series “Bandish Bandits”.
“It was one of the very important projects in our career. It took us two years to compose his music. It was a gigantic project. It was like making three to four movies back-to-back. There was a lot of music woven into the script, and the script was developed based on the music. We got this amazing spectrum to compose – from classical to thumri to tarana to pop to virah to music competition to instrumental piece to Rajasthani folk music. There were so many variations in a project. Where do you get a chance to experiment so much? Shankar tells IANS. The trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy will compose music in a number of upcoming web series.
“Bandish Bandits have some great songs that many appreciate. This seems to happen a little less with movie songs on these platforms, ”says play singer Apeksha Dandekar. She has sung songs in movies like “Zubaan”, “Aatma” and “Always Kabhi Kabhi”.
Singer Shilpa Rao, who has sung songs in the movies “Ludo” and “Mimi”, has upcoming projects with the best digital platforms. She believes that OTT has given the music industry a chance to create unique music content with the time needed.
She says: “It’s fun to be a part of the digital space. Music has the power to adapt itself. OTT provides a chance for creators and artists with the magic of the times. Previously, if a movie song did not come in a weekend, it was done. We have gone back to the time when people took their own sweet time to like something. It gives listeners and creators time to warm up to at least have a feel. I hope this will continue. ”
Shilpa has given hits like “Ghungroo” (“War”), “Bulleya” (“Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”), “Malang” (“Dhoom 3”), “Anjaana Anjaani” (“Anjaana Anjaani”), “Khuda Jaane ”(“ Bachna Ae Haseeno ”),“ Javeda Zindagi ”(“ Anwar ”).
“Indian Idol” singer Abhijeet Sawant agrees: “Musicians have got another platform to release music. The little music directors can get a better exposure and money for their music.”
While Apeksha is of the view: “OTT shows can enable the exposure of new talents in music that people otherwise cannot hear in theaters. I guess it just opens up the music scene as there is more room to explore more genres due to the large amount of shows on OTT platforms. ”
Both Shankar and Shilpa are avid content monitors at OTT and strongly believe that digital platforms have changed the pattern of consumption.
Shilpa says, “Music is an experience form of art. From live auditorium performances to the digital platform, music is very agile. I’m an avid viewer of content and I can not do without a watch a day. ”
Shankar believes that music should match the content on OTT. “Although the series is gripping, I think they can focus more on the musical content because this will be a great opportunity to put out some great music that will stay for a very long time. They may have better songs on OTT. I’m completely hooked on all the web series coming out of our country like “Mirzapur” or “Family Man”. OTT is a fantastic medium, ”says Shankar.
At OTT, long-form content is the main selling point. The experience in movie theaters is primarily about watching a song. Listening to a song is more of a personal experience that OTT provides. “Cinema music can be a one-time experience, but the most important attachment with a song is on the phone when you are driving or when you are at home. It comes down to the fact that people have to go to things that they like, are not forced to, ”Shilpa believes.
However, there is a sect that strongly believes that film music has its own charm and that it does not go anywhere.
Gaurav Balani from “Parikrama” and “Inalab” bands say: “I do not think OTT can compete with Bollywood. There has certainly been a shift in the ‘power structure’, but Bollywood music still remains quite prominent simply because of that kind of promotional reach it contains.
“I think film songs still do well despite the OTT culture and maybe even provide more accessibility for people. However, I feel that there is an atmosphere in theaters that cannot be recreated at home. Movie songs in theaters also tend to get better publicity and exposure as opposed to being saturated on OTT platforms, ”says Apeksha.
Agrees Abhijeet: “I do not think OTT has reached the level of film music. At OTT, the music is completely situation-free. So it’s hard to actually compare OTT music to movie music. ”
However, he believes that film music is somehow fading. “Music companies have been given a different way to make more money on non-film music. We have to wait and see until the films are released in the theaters, ”says Abhijeet.
Apeksha believes, however, that promotion plays an important role in music popularity. “Again, this depends on the promotion that the music receives. In fact, audiences may be wider, but I don’t think music from movies can ever really die. Maybe it just takes more push to get all the music involved on different OTT platforms noticed. ”
“Film music” does not necessarily die, but it certainly develops, “Gaurav signs.
–Af Ekatmata Sharma