Before we begin our talk on music, composing and all that goes into making tunes sense-clinging, Parth and I first listen to Mangamtu in the car’s stereo. I have told him it is one of those first Gujarati songs that I have wanted to hum along. Interestingly, its lyrics join hands with its music in making the song rock hearts.
The film, Daav Thai Gayo Yaar, releases tomorrow and its composer and music director, Parth Bharat Thakkar is glad he is in Ahmedabad around the time. One to normally travel within the country and beyond for music concerts and performances for a large part of the month, 26-year-old Parth has been into music professionally since he was 13. You read that right and perhaps want to know how. “I was performing at a community event where Bipin Bapodara (he makes television serials) asked me to compose background score for his serial on Doordarshan Gujarati, Shyamli. He wanted music pieces on different emotions,” says Parth, about the start of his musical journey. Shyamli did well and he offered Parth to work on another serial, Mara Saajan Ji. So, did that hinder school routine, or raise concern about studies? “Oh, not at all. Juggling was never a problem since parents were very enthusiastic and encouraging. As for me, I ensured I got 60 per cent marks or above!” he laughs, adding, “You see, I started getting money for what I most enjoyed and hence wanted to get ahead with music.”
“Some time in 2009 I did music for Majja Ni Life and that got me full throttle into composing. Manhar Udhas heard it and called me; he was working on his 27thalbum, Anmol, and wanted me to do four compositions. After that, I did jingles for Gujarat government and my musical journey set forth,” says Parth, who was yet to step into his 21st year then. The young music composer soon completed graduation from J G College of Performing Arts in Ahmedabad and planned on moving to Mumbai. That’s also when something fateful awaited.
“I got a call from a sound engineer friend in Mumbai informing me about a mainstream director requiring someone to assist him. I had just one day to decide and I chose to go. Another few days would decide whether or not I would stay longer in the city. The music director called to confirm that we would work ahead and that I had five days to pack up stuff from home and be back in Mumbai for good. I had about six lakh rupees which I used for setting up my music room and taking up a rental apartment. Five days on, I called him to say I was ready. To my utter shock, when we spoke, he told me, ‘We’ll work out something some other time’. Imagine, I was all set, in a new city, with no work!” says Parth, who was emotionally broken and disturbed with this turn of events.
“That’s when my wife Jui told me something that gave me power and an emotional boost. ‘Iski wajah se Mumbai to aagaye’ she remarked then, and that’s how I began looking for work. I called up Monty Sharma who I had known for a while and luckily he offered me a film rightaway,” recalls Parth.
Singh Sahab The Great, Ramleela, Sharafat Gai Tel Lene, Ek Tha Hero (unreleased) are films Parth has worked on; these include background scores for some, music compositions for others. Unlike working on Gujarati films first and then moving on to Hindi, for Parth it was Hindi film projects that came by before composing Gujarati film music. “When I had begun work in Mumbai, I got a call to compose background score for Bey Yaar. Next was music for Gujjubhai The Great and Chhello Divas. This opened new vistas. A Marathi film director approached me for songs and background score for his film Bho Bho. Creative people took note, so much so that I even got a call from Shreyas Talpade appreciating my music,” smiles Parth, who lists a few ‘firsts’ for Daav Thai Gayo Yaar – “Shankar Mahadevan and Armaan Malik have both sung their first Gujarati songs. Aishwarya Majmudar has not only sung but also written the lyrics of Mangamtu…”.
Currently, Parth is working on Mrigtrishna, a Hindi film by Norway-based Himanshu Gulati, based on atrocities on women in Rajasthan. “It will have interesting music,” he promises. So, does he work during days or nights? “Any time…if I am composing music, I’d say my family plays a supporting role,” says the music composer who lists hard work, faith in God, social media, contacts, good luck as mantras that work, in that order. And despite love for Hindi films, there’s a wish he harbours: “That people increasingly listen to Gujarati film music and make it their caller tunes!”
Now, that’s what is true blue Gujarati spirit.
CY Photographer : Marmik Shah
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