We caught up with Arpit Gandhi, a music producer who produced the music for Punjabi film Naughty Jatts to get his take on the music scene & his own musical projects!.
Arpit stepped into the music world at the age of 7, as a radio artist, on All India Radio. As a young child, he learned to play the piano and classical Indian instruments including the harmonium and bansuri.
Though his neighbours weren't fond of all the noise he was making, his keen interest in music led him to pursue music production at age 14, and ever since, there was no turning back.
His intimate knowledge of classical Indian music gives his productions and remixes an authentic cross-cultural feel.
Tell us about your producing for Naughty Jatts?
Arpit: Featuring Neeru Bajwa, Aarya Babbar, Roshan Prince, Binnu Dillon, BN Sharma and Karamjit Anmol as part of the cast, Pankaj Batra's and Multiline Entertainment's new film called Naughty Jatts is scheduled to release August 2013. It is a Punjabi romantic comedy where three guys are chasing one girl. All three leads try to impress the lead actress in their unique way. It comes out on August 2nd and form what I hear it is going to be hit.
How impressed are you with the current level of Punjabi cinema – Is it an exciting time to be involved with it right now?
Arpit G: I think it’s a great time to be in the Punjabi market be it music or movies. It’s right next to Bollywood and south Indian film industry. I was very excited for the project when I started it last year. And I am even more hyped now after hearing that some of the recent Punjabi releases are giving Bollywood movies a run for their money in north India. This could only mean one thing – quality and market will only get bigger.
Which singers and lyric writers have you worked with?
Arpit G: I have previously worked with Star Voice of India contents like Sumitra Iyer and bollywood fame Jonita Gandhi. Currently I am working with a few singers from Canada and India for my upcoming releases. For Naughty Jatts I worked with G-Deep who sang and wrote the lyrics.
What do you think of the quality of music which is being released in today’s market?
Arpit G: Music is changing and the way record labels handle music is changing. ‘Commercial’ music does have a very short shelf life but that’s what the labels are looking for. Something to get everyone to get on the dance floor and quickly get a 3 minute radio play.
But what I am seeing is there is an evolution in the style of music that is being produced and the sounds that are being used. This is great for new age producers who are making music at their home studios with a laptop and don’t necessarily have access to live dhol and table players.
They can simply get some pre recorded samples and as far as they have a sense of what is good and bad they can make some great sounding records that can appeal to mass audience. I do miss the classics though but again we always miss what we don’t have.
Do you feel the Bhangra scene is suffering because producers are, generally, relying too much on their signature sound?
Arpit G: I think it’s partially producers and partially the singers they tend to collaborate with. It’s a collaborative process and sometimes the producer wants to make a hit that sound just like the song that producer X made and the singers want to make a song that sounds just like singer Y’s song. Some producers are just known for their “signature” sound and with that comes taking a risk. Look at some of the biggest and successful producers/composers like Rahman… they are known for their music not a signature sound.
You have to take you self out that zone of making a song that sounds like this or that and just go with what feels right. If make the music you would listen to one month after making it, chances are that it is a good song.
So, what does influence you? How do you view yourself in creating music?
Arpit G: One of my biggest influences is the drive to create something that never existed before. If I ever feel out of it, I just stick in an old Kishore Kumar song or classical Hindustani music and I am full of inspiration.
Creatively, what do you think of the contemporary Punjabi music industry? Which artists excite you and do you think are maintaining standards?
Arpit G: I love that there are Punjabi artists all over the world who are making noise in India. It’s great to see the industry growing. It’s always exciting when you see regional music take a center stage and Punjabi pop industry has been happening for a few decades now.
If singers like Honey Singh can sing in south Indian movies and someone from Gujarat (me) can produce for Punjabi films I say things are definitely going in the right direction. I believe in people who are breaking the standards or statusquo.
I really like the stuff that Prabh Gill and Diljit are doing.
What are your thoughts on the prevalence of ghost production? Do you feel strongly about that and disingenuous artists?
Arpit G: Ghost productions have been around for a while. I personally think producers should stop working for peanuts and credit. Music production is an art and it needs to be respected.
If you are making music without getting paid and credit, you might as well make the music you enjoy making, learn new techniques, and enjoy doing what you do.
Ghost productions happen in India all the time for bigger production houses but the difference is that producers are hired, get consistent work, and are also credit for the work.
What does the future hold for you? Give us a teaser of some of your upcoming projects!
Arpit G: Ah! I would have to kill you if I tell you everything. I am currently working on my solo album which will feature different artists. Album is currently is in planning phase and I am still deciding on the theme.
There are also some films I am composing background scores for. And when I do have time between work and music, I collaborate with different vocalists to cover some of my favourite records.
We thank you very much for your time and appreciate your insight. We wish you all the best with your future projects. Any final message for the SimplyBhangra.com readers?
Arpit G: Thank you for having me at SimplyBhangra, keep up the good work and supporting us. Stay true to what you do and learn an instrument.
Oh yeah, you should also go and like/subscribe on social media and reach out to me if you are musically talented.