Urban Asian had the recent opportunity to sit down with Vishal Khurana, the Music Producer, and Composer for Aarya. We sat down, as he explained his role in the Bollywood industry and his experiences working in Ram Madhvani’s, Aarya as a Music Director, Producer, and Composer.
Vishal has composed and produced music for films such as Neerja, another one of Madhvani’s productions, Pihu, as well as Jolly LLB 2.
What was the thought going on while creating “the soul of Aarya”. Keeping in mind that Sushmita Sen is such a strong personality.
“To be honest, I wasn’t aware that Sushmita Sen was going to play Aarya until the shooting for the project started and but till then I had already composed a large chunk of the score, including the Aarya’s main theme. Sushmita Sen has effortlessly transformed into Aarya and was just perfect, as I had imagined Aarya to be while composing. Sushmita Sen as Aarya is a strong woman and a vulnerable mother, determined to protect her family from any harm, as she battles with betrayal at each step. I wanted to create music that embodied all of that and also showcased the ominous fear looming around her character throughout the show. I enjoyed jamming with Siddhanth Madhvani, my Music Co-Producer, and experimented in different music styles to create the varied themes for Aarya.”
Sushmita Sen, whenever she is on the screen her personality and character commands our attention but at the same time the background score is also matching it up. How do you feel about it?
“It is heartening to have this kind of a response to the music of Aarya. The thought behind the music was not to let it remain as an accessory to a scene but to communicate to the audiences what was going on in the headspace of the characters on screen. Scenes where we witness Aarya’s strength & power, we have the score communicate her inner fears & vulnerabilities, and in the scene where we see her delving with the betrayal from her family & battling an inner conflict, the music & score depicts a sense of determination & is like a call for ‘action’ or war.”
Do you think the background score is not as much credit as a song in any movie or any series?
“In contrast to the west, yes, in India, in the majority of the projects a background score is still treated as post-production & technical job. However, this thought process is definitely taking a complete turn with the advent of the OTTs & digital mediums where now the audience is consuming a lot of Western content alongside the Indian content, and that has pushed the creators & producers to strive for good quality content with greater production values that can be at par with international standards. I am lucky to have Ram Madhvani Sir who always believes in the music to have equal standing as any character on his projects and gave me the freedom to experiment in my music. The release of AARYA’s OST featuring themes from the BGM of the show and its success, I believe, will pave a new trend in the industry. This acknowledgment and positive response from the audiences will surely motivate me and other musicians in the future and we can hope to see great musical scores feature in all our content, be it web-series or films.”
via Vishal Khurana
Your favorite background score of any movie or series, apart from Aarya?
“AR Rahman’s score for ‘Rang De Basanti’ was eclectic and in complete contrast to the scenes. That definitely, for me, is the best score to feature in a Bollywood movie. I am also in love with the late Ennio Morricone’s heartfelt score in ‘Cinema Paradiso’, and Hildur Guðnadóttir’s morose score for ‘Joker’.”
How was your experience working for Aarya especially keeping in mind that it was Sushmita’s comeback
“I am privileged to be a part of Aarya, and Sushmita Sen gave me so much love & encouragement for my music during Aarya, and that is something that I will treasure all my life. The experience was very liberating as we explored different styles in music to create the score & I could juice out each and every musical piece that was created while scoring the show. Also, creating the Bhagavad Gita song was an experience in itself and Ma’am’s powerful portrayal of Aarya at the crossroads fighting her own life-battle akin to Arjuna in the Battleground of Kurukshetra took it to a completely new level. I can’t wait to create more music for Sushmita ma’am on her future projects.”