Year 2016 could not have ended on a better note for Amaal Mallik. For the second time consecutively, his compositions have featured on Radio Mirchi Top 100 Songs of the Year. After his song ‘Sooraj Dooba Hai’ (‘Roy’) shot to the top spot in 2015, hits like ‘Kar Gayi Chull’ (‘Kapoor & Sons’) further cemented his position. Both the songs have won the Diamond Discs at the Mirchi Awards. At 25, Amaal is the second youngest composer to bag a Filmfare Award with only Rajesh Roshan picking one at 21. He has also bagged accolades at other award ceremonies besides Radio Mirchi Awards, TOIFA and the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Award for the Best Music Director. Not just in India, he is also creating waves overseas.
Recently, two of his films — ‘Sarbjit’ and ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story’ — made it the Oscar list. In an interview with BT, the composer charts his success story and what the future holds for him…
You have ended 2016 on a high note…
Yes, many of my songs were received well. ‘Soch Na Sake’, ‘Tu Bhoola Jisse’, the songs in ‘Sanam Re’, ‘Kar Gayi Chull’ and ‘Buddhu Sa Mann’ (‘Kapoor & Sons’), ‘Sab Tera’, ‘Bol Do Na Zara’ (‘Azhar’), ‘Salamat’ (‘Sarbjit’), ‘Kuch Toh Hai’, the tracks in ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story’… the list is long.It must have been really tough to compose for a films like ‘Airlift’ and ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story’, which are rooted in reality.
Certainly so. ‘Airlift’ was inspired by incidents of the 90s, and I had to travel back to create music belonging to that era, and still make it connect with my generation. On the other hand, composing for ‘MS Dhoni: The Untold Story’ was a dream come true, as he is the only cricketer whose biopic has been made while he is active in the game. I had composed music for a few commercials featuring Dhoni, but never thought I’d score the entire soundtrack for his film. Dhoni’s album is a fine blend of rock and orchestral music. It’s not a regular soundtrack and I’m glad I got the chance to do something like this so early on in my career.
You have turned singer, too.
A lightly sung scratch by me was loved by Karan Johar and Shashank Khaitan who felt my voice did justice to the song and suited Varun (Dhawan)’s character and his age in the film. The track lists the various reasons a man loses his heart to a woman. Varun will be seen wooing Alia Bhatt in it.
How busy is the next year for you?
I am really excited about ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’, ‘Noor’ and ‘Mubarakan’. Having said that, I have decided to take it a little easy in 2017. I have released 46 songs in two years and I feel I should now focus on creating even better music. Also, I always look out for that spark in someone’s eyes, a need to prove themselves…I am here to support talent, and I will do it in whatever ways I can. I worked hard only to make my parents proud. Awards never mattered to me, but the pride in their eyes is my biggest award.