Sunday, 24 January 2021 : Local To Global News
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A Rendezvous with Music Maestro Shamir Tandon

Melodically-blessed Shamir Tandon, a renowned composer, has covered a very very long journey, at the speed of a jet, from an MBA and a Cost Accountant by profession having a 8-9 years stint with Singapore-based Virgin EMI, a very big multinational corporation, as CEO of Virgin Music India, and that, too, by creating music for films with mature and sensitive subjects.

Shamir Tandon - Musiuc Director

Starting his career in merchant banking, Hire Purchase & Lease and then Shamir took a major shift to entertainment when VIRGIN EMI music set up shop in India. He moved on from virgin in 2006 as a country head to pursue his dreams of composing music. Today, he has been a Managing Director and Music Director both with an equal ease.

In a meeting with him, he said that Music compositions come naturally to him -- its God’s gift and comes directly from There – ‘’I’m blessed by almighty’’.

In the world of music, he is looked upon as a very talented music director who excels in creating music for Madhur Bhandarkar trilogy --  award winning film Page-3 and the popular Corporate and Traffic Signal. Although, he started his journey with Raveena Tandon’s Stumped.

Music Director Shamir TandonA staunch believer in original music, Shamir, a young vibrant music composer who has carved a niche for himself in Bollywood – in a very short span of time. His interest lies in Intellectual world cinema and hence having done 7 films of substance in just 4 years, Shamir has been blessed to have legends sing under his baton.

Lataji and Ashaji have been very impressed by his songs – Kitne Ajeeb Rishte hain Yahan Pe and Huzoor e Ala. People have been mesmerized by his versatility ranging from the thought provoking Lamha Lamha Zindagi Hai, O What A Babe, One Love, Say Na Say Na, Bure Bure from Bluffmaster  to the huge Qawali – O Sikander, which was one of the biggest hits in 2006 and sung by the sufi singer Kailash Kher under Shamir.

Shamir has been nominated for various Awards across the globe – both for his films and advertising music – he has even won a few of them. He has to his credit more than 150 advertising jingles, audio visuals for popular brands like Coke, Pepsi, Liril, Reliance, Taaza, Samsonite etc. and has done the world cup anthem for the last World Cup where he made 11 leading singers sing in one song.

He is the only young and vibrant music director of his generation to have recorded  under his baton living legends like Lataji, Ashaji, Manna De (at the age of 86) and Jagjit Singh.

Shami Tandon Music MaestroShamir has recently hit the jack pot with the number 1 album of 06 07 – Asha and Friends where he has got Ashajit to sing with superstar Sanjay Dutt, Gorgeous Urmila Matondkar, Australian pace bowler Bret Lee and the Little champs – winner of the Zee Saregamapa.

The current year (2008) will have a new music release every alternate month by Shamir and the very Ist quarter will witness the release of music of Super Star, Mr White Mr Black and Sangeet Sivan’s click with a youthful subject and young actors, the music had to be different from the unique serious music done for films of Madhur Bhandarkar. It will be interesting to see the other side of Shamir’s music in this film.

The beginning of the new year has seen the release of the music of the film  Super Star by Ashtavinayak films (featuring Kunal Khemu and Tulip Joshi). With the music of this film, Shamir has made an entry into the realm of commercial cinema prior to which he was best known for his mature music in realistic movies of Madhur Bhandarkar having extensively used legendary voices in his past films, while in Super Star he has used a lot of young new voices.

Shamir was also responsible for marketing and distributing global acts ranging from the Beatles, Floyd, Frank Sinatra to Norah Jones, Robbie  Williams and Kylie Minogue. He was also instrumental in bringing down to India acts such ad Deep Purple, Rolling Stones, Richard Clayderman and Michael Learns to Rock to India.


There are some interview excerpts during a meeting with the famous music maestro… Shamir Tandon:

*When asked Shamir what made him shift from corporate to the entertainment industry- from a managing director of a multinational company to a music director?
He replied Entertainment is passion - we live just one life and
I always wanted to see the best of both worlds. I wanted to experience Nariman point - tie suit board meetings et al. I have seen that all and now I have started life all over again.

*Were you inclined towards music from an early age?

Yes, but I don’t come from a music family - just knew from childhood that music was great - would make my own songs and sing in school and college.

*How did you manage your corporate life and musical aspirations?
All through my 12 years of corporate life, my bosses always supported me to pursue my passion. I would work extra hours to balance both professions, needless to say working on weekends etc. But it was great fun.

*When asked how he got  Page 3 in his lap?
He said that he was sitting in a 5 star coffee shop in Mumbai - someone introduced me to Madhur Bhandarkar. He said he was looking at music for his forthcoming film. He said he dint want to go with the conventional big names of Bollywood. I softly hummed a few tunes to him and the next day he signed me on.

*Questioned on his fascination for legends – Mangeshkar sisters, Manna De, Jagjit singh while the industry is turning towards upcoming talents. Comment!
He was quick to reply that Why me - all of us -Indians have had Lata Didi, Ashatai, Manna De and more as a staple diet. We have and our parents and grandparents have grown on these legends. It is a wish of everyone that they keep singing. I am fortunate that i got opportunities to record them. I am blessed.

* When asked that his songs remind of the melodious yesteryears. Any conscious effort?
Shamir justified by saying that the kind of subjects I have done demanded that kind of music. I have  recently done some very youthful music going with the nature of films I am doing.

 *Your chemistry with Madhur Bhandarkar – since you've given music for all his films!
Smilingly, he said we are friends. We understood each other. Our film and music have complimented each other. I am glad the trilogy worked out well. Am grateful to him that we worked together on 3 consecutive projects.

*All the films you give music for are realistic / serious cinema. Comment!
Its coincidental. After page 3, people thought my music is cut for that kind of cinema only. Actually I would like to make music of all kinds. We are born listening to commercial music so that comes more easily than anything else.

*On his upcoming projects? 
Shamir said that I have films coming up with Ashtavinayak films, Sangeet Sivan, Rupali films -Sanjay Ahluwalia, Shemaroo, Karan Razdan, Popcorn - Sunil Shetty, Satish Kaushik, a single with Sunidhi chauhan and Taaza, Asha and friend Vol 2 and more.

*In an age of plagiarism you have always believed in legitimate  collaboration – Comment.
He said that I am lucky to have been able to work on some international projects. I have personally worked to make the song One Love for Abhishek -Bipasha where the boy band Blue collaborated with Shaan and  brought the entire project together. Now for virgin records I have done two recordings of Ashaji with Robbie Williams. Thats a big one.

*Your songs are beautifully written. Where do you get these ideas?
I like to sit with my writers and discuss words and thoughts with them. That makes a difference.

*When questioned on the menace of piracy and how to prevent it? 
Being very critical of piracy, Shamir said that its an age old concept - it has coexisted. I think more than building fear psychosis we need to educate the consumer that downloading without paying is illegal, that buying cds and sharing is not within the law. Most of the times the consumer is not even aware that what he is doing is not correct. We should run a campaign.

  Shamir’s eagerly awaited works include Fashion, Mittal v/s Mittal, some films produced by Shemaroo, Ashtavinayak Films, Percept, Sangeet Sivan and many more that he wishes to keep under wraps for reasons of superstition.

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