Agnee’s Mohan Kannan ‘Didnt Know Kahani Was Part Of Laal Singh Chaddha’
Singer-songwriter Mohan Kannan, who is also the frontman of Agnee talks about his recent single for Aamir Khan’s Laal Singh Chaddha, completing 15 years with the band and the gap between independent and film music.
Mohan Kannan is one of the few singers-songwriters in the country who has had found fame in both Bollywood and independent music space, thanks to his heavier barritone. While he acknowledges that non-film music has gotten bigger, film music continues to dominate the airwaves and streaming platforms.
“I still think non-film music has a long way to go in India. There are definitely avenues and platforms for it but in terms of making it survive on its own, we have years to go. A Hindi feature film is the biggest platform in India for music and will continue to be,” says Kannan.
The Mumbai-based singer has recently sung the song Kahani from Aamir Khan’s upcoming film Laal Singh Chaddha and as part of the popular indie rock band, Agnee’s 15 year anniversary, also released the track Kya Main Kya Tu, both of which released last month.
“It’s not just a song (Kahani) that stays for a few days and then disappears from people’s memories, it’s one that is being heard on loop by people and will probably stay for years to come. Being part of a song like this is just outstanding and I’m so glad to have sung it. I think Pritam and Amitabh have outdone themselves with the composition and lyrics,” he says.
“Normally, I choose which songs to sing on the basis of the lyrics, the composition, and whether or not I feel I can add value to the song. However, in the case of some composers like Pritam, Amit Trivedi and Shankar Ehsaan Loy, I don’t even need to check anything when they call me. I know that when they call, it would be a song I would love to be part of and I just land up at the studio. For Kahani in particular, I didn’t even know that it was part of Laal Singh Chaddha when I first recorded it.. it was only after a few days that I got to know about it,” he adds.
The commercial music industry, in its pursuit of chasing numbers and creating hits, often gets accused of following a formula, in terms of creating music which already exists and is popular among the masses. Kannan is quick to point out that as probably the only thing a musician should be wary of.
“The one thing that probably bothers me is when a “hit song” starts defining the next many songs that come after it.. and it just becomes more of the same. That’s probably one thing the industry needs to be wary of and we need to be able to trust new and unique compositions over songs that sound like other songs that have succeeded,” says Kannan.
“We need to move from formula based music to original music as I firmly believe that’s what stands the test of time,” he adds.
However, as he concludes, Kannan also feels that the current group of music composers in the film industry are creating soundscapes that are extremely different from each other, without really compromising on success.
“What’s great about this is that film music is not restricted to one kind of sound, and composers like A R Rehman, Amit Trivedi, Vishal Bhardwaj, Vishal Shekhar, SEL, Pritam, all co-exist and are all doing their brand of music and still managing to show astounding amounts of success with varying sounds and genres,” he signs off.