Crew composer duo Akshay-IP on remixes, social media followers: ‘End of the day content is the king’ - Hindustan Times

Crew composer duo Akshay-IP on remixes, social media followers: ‘End of the day content is the king’

ByAnurag Bohra
Jun 18, 2024 06:11 AM IST

Composer duo Akshay and IP, who commenced their Hindi film career with Choli Ke Peechche, reflect on remixes, independent music and social media trends.

Akshay Raheja and IP Singh made their Bollywood debut as a composer duo in Kriti Sanon, Kareena Kapoor, Tabu and Diljit Dosanjh-starrer Crew (2024). Akshay and IP, in an exclusive interaction with Hindustan Times, reflect on revisiting Choli Ke Peechche, independent musicians and the role of music in creating societal awareness in present times. Excerpts from the interview. (Also read: Crew song Choli Ke Peeche: Kareena Kapoor grooves on remix of Madhuri Dixit's iconic number from Khal Nayak. Watch)

Akshay Raheja and IP Singh made their Bollywood debut as a composer duo with Crew.
Akshay Raheja and IP Singh made their Bollywood debut as a composer duo with Crew.

Akshay Raheja, IP Singh praise Rhea Kapoor

On being asked about maintaining the authenticity and uniqueness while creating peppy tracks, party songs, Akshay opines, “As musicians, our primary objective is to progress the storyline of the movie through our music. Our focus has always been on serving the narrative rather than targeting a specific audience. We believe it's essential for the songs to complement the movie. Most of the songs in the film are used to propel the story forward, rather than being traditional lip-sync songs. This was a positive aspect for us, especially when reinterpreting iconic songs like Choli Ke Peechhe Kya Hai and Sona Kitna Sona Hai. While these songs have already captivated audiences for years, it's also a challenge to do justice to them. We are thankful to the producers and director for giving us this opportunity.”

IP, further said, “I felt the same way. We were really enthusiastic about the movie's storyline and the talented people we were collaborating with. The film itself is very lively and visually stunning. Rhea (Kapoor), as the producer, always encouraged us to create something new in the music. Her support gave us the confidence to attempt something that hadn't been done before. Rhea used to get annoyed if someone asked her about a reference, which actually turned out to be helpful for the song Choli Ke Peechche. Since there was no reference, we even included Punjabi rap in the song. At this stage of our lives, we coincidentally found a fantastic team. As a result, our creativity naturally flourished. When everything comes together, it pushes you towards creating a great product and great music.”

Akshay Raheja says this is the best time for indie-music

On being quizzed whether there are better opportunities for independent music in present times, Akshay says - “I believe that this is the best time for independent music. You can create, compose, and release your own songs from the comfort of your home. There's no need to rely on a big label - you can release your music independently and have it reach all platforms. Nowadays, young composers are providing opportunities for independent musicians. In the past, you had to wait in line outside of studios, but with Instagram and YouTube, it has become much easier to gain access. This doesn't just mean access to music companies and producers, but also the ability to connect with listeners.”

IP Singh says legacy of classics shouldn't be tampered

When asked about the apprehensions while revisiting classic songs, IP points out, “When composing a song, there's always the possibility that some people will like it while others won't. It's difficult to say if we haven't done it well. In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with creating a remix of a song. When I was younger, I listened to a lot of remixes and discovered new sounds and styles through those songs. Instead of feeling pressured because the song is iconic, we should consider the song's legacy when composing music. The legacy of the song is what is close to people's hearts. Therefore, our effort should be to not deviate from that feeling. When you listen to the songs of the Crew, you can hear the voices of Ila (Arun) Ji and Asha (Bhosle) Ji. We didn't want to recreate those parts, as it might have spoiled the song.”

IP also speaks about his association with Ricky Kej and calls him his “elder brother” and a “good friend”. He tells us that he considers it as a contribution towards a noble cause since Ricky makes songs for the environment.

IP Singh feels music has the ability to inspire

On being quizzed if music can play a role in spreading awareness in society, IP says, “Yes, indeed. If you are not engaged in a social cause but simply making good music, that in itself can inspire people. It reaches people's hearts and can bring about change within them. The first thing you can do for the world is to wholeheartedly commit to whatever work you do. You can convey a message through your songs, bring happiness to people, and try to alleviate their pain. Eventually, we will also create songs with meaningful messages. To do so, one should have enough life experience. As a Sikh, I can say that our Gurus have instructed in Gurbaani what to sing in which Raag. Whether it is Sant Kabir or Bulle Shah, we use their music to introspect and become better human beings. We will always strive to convey the messages of love, brotherhood, harmony, and empathy through our music.”

Akshay Raheja on social media trends

When asked if peer pressure in the digital age about social media trends and followers can affect the creativity of young musicians, Akshay opines, “If you stay true to your art, you will stay on the right path. It's easier for us to say because we come from a time before social media. We've seen the change. Today's generation has grown up with mobile phones and the pressure to gain followers. However, if we approach a label or producer today, the quality of our work is still what matters most. In any art form, followers should increase based on merit. We should also give credit to influencers who follow trends and create songs, as it's not an easy job. Posting something every day takes its toll. At the end of the day, content is the king.”

IP, concludes by saying, “People are in social media because it is a part of our lives. It will continue to be relevant as long as it remains in our social structure.”



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