One of the first things that comes to mind when thinking of India is Bollywood, the Hindi language film industry based out of the bustling city of Mumbai. The most notable characteristic of these motion pictures are the elaborate song-and-dance routines that have been defining business since the 1930s. More often than not these numbers drive the movie as opposed to a traditional plot line, making the music arguably the most key element to the success of a film.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Marc D Muse, an established songwriter and producer who has orchestrated nearly 40 film scores for Bollywood. He has worked closely with Grammy Award-winning composer and musician A.R. Rahman and is currently operating under the Meet Bros, a flourishing music director brother duo. With the number of songs required to create a Bollywood movie, I asked Muse to explain the typical process for getting such a large amount of work done while staying in sync with busy filming schedules.
“We have very limited time here. We have to finish quickly. We get a project and they will set the release date, maybe for next month, so we have to make it fast. It’s not like Hollywood; time is of the essence. Typically there are three or four programmers and we split the reels and go from there. One will be good with melodies, another will specialize in action sequences, and so forth. I’m a drummer by trade so I work mostly on the action pieces.”
I was also lucky enough to have stopped by the studio as singer-actress, Khushboo Grewal, was dubbing some post-production tracks for an upcoming Meet Bros release. She has been working for the Indian entertainment industry for roughly ten years, having started as a host for the prominent Bollywood television network, B4U, then moving into acting for Punjabi films and TV soap operas. A few years ago, Grewal made the transition into music after being featured on the soundtrack for the second installment of the popular Hate Story film series. She is now primarily featured on Bollywood soundtracks. The piece she was perfecting in the shot below was also one of Muse’s many works.
In addition to Bollywood scores, Muse is currently collaborating some projects with LA-based producer, Professor, who has written songs for American pop stars such as Christina Aguilera. I cannot release the names of the other artists he’s co-writing songs for at this time, but, as someone who heard the rough cuts, I can say with certainty that soul music fans should be waiting with bated breath!
Keep up with all of Muse’s new tunes here on his website.