While rumour has it that Sanjay Leela Bhansali will be using the songs from Inshallah in his alternate project Gangubai, the fact is that the filmmaker-composer is busy composing an entirely new soundtrack for the film.
“There’s nothing in common between Inshallah and Gangubai, except for Alia Bhatt. While SLB’s music for Inshallah comprised soft romantic ballads, he’s going in the opposite direction in Gangubai. The songs will be raw, earthy, and folksy. For the first time, SLB is doing a folk-based music core,” says a source close to the director.
This hints at a trend of film directors serving as their own music providers, the prime example of this being Satyajit Ray. “There is a genuine music composer dormant in many filmmakers. Raj (Kapoor) sahab used to compose a lot of his music in his own head. Then he would share his creations with Shankar-Jaikishan, who would then mould the compositions into a sophisticated work of art. Another great filmmaker, the underrated Raj Khosla, was a singer-composer who collaborated with Laxmikant-Pyarelal for some fabulous music,” Bhansali shares.
As a music composer, Bhansali admits his greatest inspiration, impetus, and motivator is Lata Mangeshkar. “My greatest compliment as a music composer came to me from my idol Lataji for the music of Bajirao Mastani. She said she liked my songs and the way I’ve filmed them. She has inspired all my films, and she told me that the ‘Latpat latpat’ opening of my Pinga song was from her song in V Shantaram’s Amar Bhoopali. Then she affectionately said, ‘Aapne mera Latpat latpat utha liya,’” he reveals.
The filmmaker adds there are other influences simmering seductively in the soundtrack. “I am also proud to say that the number Deewani Mastani is completely inspired by Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s style of composition. Bajirao Mastani is a tribute to the voice of Lataji, the music of Laxmikant-Pyarelal, and the cinema of K Asif and V Shantaram. I am very proud to have absorbed all these influences,” he concludes.