I want young Indian composers to be able to do more than just film music. I want to give them the skills that will enable them to create their own palette of sounds instead of having to write formulaic music. It doesn't matter if they become sound engineers, producers, composers or performers - I want them to be as imaginative as they like.
Music is the only passion I shamelessly indulge in. However, for recreation I enjoy watching movies. 'Wizard of Oz' was the first film I ever saw, followed by the 'Bond' movies. I also watch a lot of World cinema through DVDs mostly brought by one of my best friends who's now based in Toronto.
I'm a Sufi Muslim, I would say. I believe in using the medium to create a good vibration because art is so important to society. Some projects I don't do because I feel that it's going to create a bad vibe. I don't do propaganda films that are anti another religion, anti-Muslim or anti-Hindu.
Compared with other Indian film composers, I only write about six movies a year. Others write up to 60.
I usually work on a film soundtrack for two years, turning in a song every few months, and that keeps my creative energy high, because I'm constantly rotating projects. The trick is to make sure I don't work too hard and get exhausted.
The demand in India is to have a hit, which becomes a promotion for the movie and makes people come to the theater. You have five songs and different promotions based on those. But when I do Western films, the need for originality is greater. Then I become very conscious about the writing.
A good film demands its own score, and if you are a musician, your conscience will never allow you to do something mediocre for a good film.
I like to see a film and then start scoring it in my mind while doing something unrelated. You just grasp a film and start working, and something unpredictable comes out from a third element. The mind, the more active it is, the more productive it is.
Beautiful film music can be made relevant to any period.
I compose music for films, and by the grace of God, I've got a few awards. That's it.