Renowned percussionist Shivamani made his debut as a film music director with the recent OTT release, Atkan Chatkan, and among his glittering line-up of playback singers was screen icon Amitabh Bachchan.
He says he could only think of Bachchan’s voice after composing the song “Daata shakti de” for the film, to bring alive the number’s spiritual, motivational and inspirational tone.
“I have to mention how the whole song happened and why Mr Bachchan sir. We wanted to create a song that goes beyond a religious song and be more of a spiritual, motivational, inspirational song. Especially the crisis that we have been through in the last few months, we need music that makes us stand up, motivate to fight and not give up. ‘Daata shakti de’ came from that thought,” the master percussionist told.
While composing, he thought of Amitabh Bachchan “because for so many decades, even right now, at this very moment, he is an inspiration for people across the country”.
“To try my luck, I had a word with him and sent the song to him with a request if he would like to lend his voice,” he said, adding: “I cannot emphasise enough how lucky I felt that he heard the composition and very happily sung the song for us. He is a very good singer, I would say.”
“I would also like to mention that he did not charge any money! It was the same thing with Hariharan anna and Sonu Nigam ji (other leading singers who recorded for the film), because, again, they are also some of the greatest talents of the nation. But they were so generous with me that they lent their voice because they believed in the song and the story of the film,” Shivamani noted.
The song is written by Runaa Rizvii Shivamani who, incidentally, made her debut as a film lyricist with the number.
“This was my first written song, composed by Shivamani and sung by Amitabh Bachchan. I could not have asked for more. Initially, some prominent lyricist was supposed to write the song but since they were occupied and could not accommodate time, Shiv ji said why not me,” recalled Runaa.
She added: “Being a singer and coming from a musical family, I always had a flair of writing in Hindi and Urdu. But I am a vocalist, and had never written anything professionally. So I wasn’t sure. However, everything fell in place and the song came out right.”
The film is on a 12-year-old chai delivery boy named Guddu, whose passion is to observe, listen and create new sounds. Rising beyond his daily mundane life, he forms a band with three other street children.
The film featured child pianist Lydian Nadhaswaram, who is also a protege of music maestro AR Rahman, who has presented the film.
Asked about his reunion with Rahman for the film, Shivamani replied: “Rahman is my brother, what do you mean by reuniting? We are always exchanging (ideas), and have never lost touch. Yes, the intention behind the film was to celebrate dreams. Most web series and shows online are very toxic in nature. He was very happy to watch the film, and that is why decided to present the film. Rahman met me when he was 10 years old, and I am just a couple of years elder to him. In a way, we have grown up as friends, together. He is family.”
“Atkan Chatkan” streams on Zee5.