The song ‘Kanpoora’ from Deepti Kakkar and Fahad Mustafa’s documentary KATIYABAAZ ostensibly depicts the current situation of Kanpur city. Composed by Rahul Ram and Amit Kilam of Indian Ocean Band, the song was made a year and a half back.
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Says Rahul Ram of the band, “The idea of the song was with the makers. Varun Grover has written the song and it was made a year and a half back. It’s not a message driven but a hard-hitting track. Basically, it is trying to convey how gradually the city of Kanpur is decaying. ‘Kanpoora’ is a dark humor, sarcasm on the current scenario of the city.”
The film highlights the issues faced by the city of Kanpur due to power cuts and failures and Rahul, who has studied in the city for two years, finds it quite relatable. He says the situation there has worsened. “Kanpur has turned into a filthy and polluted city now. It used to be fondly called as ‘Manchester of India’ once. However, the industries are slowly getting ruined because of the various issues. So the song is not just a metaphor for Kanpur but for the entire state of Uttar Pradesh.”
Rahul, who has seen the documentary, says, “It’s a realistic documentary. Mumbai people might not understand as they never faced power cuts. While the rest of India, who has been suffering this problem, will well relate with it. People generally assume documentaries to be boring. But when you’ll watch KATIYABAAZ, you will go crazy laughing,” and adds, “It puts across everyone’s point of view, from local public to politician. It explains why people are compelled to do theft. Nobody is wrong or right here. Everything is so real. It’s against nobody.”
The Indian Ocean composition ‘Kanpoora’ harks us back to their two songs ‘Des Mera’ and ‘Zindagi Se Darte Ho’ from Aamir Khan’s PEEPLI LIVE. Ask about the similarity and Rahul says, “Both the films and songs have Indianness to it. It is not our specialty to do such songs. It is done as per the situation or requirement of the film.”
While Indian Ocean band has been into existence since 90s, it is still not much into Bollywood compositions. Although, they have been part of few but meaningful Bollywood projects. “Bollywood is not our ultimate goal. We are untouched with Bollywood because firstly we stay in Delhi, secondly there’s always constraint or restriction in composing for Bollywood. It’s not easy here and you have to curtail your creativity. For instance, when we did a 9 minute song for PEEPLI LIVE, Aamir said it’s too long. The audience is not prepared for such long songs. So we made it short to 3-4 minutes. Doing live shows is far better than composing for Bollywood. At least you have that freedom in live performances.”
“Bollywood just doesn’t understand creativity. However, people like Aamir Khan, Anurag Kashyap, Prakash Jha let you be yourself. The younger lot of filmmakers like Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, Tigmanshu Dhulia, etc prefer our type of music, “Rahul says on a parting note.