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‘Bollywood gave me a different playground to create music’: Samira Koppikar on balancing film and indie projects 

Before debuting as a vocalist with Aaj Phir Tum Pe (Hate Story 2, 2014), singer-songwriter Samira Koppikar was an indie performer. Jazz musicians Louiz Banks and Joe Alvarez’s protégé then turned composer with Maati Ka Palang, which she also crooned, in Navdeep Singh’s Anushka Sharma-starrer NH10 (2015). 

Today, the Mohabbat Barsa De (Creature 3D, 2014) songstress is dropping her single Kaanch Ke on Zee Music, starring Aahana Kumra. She speaks to us about film and non-film works, being a female composer and more.   

What’s your new single about?

I wanted to express that today, relationships are as fragile as glass. The first two lines of the song, ‘Badla nazariya hai, nazrein aur nazaare hain badle…’ explore the fact that at times you’re back to the same place in life and your perspective changes, even if the memories are the same. 

Your last single, Bebasi, was in 2014. Why the gap?

I set up my own studio and have been on a streak of creating music. I wanted to focus on composing for films and indie music took a backseat. But this year, I will put out more singles as well. Private music is the extension of an artiste’s personality, while with composing, you have to stay true to the script and someone else’s vision. Creatively, both are equally satisfying. 

What was joining Bollywood like after being an indie artiste?

It was interesting. Creating music in the context of a movie brings out different aspects of an artiste. Maati Ka Palang was about death. I’d probably not make such an intense number on my own. Bollywood gave me a different playground to create music. 

You composed Bairaagi (Bareilly Ki Barfi, 2017), which was nominated for awards but didn’t win. Were you disappointed? 

Awards are milestones to keep a check on where you have reached. Being nominated with Amit Trivedi and Pritam was in itself something; especially for a female composer. The gender doesn’t matter, but I’ve been asked if I have a shadow composer. Initially, I’d feel that people don’t take me seriously. Now, I feel my work is being recognised. Today, content is most important. The patriarchal set-up is changing.

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