Shashwat Sachdev is an National Award winning music composed in India who has worked with Tony Maserati, Marc Shaiman, Katherine McPhee and other globally known figures. His music features in some of the top Bollywood movies in India. Modern Diplomacy catches up with Shashwat Sachdev to know more about his inspiration, favourite projects, travel, awards and upcoming projects.
How did you land the opportunity to contribute a song to the upcoming Kangana Ranaut starrer Tejas?
I have composed the music for the entire film. I had worked with RSVP, the production house for the film, earlier for a feature film called ‘URI’ and the music was very well received following which the executive and creative producer at RSVP, Salona Bains asked me if I was interested in working on the music for another war feature film. I read the script and the idea of working on a film based on the Indian Air Force really resonated with me and that’s how I started working on it.
What about the upcoming movie Tejas resonates most with you?
I really enjoy writing music for action films and love scoring them because the emotional tangent in the film is really important. The music in action films is so significant that it defines the emotional factor of the movie and I really enjoy the contrast of being able to write something that is driven by adrenaline and score something that can pull the heartstrings of the audience.
Your previous composition for URI won several awards. Is writing motivational suspenseful music something that you see yourself doing for long?
I think anything that can stir a particular emotion is for me the true essence of art. If I can do something that can move anybody in any emotional way really makes me passionate and motivated to create more such music. And writing motivational music is something that I’m particularly fond of because I know I can use it in my life and my audience can use it in their lives, and I really want to continue working on making a lot of motivational music in my career.
Your song Baaton Baaton Mein went viral on Instagram while being used in several reels. What role do you think Instagram plays in the music industry today?
Short format mediums are really blowing up nowadays. Whether its Instagram reels or YouTube shorts, music performing well on these mediums kind of tell you how immediately gratifying your music is. For me, it is also a very important new format to test your craft or art on your audience and get immediate results on how people vibe with your music. When I make a song and people on Instagram react to it, I can immediately connect with my audience and understand whether they like my music or not. It tells me how successful I am in being able to convey the emotions of my music that I had set out to convey.
What is your upcoming song in the film Tejas all about? What’s the story behind the song?
This is my third war feature film and I wanted my music in this film to have a deeper emotional tangent than just motivational or hype music. So, most of the music in this film is more towards the romantic or emotional side of a soldier. Although there is hype music as well, the story behind this music is about every soldier that gives his life for the country having an emotional side to them of a family, a lover, a father, etc., and most of my music in the film is dedicated to that part of a soldier’s life.
What inspires your music? Who is your favourite musician?
My favourite musician changes every few months but what inspires my music the most is cinema. I’m most inspired by cinema and I love writing my music to cinema. I love watching films too and I’ve been watching films since I was a child. And I think that collaboration is the second thing that really inspires my music. To be able to come together to work with directors and storytellers and collaborate with different musicians is something that feels extremely motivating and inspiring to me.
Which has your favourite project been so far? Why?
For me each project that I have worked on is extremely important and I would say that all projects are very dear to me. However, something that I’ve most enjoyed working on would be a feature film last year called ‘Attack’. That particular project was very important because I made most of the music in the middle of the pandemic and the music I wrote for the film helped me sail through the most difficult times of my life.
If you could choose a celebrity for whose movie you could create a background score, which celebrity would that be? Why?
If I had a choice of writing the score for a celebrity, it would be for my favourite filmmaker in the world, Martin Scorsese. I would be obliged to write and make music for him. My second favourite celebrity that I would really love to work with is Steven Spielberg. I really look forward to working with them. In India, the person that I really love and enjoy writing music for is a dear friend of mine called Aditya Dhar with whom I have already had the pleasure of working with.
You often post travel stories on Instagram. Which has your top travel place been which has inspired your music deeply?
The place that inspires me most during my travels is Berlin. I feel the city is a true mishmash of great classical music because of the Berlin Philharmoniker and great electronic music because of the Berlin techno, and great synthesiser music owing to SchneidersLaden, a popular synthesiser shop in the city from where I source all my synthesisers from. I feel it’s such a great cultural melting pot for music. Few of my favourite musicians live in Berlin and whenever I travel there, I get the opportunity to collaborate with all of them. Also, in the last few years I have had the pleasure of living in Berlin for a couple of months every year, so I’ve had some time to get accustomed to the place now. My wife can also speak a little bit of Dutch and German, which really helps us.
Anything you want to share about upcoming projects.
There are quite some exciting projects lined up. I’m working on a film that a dear friend of mine, Aditya Dhar is producing, which is currently an untitled film expected to be released in February 2024. I’m also working on a feature film with a very dear friend of mine called Sudhanshu Saria, a national award-winning director and he’s making a film with Junglee Pictures featuring Janhvi Kapoor. I’m really excited about these projects. There is also another feature film that is expected to release sometime end of next year, it’s a Telugu film which is going to be my first Telugu film I’ve worked on and I am super excited for that.