While AR Rahman has been watching the West for a few years, there is an American composer who is interested in Bollywood. Wayne Sharpe, who previously worked on the background music for Gangajal and Apahran by Prakash Jha, composed a patriotic song called “Dhan Dhan Dharti” for his latest film. The song begins with excerpts from Vande Mataram.
âIt was a big challenge for me to include elements of India’s national song and then compose a patriotic track,â says Sharpe. âI have learned various elements of Indian music and understand Indian music to a large extent. I don’t understand the language, so Prakash introduced me to the script and explained the theme of the film to me, âhe says.
Sharpe also has great esteem for Gulzar with whom he worked. âGulzar is an extraordinary poet. Although I don’t understand Hindi or Urdu, I get translations, âhe says.
He worked on Western instruments in Los Angeles, then recorded with the Prague Orchestra then added Indian instruments in India. The song was therefore recorded in three countries.
Sharpe also composed for the highly acclaimed film Lahore and now he looks forward to two more Indian films – one is an English crossover film and the other is a quintessential Bollywood film. But what prompted the composer to come to Bollywood? AR Rahman is one of the reasons he was drawn to India. âI heard Rahman’s Taal soundtrack for the first time. It just changed my way of seeing Indian music. I’m a huge fan of him and would love to collaborate with him someday, âsays Sharpe.
He is also a fan of Ustad Sultan Khan. âI had the chance to work with him. I was delighted, âsays Sharpe, adding:â Working with Shankar Mahadevan and Sonu Nigam has also been a great experience. They are incredible singers.
Sharpe thanks Prakash Jha for bringing him to India. âHe’s a filmmaker who makes serious films that give me the opportunity to compose intense music. I like working on darker and more intense soundtracks, âhe said.