Hindustani Way, a Hindi album composed by A.R. Rahman and sung by Ananya Birla, which comes just in time for the Indian Olympic team ahead of the global event, has been turning into an earworm of sorts. The jingle is an attempt to cheer up the Indian team participating in the Tokyo Olympics. Ever since it was released, the song has been receiving wide acclaim.
A legend in the making
Singer and composer Nakul Abhyankar who had mixed this song, says that he’s thrilled with the response the track has been getting. “One day, Rahman sir called and told me that we needed to master and mix the song Hindustani Way in just one week. My friend Kumaran had programmed the song along with Rahman sir who is very particular about a track’s health — how clean and clear the words and instruments are, etc.,” says Nakul.
After all the work was done, they sat in Rahman’s car, listening to the final mix of the song. “We were blown away,” adds Nakul, the excitement in his voice still palpable.
Stating that AR Rahman has been carrying the identity of Indian music culture for a long time, Nakul shares some more insights from the making of the song. “I remember he’d asked us to record some live drums for this song, and just as we wrapped up our live recording session in the auditorium it started raining and there was literally a downpour. We felt lucky because mics are so powerful that they catch the sound of the rain too,” shares Nakul, uninhibited in telling us that creating the song has been a great experience.
The upbeat, three-minute video features India’s winning moments at Olympics, showing different players such as Leander Peas, Vijender Singh, Abhinav Bindra, Mary Kom, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik. The song also shows the training footage of this year’s Olympics contingent.
To National-Award-winning singer Shashaa Tirupati, the video is not only a song but also an emotion that’s been carried beyond the borders. Reiterating the fact that music has the power to inspire and uplift athletes and raise their bar, Shashaa adds, “Music is like companionship. So anything that has the ability to influence us with rhythms and beats, and makes us groove, will get anyone to fall in love with it instantly.”
Shashaa, who has recorded several songs under Rahman, says that while music is always an adrenaline-booster the inspiring lyrics and peppy tunes of Hindustani Way worked big time. She also believes the song acts like a pep-up for many people and singers. “Crooning such numbers for athletes headed for a bigger cause means a lot.” Shashaa believes Rahman and Ananya have been the best combination. “Ananya has done a great job!” she adds.
Catching the beat right
While the catchy, high-on energy song has been composed such that its rhythmic beats can motivate and inspire athletes (or anyone else listening to it), it seems to have been equally exciting for musicians and singers to work on such songs. I think many athletes might have surely gone back to listen to songs like these, states Shashaa.
Former Indian Idol winner Abhijeet Sawant, who had earlier composed and performed for National Games in Delhi, remembers singing such numbers as an experience very unlike crooning for a regular film song.
“Singing for a number in a film or a private album is purely fictional where you follow a story and protagonist, but there’s always pride in singing for a national anthem or for a song that unites the nation. It’s the patriotic spirit that keeps the people united. And when the song is as riveting as the Hindustani Way, it starts going viral and definitely you will always carry that pride,” says Abhijeet Sawant.