We love listening to songs. Almost all of us do. We love the singers, the actors who dance on the songs but only a few people care about the music production process. We have celebrated music directors since ages. From Naushad, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, S D and R D Burman to A R Rahman, Shankar Ehsan Loy and Pritam, we have had a history of great musicians because of which we have cult classic songs in every era, but have you ever wondered how a song is produced? How a musician works? We brought you a story of a musician who has delivered some great Marathi albums and some very well-known advertisement jingles, Mr Shantanu Ravindra Pande!
About Shantanu and His Way to the Music Industry
Born and brought up in a middle-class family in Ambajogai, a small town in Maharashtra, Shantanu has always been listening to classical music in his house. Both his parents and his elder brother are keen to music and have learnt Indian Classical Music. Shantanu was a bright child who focused on studies in his school while growing up in this beautiful musical environment. Later, he graduated engineering from College of Engineering Pune aka the famous COEP. It is during these days Shantanu found his own hidden talent.
Opportunity knocked Shantanu’s door as he got to provide music for a short film. He grabbed the opportunity and did so well that he kept on getting more such offers. Initially, he bought a musical keyboard which he played casually with his roommates and then professionally for some radio jingles as his popularity grew. All this while, he was doing equally great with his studies as well and he graduated his engineering with flying colours. He also got placed in a good company for his first job.
Meanwhile, he kept on getting more, and bigger opportunities. He composed advertisement jingles for Tata Tea, Crompton Pump, Bombay Stores, Venu Sabudana etc. During this period, he came in contact with two rising stars of Marathi Music Industry viz. Avadhoot Gandhi and Devdutt Baji. The three of them started working for a visionary Marathi movie director Digpal Lanjekar for his film “Fatteshikast.” Shantanu became Music Arranger under Devdutt Baji’s music direction. Together, they made such a wonderful album for Fatteshikast that it redefined the Folk Music of Maharshtra. The movie director Digpal Lanjekar finalized Devdutt Baji as the music director for his subsequent movies. Shantanu continued to be the music arranger for the recent Marathi Movies Pawankhind and Sher Shivraj. Seeing the splendid work of Shantanu as a music arranger, opportunities have started reaching his door and we will see him become a Pan India Music Director in the mainstream entertainment media very soon.
The Music Production, Arrangement and Programming Process
The process of music production is clearly something of a great journey in itself. In India, movie albums are produced according to the need of script. For example, let’s consider RRR. In order to show the growing friendship between Raju and Bheem, Dosti song is composed. For showing a chemistry between Jenny, Bheem and Raju and the gravity of moment, Naatu Naatu song is composed. Komuram Bheemudo is composed to portray Bheem as a symbol of revolt. These are the needs of script. These needs contain different sort of emotions. Songs are required to amplify those emotions. Same goes with background score. Lyricists do their job either before or after music composition, generally it’s prior to the composition so that composers can understand better what kind of music is to be provided. This is where music composition begins.
Be it composition of song or a background score, movie director explains the scene where song is to be played. Music composer gets the idea to set the basic tune for the song. It is completely a composer’s brainchild about what the basic tune for song is. That must be original. It may be inspired in some cases though. Next thing in music production is arrangement. That’s something Shantanu did in Fatteshikast, Pawankhind and Sher Shivraj and the upcoming movie of the franchise, Subhedar. Arrangement of music includes all the instruments that are played in the music to support the basic tune. Instruments can vary from classical Harmonium, Tabla, Sitar, Dholak to modern Guitar, Drum, Keyboard, Piano, Violene etc. They are all played at a certain pace, in a certain combination so that it gives the best experience. Sometimes these instruments are recorded separately and mixed electronically and sometimes these instruments are played live, all at once, after abundant rehearsal sessions in a recording studio. This one gives an authentic experience. Music piece gets ready after the arrangements. The background singers are engaged at this point. Music director explains the singers about the scale, tempo and other things regarding the particular music piece. After thoroughly going through the music, the singer rehearses the song multiple times until it meets the expectation level of music director. The song is then recorded in a studio. At this moment, a song is fully composed. All the songs of an album are composed this way. The album is then sold to the music labels (e.g. T Series, Zee Music etc). Sometimes a distributor is also engaged to distribute the albums with their copyrights to different platforms. Big music labels distribute albums by themselves.
Shantanu’s work with Devdutt Manisha Baji and Digpal Lanjekar
The Experience of music arrangements with Devdutt Baji for the 3 movies as described by Shantanu was wonderful. The most famous song from Fatteshikast, “Hechi Yel Deva Naka was composed overnight but the Qawwali Song “Wo Masiha Aa Gaya Hai” from the same album took much time and mammoth efforts. Checkout both the songs.
The chartbuster hit album of Pawankhind is by far the most versatile work of Shantanu. On one hand he arranged music for a Maharashtrian Folk song in the genre of Bharud called “Yugat Manadali” where he gathered all the folk instruments and made such a beat that made the audience crazy. At the same time, he arranged music for the superhit “Raja Aala” which has more of western composition. During the composition of Pawankhind album, there was a scene where Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj is descending fort Panhala along with his 600 soldiers and a duplicate. As per the plan, the duplicate was to be separated to follow the vulnerable path and Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj would go by the comparatively less enemy supervised way. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj got emotional at this moment but the duplicate Shiva Kashid is ready to die for his King. This scene and the subsequent scenes where they keep on going separate ways on a rainy night through dense forests, required a music piece which would portray all the emotions accurately, both through the lyrics and music. At this point Shantanu said, Avadhoot Gandhi dug out a perfect song from history, written by Saint Tukaram “Rani Nighata Shur” and then they arranged music for it. The wonder they created through this song made everyone cry at the theatres when it played! That, I think, is a sign of real achievement for an artist.
Listen to the Pawankhind Album in a jukebox here
After Pawankhind, Shantanu arranged music for the next film in Digpal’s franchise “Sher Shivraj.” The magic of making the brilliant music by the Duo of Shantanu and Devdutt worked in this movie as well. Everyone in Maharashtra is well familiar with this story. Still, creating such an engagement to the movie wouldn’t have been possible without the music.
The songs “Yelkot Devacha,” “Amhi Veer Zunjar” and “He Shaktipeeth Nayike” were also at par with the Duo’s previous work.
Listen to the Sher Shivraj album here.
Shantanu’s latest work has unveiled with the release of the latest movie in the universe of Shivraj Ashtak, “Subhedar”. He has done a phenomenal job as an associate music arranger and producer, specially for the background music of Subhedar. The movie is currently running in theatres and is going hit. Audience is appreciating many things about movie including its background score.
Shantanu’s work with Onkarswaroop for TDM and Chowk
Shantanu’s other notable works in the recent times include music arrangement, programming and production of the Marathi movie album “Chowk” (2023) and “Bakula” song from Marathi movie “TDM” (2023). Both of these works are done by Shantanu for another rising star in Marathi Music Industry, Onkarswaroop. Checkout Chowk movie songs and Bakula song here.
While asked upon the support of family for his career so far, Shantanu shared an interesting story. When he was offered his first album “Fatteshikast” for music arrangement, Shantanu resigned from his job and did not tell his parents about it. He shifted to his elder brother’s apartment in Mumbai for the work. His brother supported him with all the trust. The production went on for months and Shantanu kept on lying to his parents that he was doing job whenever asked upon. He completed the work. Movie released after a few days and a premier show was aired. Shantanu was obviously invited. Shantanu called his parents to Mumbai and surprised them in the premier show. He finally told his parents about the opportunity he got and that he wanted to further his career in Music Industry. His parents agreed to his career choice, and they are very proud of their son as he is proving his word.
Shantanu as a Singer!
Apart from being a brilliant musician, Shantanu is a very good singer as well. This is a song composed and sung by Shantanu himself. Listen to “Chal Duniya” on his site – https://www.shantanupande.com/music
A Genre Defining Musician
When you listen other individual songs on his site, especially Khwabida, you realise that this guy has a potential that of A R Rahman, Hridaynath Mangeshkar, M M Kreem and Shankar Ehsan Loy. His sense of music is far better than those established overrated copycats nowadays. Therefore, we need to celebrate him. We need to bring such talent to the heights of success. Team Words of DPM thanks Shantanu for giving us an opportunity to articulate his story. We look forward to see him become a successful music director and win many awards and more importantly, many hearts.
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