Formed in 2014, the music of the Mumbai-based music group Bombay Bandook features a soundscape that fuses raga-based melodies with a rock-heavy orchestral setup. While they started out as a competitive group at college festivals, they have performed at events and recorded extensively in the studio for the past two years. Their new track ‘Azad’ dropped on their YouTube channel some time ago and received a very encouraging response from listeners.
Explaining why the song was named ‘Azad’, lead singer Sannidh Shah said, “The central themes of the song and the video are emotional and spiritual freedom. The video focuses specifically on an individual character and their journey to escape their dreams and / or reality, as a means of imagining and visualizing a fairly abstract concept. We decided to name the song ‘Azad’ not only because it means freedom but also because of the way it sounds. The word is almost in an open syllabic structure and therefore correctly captures the essence of the song ”.
The song is accompanied by a well-shot video which is quite dramatic and metaphorical in nature. We see the protagonist (Shryas Porus Pardiwalla) in two completely different scenarios.
“The beauty of the story in the video is that it is open to interpretation. However, in order to give us the actors a feel for the concept, we were told to watch it like a dream within a dream. Something that you are extremely passionate about and want in life, manifests itself in the protagonist’s dream and in the same dream it is carried away and it ends up at square one, before waking up from its sleep. On these lines, we woven into the emotion, the feelings and the relationship and created this little tale. », Shares Shreyas.
The video presents him in two completely different avatars – one, in which we see him as a happy family man and the other, in which we see him in a disheveled state and running in search of what is probably gone. .
“It took a lot of character work to bring out the emotions in their purest form. From personalization to the use of emotional memory, to deep internalization and mental stimulation, I have worked with. I literally had to dig deep to find such dark emotions to express. I was exhausted at the end. I remember my director literally allowing me to sleep in his car the night before we resumed filming because he too realized how mentally, emotionally and physically trying this role was. But, what a learning experience it was! I think it was one of the best shoots I’ve ever been on, ”he adds.
The video also features Urvazi Kotwal playing the lead female role.
Speaking about her experience, she shares: “Describing or expressing vulnerability is something that all actors become aware of or find difficult at some point in their journey. We shot this video under extreme circumstances and faced several obstacles in the process. What I take away the most from this project as an actor is to be as uninhibited as possible, either emotionally or physically.
“I’ve known Shreyas since we were at school together. Working with someone you’ve known for a while makes things a lot easier. It’s easier to share points of view and come to a mutual understanding of what the scene or the director is asking for. Then there is no question of ego and arrogance being part of the equation. Knowing your co-actor in advance also cuts off nervous energy and makes your reactions more organic and instinctive.
The video, directed by Ritvik Tyagi and Rhea Talati, has a very interesting concept. It is simple and complex at the same time and makes the public think. The visuals are also very appealing to the eyes.
“A dream, as a concept, merges well with the idea of an incessant search for ‘freedom’ to escape the tensions of our realities. Our motivation was to wrap a story around this thought. I realized this back when the song was still called “Patdeep” (from the name of the raga the song is based on) and the word “Azad” stuck with me. We are trying to define freedom here in a more spiritual and emotional form. As the song progresses, the dream escalates in an isolated world, devoid of everything our character desires – a calm and serene landscape with a beautiful family living in a humble little house, ”says Ritwik Tyagi.
“Bombay Bandook manages to achieve something so unique and different with every song. The moment I heard Azad for the first time, I got extremely excited and started to have ideas in my head on how to spin a video around him. It’s surprisingly addicting and such an uplifting wellness song. I fell in love with the song the moment I heard it and have felt the exact same way ever since, ”says Rhea Talati.
While the video is shown on Bombay Bandook’s official YouTube channel, “Azad” can be heard on all major streaming platforms.