I did not want ‘Guzar Jayega’ to be just another ‘lockdown song’: Varun Gupta
By Bryan Durham - May 25, 2020
The feel Guzar Jayega producer and Republik Of Musik head honcho Varun Gupta was going for
Among the many ‘Anthems Of Hope’, one stood out because of the sheer number of artists that supported it. Called Guzar Jayega, it was a track meant to motivate “corona warriors” with a message: these are difficult times, but they will not last, this too shall pass.
At seven minutes running time, it has been narrated by Bollywood great Amitabh Bachchan and has 50 singers and 65 personalities from various fields participating in support. This includes the likes of Sania Mirza, Vijender Singh, Jaspinder Narula, Anup Jalota, Manoj Bajpayee, Leander Paes, Shreya Ghoshal, Sushil Kumar, Deepa Malik, Babita Phogat, Sonu Nigam, Shaan, Kailash Kher, Javed Ali, Jyoti Nooran, Akhil Sachdeva, Hans Raj Hans, Bhaichung Bhutia, Babul Supriyo, Richa Sharma, Mahesh Bhupati, Sunny Leone and Kapil Sharma, Jeet Ganguli, Jasbir Jassi, Ananya Birla among others.
We reached out to the presenter and producer of the track Guzar Jayega, Varun Gupta, founder and managing director of Republik Of Musik and The Project Hope to know more about the project. Here’s what he had to say…
We spoke about Guzar Jayega before its release. The Project Hope clearly is a project dear to your heart. With 50 singers and 65 known personalities on board, did you ever think this was going to be an impossible task?
Well, none of us ever imagined that we would be able to have such a big entourage coming on board with us to support the thought and initiative. This is for the first time in world history that 50 voices have come in together for a song done in one language, that too from their homes. Every single artist we approached came on board selflessly joining hands aiming to stand with the people in this crisis, stating: this too shall pass.
This entire project was recorded from home, videos were also made from home. Is Work-From-Home the way forward?
I believe, lately Bollywood is also following ‘Work From Home’ culture. We are an industry who knows how to adapt and excel, and that happens rapidly. Of course, this is something that has never happened before and it was quite challenging for me and my team. All the singers recorded their voices in their iPhones mostly, in fact the videos were also shot by their near and dear ones on phone only. Since the social distancing will persist for a while, I think Bollywood is pretty much ready for the ‘Work From Home’ game if you look around.
What was the driving force behind the making of this project?
The only driving force behind the making of the project was to bring a smile on the faces of everyone facing the crisis, the pain every individual is going through. None of us ever anticipated that we could face something like this in our lives. The main driving force was the thought that “We are together in this’ even if we are under a lockdown. The making of any such project involves many brains. Guzar Jayega is the brainchild of Jay Verma and me, but I would like to acknowledge how Tushar Wader and Nilesh Bhattacharya who head our music and creative divisions, took charge to make sure everything fell in place.
How did you convince Mr Bachchan to get on board? Who needed the most convincing?
I believe convincing Bachchan Sir was a conspiracy of the universe and a result of all the blessings we’ve received. When I shared the thought and the first draft of the song with my friend Richa Anirudha, she conveyed it to Bachchan Sir and the rest of it was a dream-come-true to have his blessings on the project. When he believed in the thought and blessed us was the moment I will rejoice along with my team all throughout. Recently, when Bachchan Sir congratulated on the very next day of the release and told us how happy he feels looking at how the project is being crafted and done is something which will motivate me to work harder from the next project! Which is already cooking, BTW!
With 50 mostly big singers on board, why get the song composed by a relatively lesser known composer Jazim Sharma?
I’ve known Jazim for quite some time, almost six years now. His music is something that can uplift millions of souls. Being such a prominent singer in the industry, very few people know how amazing a composer he is. It is never about being lesser known, it is about having the right person at the helm, who strings the right chords of emotions. Well, now it is evident with Guzar Jayega out and finding love around the globe. More than anything, I also believe it is time that we be the force which can uplift talents who are destined to reach the limelight. Also, not many know the importance of a role of music producer and a mixing-mastering engineer. I guess more than any of us, it was quite a challenge & task for Shishir Samant and Aftab Khan to produce a great sound out of all of all the voices which are being recorded on phone.
Did you offer any inputs on the lyrics?
Initially, yes. When it was the day one and lyricist Sidhhant Kaushal, Jazim and I were brainstorming on the thought, I had a few suggestions. The most important one was: it shouldn’t feel like it’s just another lockdown song. This song should be there every time when people will need some hope to derive. Then after a day or two, Sidhhant crafted the raw emotions we were looking for. He is a gem.
What is Republik of Musik about essentially?
Republik of Musik is my brainchild and it is a content curation company and content strategizing company for pen and paper. But in reality, we are beyond that. There are so many talents out in the world who wait for one ‘break’ in the industry. We at Republik say, ‘Here’s your break’. Send in your content from wherever you are in the world, and we will find the ways to make it meet its destiny. We have bigger plans with Republik Of Musik which will soon be revealed. Currently, we are working with Balaji Telefilms and Zee5 as a content curator. And at Republik, we curate and strategize contents for any platform possible, be it OTT, television or theatres.>