Movie profile: Akash Sagar, The youngest music director
“I don’t know how to explain my passion for music”
Akash Sagar, the grandson of Dr Ramanand Sagar, who is still in his teens, makes his debut as music director with Sagar Films Pvt. Ltd.’s “1971”, which is running worldwide. The music of the film was formally released on February 28 on INS Vikrant, the aircraft carrier which played a major role in the 1971 war.
When he was seven, Akash began playing the piano. His chubby little fingers just flew on the keys, the notes just came to him and the family, including his celebrated grandfather Dr Ramanand Sagar, just listened with surprise and pride.
Akash Sagar, son of Dr Sagar’s youngest son, Moti Sagar, undoubtedly a prodigy. After ten years of serious self-education in various genres of Western and Indian music and passionate experimentation with instruments, Akash is on the threshold of his dream career as a music director.
“I was signed for 1971 when I was finishing high school. It was a tough test that I had to give some compositions for Amrit to consider me for the film. He is my loving brother but at work he is very hard to please and a taskmaster. He heard at least four compositions that I had worked on and then he gave me the job,” says Akash.
There are four songs in “1971”. They are sung by Shibani Kashyap, Hardeep Kaur, Kailash Kher and the Mumbai Film Choir. All the four songs are of different genres. The songs reveal Akash Sagar’s wide-ranging grasp of Indian and Western music. From the Sufi-based classical number sung by Hardeep Kaur in her rich voice to the bhangra by Kailash Kher and the operatic piece preceding the climax featuring the Mumbai Film Choir, it is clearly the repertoire of a maestro in the making.
“1971” also has a memorable song penned by esteemed poet Neeraj who is writing for a film after a long gap.
“I don’t know how to explain my passion for music,” says Akash. “I have been inspired by Western classical compositions a lot. I have also listened to Indian classical vocalists along the way. I have not been tutored at all; it is just my listening that has contributed to my education. I guess it is a divine gift,” he smiles.
“For the background score I have used a live orchestra to create a symphonic effect. I felt sad when I found out that the practice of recording with a live 100-piece orchestra had died. Many of the musicians who played in the orchestra had retired. Also the new studios didn’t have the space to seat 100 musicians. Even so we recorded and the result is there for all to hear,” says Akash.
He has a fine rapport with his brother, Amrit, for whose television debut (Hello Dolly on Star Plus) Akash had created his first tune. Akash was only 16 when he recorded the original background score for Hello Dolly.
“I am lucky not only to have had Amrit as the director of my first film, I am also lucky to have had dad (Moti Sagar) as producer. Any other producer would have screamed at the mention of a live orchestra,” he laughs.