Karan Oberoi on remixes: Have a healthy balance between originals and tributes to older songs


I feel so blessed because it’s almost like a legacy you have created. I can’t be doing this because I have to make money. It is unreal because there are places where we’ve gone to perform our new songs and I can’t escape the stage till the time I sing “Meri Neend”, “Gori” and “Nain Kataari”. I can’t be a part of anything that I don’t believe in. Maybe 20 years down the line, someone will feed off our songs. A lot of my senior actor friends like Ronit, Rohit, and Sudhanshu told me you’re being extremely stupid about this and just try being there. “Meri Neend Udd Gayi” is still popular among music lovers. What is your thought on recreating older melodies? Even the digital media, which was easy to consume earlier, has now become a paid medium. How has your equation been with band members? I am more influenced by ghazal and poetry. Let’s have some original music’. He also spoke about the band’s long hiatus and discussed what they were up to in all these years. Unfortunately, because of the advent of remixes, and a lot of those older songs being recreated, original music was getting lost. We were waiting for the right time. We should have a healthy balance between original and odes and tributes to older songs. I tried so often to do that but I have not been able to get there. Not for the quality of music but it’s more about the expenditure of money they do on promoting the songs across all platforms. Every time I have performed that song, it is accepted so holistically the way it is, that you feel you don’t want to dilute it because it still seems relevant. It’s like any marriage where we get married for the utopian idea of being able to coexist but that doesn’t really happen. They used to say you put money in advertising and we’ll take your song, which is very sad. So, it’s a tough fight. You have your creative differences, even our taste in music is varied. What took the band so long to come back together? Absolutely. In fact, we have great chemistry. So, now they say you put money, which is how TV used to run. We got to talk to band member Karan Oberoi who confirmed that A Band of Boys will soon be coming out with a new album. It is not that we left music. Original expression is very difficult in comparison to just taking somebody’s composition and tweaking it a bit. So that’s a good exercise that we have within the band. You have your point of view. TV did not allow me that space. And for me, I am a passionate human being. When we didn’t have a show, we would all get together and jam, which is beautiful. They have tie-ups with TV, radio and all broadcasters, so you can’t match the might of the broadcasters. Do you think, now more than ever, the Indian audience needs to be exposed to band music as the music of films is mostly about recreations? But don’t have the balance completely lopsided because you don’t want to work hard. Enough of the remixes and recreations. I have made songs in the past. We were always pursuing it. While the band has been missing in action, they recently reunited for McDowell’s No1 Yaari Jam Pad in Mumbai. Written by Arushi Jain
| New Delhi |

Updated: March 25, 2020 2:39:27 pm

Karan Oberoi believes original expression is very difficult in comparison to just taking somebody’s composition and tweaking it a bit. It’s like any family. Did performing together after so long bring back memories of old times? Now, you put a song on YouTube, you won’t get the views unless you put money on it or Facebook for that matter. I have mixed feelings about that. With Bollywood’s influence on people’s taste in music, is it difficult to bring back indie-pop music? Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App. This is a bit of a misnomer here. Even after 20 years, the songs we wrote, the five or six of our biggest hits, are still fresh in people’s minds. Yes, for two reasons. 📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. If you look at it, every music company is just creating their old songs. I wrote a political-social satire in 2014 called the Ungli song which is basically to galvanize young people to go and vote but because it didn’t get a platform, it just got lost. A Band of Boys comprises of Karan Oberoi, Siddharth Haldipur, Sherrin Varghese, Chintoo Bhosle and Sudhanshu Pande. Where does it leave any scope for any Indie musicians to be able to express themselves? That’s the complaint I get from people who are very kind to me. So it was a great and fulfilling experience. Would you ever want to recreate “Meri neend udd gayi hai” or would you ever give it to somebody to recreate? How does it feel? We never dissolved the band. There were flies, mosquitoes, crocodile, whole jungle Safari was happening on TV. 80% should be original and 20% should be recreation. Hopefully, this will pave the way for other people to come forward too. We were writing music but were not getting a platform to showcase it. So, right now I’m doing something that I enjoy. A Band of Boys reunited for McDowell’s No. © IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd So, I am not very sure about this. What were you up to in these years when you were not creating music? But my humble suggestion is, have a healthy balance of what you create from the old and it should be almost like an 80-20 mix. A child born in 2000 would have never heard of a song which was created in the 1960s. So, we got the perfect platform to bring back the old golden era of pop which was there in the late 90s, and early 2000s. Sherrin Varghese is more into hard rock, so we bring in all those influences. So, is the popular opinion that YouTube has provided a platform to singers, not true? I have to be inspired by the situation. You have been a part of many tv shows. We were happy when Hungama came up with this idea of creating content with original writing. I am acting in a web series and I’m also creatively producing a couple of shows on the web platform. But we should never stop the process of writing original music. Actually, we never stopped performing. Whenever we get back together, it’s a lot of fun. To be honest, initially when YouTube needed the content, it did invite people to put out their songs. (Photo: Karan Oberoi/Instagram)
Music group A Band of Boys, comprising of Karan Oberoi, Siddharth Haldipur, Sherrin Varghese, Chintoo Bhosle and Sudhanshu Pande, left music lovers in awe with their album Yeh Bhi Woh Bhi in 2002. We were performing gigs, corporate shows and stuff like that. At the peak of their careers, they drew comparisons with the Backstreet Boys and Boyzone. But, the algorithms have consistently changed and eventually, it’s all about the business. Have you had any creative differences? Excerpts from the conversation:
How was it performing at the No1 Yaari Jam Pad? Why is that the audience gets to see so less of you now? I took a sabbatical from television purely because the content went for a toss. Hopefully, someday, the public is going to wake up to this and say ‘Enough of Bollywood. 1 Yaari jam pad in Mumbai. What we all agree on is that every creation has to pass a litmus test between us as a band before we put it out to the public.