A Gujarati song coming to Punjabi boys does show that Modi Ji is inherently inclusive: Meet Bros

Manmeet and Harmeet, also known as Meet Bros have been weaving magic with their music for past two decades. One of the stalwart duos of the industry, they recently released ‘Maadi’, a song which was penned by none other than our Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. Festival vibes got a new melody to it and the song has been streaming on the official YouTube channel of Shri Narendra Modi. We took some time out of their extensively busy schedule to talk about the song, work and views on many things music. Here are the excerpts.

How did this project of ‘Maadi’ with none other than our Honourable Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi come about?

Navratri was around the corner and Mata Rani blessed us. We got a call from an agency which handles PMO Office that Modi Ji has written a Navratri song, and they were looking at someone to compose it. The deadlines were very stringent, the tune had to be done within 4 fours. We had sent the tune within 20 minutes of receiving the lyrics and we got the approval instantly from the offices. The process was very quick and the result is out for everyone to see now 😊

Watch the song here:

Punjabi boys composing a Gujarati song. What is the significance of this in your views?

A Gujarati song coming to Punjabi boys does show that Modi Ji is inherently inclusive! He was looking to try, contextually, newer talent in us for this song. Our industry is full of Gujarati composers and him having reach out to us without any biases was a beautiful experience for us. It does give a new dimension to inclusivity of our country.

How much was the pressure of creating this song being a Navratri song and with Narendra Modi Ji penning this one?

We are quite fun-loving people, which kind of reflects in our music too. Inherently, we both do not take pressures or stresses in life. Whatever happens is momentary and it will pass. For us, the happiness of having been approached was more intense. Having received many accolades, we have come to realisation that it is never the result, but the process that gives us immense happiness.

How did you approach this song?

There are two aspects to it. First is that we believe that we can do justice to various genres and to top it all, we have Gujaratis in our family too. So culturally it was quite closer to home for us. Second is that fact that it is a prayer, so we have to keep those sensibilities in our mind while creating the composition. These two aspects put together; we made sure that the music lands where it should for this festive season.

How do Punjabis and Gujaratis resonate with each other, culturally and musically?

Punjabis and Gujaratis have a big similarity in the way that both these communities want to have ‘maja ni life’. They want to have fun all the time. When it comes to a melody, be it Punjabi or Gujarati, it stems from the experience of having listened to all the genres, been with the community and having taken part in the events of life. This life process helps you create music that connects with the language, emotions and the flair of people in the respective cultures.

Photo Credit: Meet Bros

What are your plans with MB Music going ahead?

MB Music is looking to grow and carve a unique space for itself. It is a label by the artists and for the artist. Most of the labels acquire songs, while at MB Music with us being singers, songwriters, composers & producers, we bring our experience to the table with our artists. With us, artists appreciate the fact that we are able enhance the impact of songs rather than rejecting them. It gives them a comfort to work with us. We would also want to ask the aspiring talents to reach out to us and if you have a good song, we will put in our experience with you to make it even better with MB Music.

What are the new projects coming out from MB Music?

There are two IPs coming from MB Music, one is called The White Room and the other is called MB Classics. For The White Room, we have shot about 10 songs with singers like Ankit Tiwari, Neha Bhasin, Shibani Kashyap, Papon and more. The songs are proper Meet Bros song with soulful experience, shot in a fully white room where the only colour is music, musicians and the instruments. MB Classics is about bringing the era of 90’s music back. We shot 10 songs under this IP with newer talents. It is typically a 90’s style music where you will get reminded of the likes of Nadeem Shravan, Jatin Lalit.

What do like to imbibe in the artists who are working under MB Classics, out of your experience?

First thing is that we don’t look to change artists, each of them is unique in himself or herself. When we work together, we do give our suggestions, which we think will make the song better. At the same time, we are also open for suggestions from the artists, as the focus is to deliver a good song. The idea of working with new voice is to bring something fresh. A very big example of this is Kanika Kapoor, who we thought would sound great and she did make a huge impact once the song was released. We believe in introducing new talent without tampering much of their core talent, just giving them relevant tips where needed.

Photo Credit: Meet Bros

Tell us about MB Music Academy

We have started our academy, MB Music Academy (MBMA), which is now working with 20 schools towards their music curriculum. We are looking to take our academy to about 2000 schools in the next 5 years. There are close to 10 million schools in the country, and we need to bring a curriculum for music in an organised manner. We have our own LMS from where all the faculties are teaching, our curriculum was written by professionals over a four-year period. Our curriculum includes elements like music production, beatboxing, rhythm and poetry, DJing, etc. over and above the conventional instruments like Tabla, Dholak, Guitar, Drums, etc.

There are too many labels coming out in recent years. What’s your take on how things will shape up for the record label industry?

I our view, the labels which do well will acquire the ones who are struggling. In the past five years, labels are popping up everywhere as it is very easy to release a song these days. Also, there is also a trend of one looking at the other and launching his or her own label. But, running a label requires a very big investment, you need to have a five-year plan to push content out consistently. If you are not a creator yourself, the cost of creating a song is huge. For people like Salim Sulaiman, Himesh Reshammiya, Sheykhar, us, we are the creators, and we have a network that adds value for each other. Investment is one part, but with that investment creating good song is the key. This industry works on four primary pillars, composer, lyricist, music production and mixing. Lyrics and music programming is the most complicated aspect and even with last 20 years’ experience we find it challenging. Directing music, if not done rightly, will have financial impact on the money being invested on music, videos, promotions, etc. For a label to sustain and succeed, investors need to consult the right set of creative people to know how a label runs. In 5 years’ time, we feel that there will be a few prominent labels running the show as investors would have realised that it doesn’t make sense without having core understanding of business being invested into.

What is your take on using samples and not sound the same?

This issue happened with us also where we bought a sample legally and used it in our song. But an artist from Delhi claimed we had taken the sound from his song. He, obviously, hadn’t done his due diligence and people at large don’t know the intricacies involved. Samples are like raw materials available to create a part of the final product. Additionally, when you work in teams, you will not know which sample has been used where. So, while 99% of our work is produced by us, but things like these can crop up at times. Its not a copyright infringement as a lot of people claim or have an understanding of. The key is to use sample as a part of the composition, while keeping the soul of the song original.

Well, so here it, Meet Bros sharing valuable insights from their experience, projects and upcoming work. While ‘Maadi’ has won over everyone, we are keenly looking forward to The White Room and MB Classic! A big shout out to MBMA for putting structure to a largely unstructured curriculum that always needed attention! While we look to connect again, till the enjoy ‘Maadi’.

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