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Interview - Amit Dasani

Composers Amit Dasani (right) and Suhit Chirutapudi (left)
Amit and Suhit are Hyderabad based music composers who have given music to many a short films and theatre plays. Shy, humble and immensely talented, Amit Dasani opens up to LTGTR about his theatre stint and how it all started.

Q. Has music always been a passion for you?
A. Yes! I think music has always fascinated me. Even when I was little, to just put on headphones and get totally absorbed into the music was better than anything else!

Q.  Which instruments do you play?
A. When I decided that I wanted to learn music, I started off with the piano in school. Then after a few years I stopped that & picked up the tabla. A little bit of the guitar just to understand how it works and the same with the flute and now I am learning Hindustani classical from Mrs. Deepa Naha who has had a huge impact on my tracks. However, what really interests me is getting all the instruments together and composing.

Q. You were studying to become an engineer, how did theatre happen to you?
A. When I decided to take up the science, I didn’t get into it because that was what I wanted. I just decided to go with it because I wasn’t sure of what I wanted  :P . It was sometime in 11th that my friend from school, Natasha Chandra called me and asked me to help out with a production that she was a part of and that’s how I started theater. It’s also how I met Suhit Chirutapudi , one of my closest friends now and also an equal partner in composing.  Since then, Suhit and I have been composing music for different groups.

Q. How did your parents react to your unconventional career choice?
A. They were and still are extremely supportive. It’s their unconditional support that makes me work harder and prove myself. 

Q. Tell us more about SIFAR, the theatre group you work for?
A. We (Suhit and I)  have worked with SIFAR on two productions so far - Sense and Park . During this time, we interacted with Feroze and Junaid from the group. It’s great fun working with them because they come up with interesting scripts and great ideas for the kind of music they want. There is always something different when you work with them! Also, they are brilliant at what they do! (Feroze directs and acts and Junaid works on the Lighting)

Q. Have you done anything else apart from music composing?
A. I started off by helping with the music in the first ever play that I was a part of. Then  Natasha, Suhit, I and a bunch of friends started “Ingenium” in 2008 and opened with” Lion King “ It was one of the first musicals to be staged here and we had a great response. I co-directed some of the Ingenium productions and also composed the music along with Suhit for these. I also directed a play for DPS Hyderabad, which was great fun!

Q. How do you balance your academics with theatre?
A. To be frank, my first priority is music and theater right now so if have a good project to work on, then that gets my full attention ;)

Q. Any other interests apart from music?
A. I am fascinated with all forms of art. I love photography and sketching too! I’m not that good at them but it’s fun!

Q. Any other upcoming projects?
A. Maybe in a few months. I have exams coming up :P

Q. How is the theatre scene in Hyderabad? How can the youth be more involved in it, in your opinion?
A. There are so many new theater groups in Hyderabad and while there are many well established theater personalities that offer class acts, there is a nice burst of energy with a lot of young groups putting up great performances. So all in all, the theater scene looks good!

Q. What do you think of the quality of today’s theatre and movies?
A. I think there is good variety of different kinds of plays and films out there now for different people and they all put in lots of hard work into it.

Q. Who is your inspiration? You are a huge Rahman fan, aren’t you?
A. Like I said, music in itself fascinates me and that is what drives me to get deeper into it and learn more. I am a HUGE fan of A R Rahman! He changed the face of Indian Film music!

Q. Will you try breaking into the Bollywood someday?
A. Still a loooong way to go :)

Q. Your advice to today’s youth on choosing a career?
Just follow what they like doing but back it up with a lot of effort 


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