Malang Movie Had a Song From Pakistani Band Soch; The Band Weighs In
The Soch band is ecstatic about their song Bol Hu features in Mohit Sori’s Malang
When it comes to the soulful and pure Sufi music from Sub Continent, Pakistani musicians mostly stay ahead. Be it the ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali, or the millennial talent from the likes of Ali Zafar and Atif Aslam, Pakistani music has always won the hearts of people across the border especially when becomes part of the most popular section of their entertainment industry, Bollywood.
The demand is so high that it could not be stopped from crossing the border even in these tense situations between both the countries. The recent example is the inclusion of song BOL HU from Pakistani Lahori band Soch, as the title track of movie Malang directed by Mohit Suri and starring Aditya Roy Kapoor, Anil Kapoor and Disha Patani.
Soch’s first-ever single “Bandeya” received mainstream radio airplay. The band’s Bollywood debut was a track titled ‘Awari’ for Mohit Suri directed movie ‘Ek Villain’ under the mentorship of Xulfi in 2012. Awari in Ek Villain features female vocal of Momina Mustehsan, in a duet with Adnan Dhool. Here is the little chit chat with the duo of Soch, Adnan Dhol (vocals) and Rabi Ahmed (guitars) with Masala!
How did BOL HU make it to Bollywood?
Our first track Bandiya was actually liked by Mohit Suri but because of its topic, he could not include that in his film. So, a year back, when we made BOL HU, Adnan send it to Mohit just to check. At the same time, Mohit was looking for a soundtrack for his film Malang. When Mohit listened to BOL HU, he immediately decided to take that.
How it becomes possible to use Pakistani artist’s work in Bollywood product?
At that time things were much better between both the countries but after the Pulwama attack, things got worse, they told us that T-Series (the music company) was not ready to release the song. By that time, the makers had worked a lot with the song in the film but because of the political situation, they had to pull it out at the minute. Interestingly, at the premiere of the Malang, members of Indian Film Censor Board asked Producers to put the song back in the film, which they (censor board) had passed at the preview. They also assured concerned people that they would handle the matter on a government level. So, the film was due to release on 7th February 2020 and we signed the contract (through email) on 6th February and our song was part of the film on the release day.
Why Soch was not given credits at the end of the film?
As they had dropped our song two months before the release and edited it without it, our name could not be included in end credits. They have decided to release the song later. Let’s see when it happens. Actually, we both (in India and Pakistan) wanted to check the reactions of the public. We were also afraid of getting labelled as anti-national but believe us we don’t have any other intention than to work and earn like any other professional. Besides the professional purpose, we think, we have also accelerated the peace process which our government initiated by opening the Kartarpur Corridor for Indians. We always side for peace, not war.
Have you seen where and how this song has been used in the film?
It is in the background throughout the film, at every crucial sequence pictured on the lead of the film Aditya Roy Kapoor, unfortunately, it is not filmed on Disha Patani, the fact is that film Malang starts and ends on BOL HU.
What are your future plans for working with India?
You can’t plan anything with India, but we hope that relations between both the countries get normalize. We believe in cultural and talent exchange between both the countries, particularly in the film industry. It is also necessary for the progress of our film industry as we all know the since the absence of Bollywood, our cinema-going trend is diminishing and our films and their music going nowhere. To be honest, right now we need Bollywood to stand on our feet. We should also think about a business point of view.
How can music bridge the gap between the people of Pakistan and India?
We strongly believe that it can. Look, even in this situation music was the only thing they could not resist and included in the film. So yes, music can do wonders. We have tried a little bit from our side. We have friends there, we have relatives there, and even marriages are arranged among families of both countries. So internally, people are still much in contact with each other.
How was the reaction of people when the news of your song in Malang emerged?
To be honest, we were afraid before the release of the film. We assumed we would be abused on social media and labelled as anti-national, but amazingly the response was very positive. People appreciated us and were of the view that these exchanges should be continued in future as well. It means people on both sides of the border want to talk about love and peace. We think art has nothing to do with the rivalries between countries.