Bollywood is known for its dramatic, famous, and soulful music. But, have you ever wondered who the masterminds behind the masterpieces make everyone emit emotions in abundance? If yes, then this list is curated for you to know about the minds behind your favourite songs. Music composition is the art of creating beautiful music with the help of instruments and specifications such as tempo, scale, and lyrics to create a meaningful composition. Music composition gives life to the music. The beat we groove at, the note we weep at, and the sound we feel in our hearts.
We often don’t know who creates the composition we love and relate to. Even today, some composers were able to make a name and become a known face at a remarkable level. Still, others are not famous among the crowd. The mainstream media and the audience hype one celebrity to ridiculous levels while not even mentioning the others. Although this poses a factor for immensely gaining popularity, it certainly does not act as a certified measure to measure someone’s credibility. Musicians can be found in abundance, but the ones that actually hit the rock every time with their compositions are quite a few. These are the ones we listen to on youtube, Spotify, and even sing our hearts out to karaoke online. Those few are worth mentioning and have earned the recognition they receive. Some of the best music composers that have taken the entire Indian audience grooving at their music and humming the sound of their compositions are stated below.
Shankar Ehsaan Loy:
This is a famous and renowned trio that took the last three decades by storm. The three essentials of the trio consisted of Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsaan Noorani, and Loy Mendonsa. Shankar Mahadevan is the group’s main vocalist, belonging to a Tamil family. He grew up in Mumbai, learning Hindustani Classical Music. His passion for music further led him to learn veena at the age of five and learn music under the Marathi music composer Shrinivas Khale. He did software engineering, but his passion for music led to playback singing for A. R. Rahman, winning him a national award. His first music album, breathless, received national recognition and admiration. Ehsaan is the second string of this trio. He is the lead guitarist, and he studied under the guidance of Bismarck Rodrigues. Ehsaan worked with two local bands in Mumbai. After pursuing his further studies, he returned to Mumbai. He worked for famous productions like magic box productions as a composer for jingles. Ehsaan was approached for giving music for the film Dus with Shankar and Loy. Loy Mendonsa plays Harmonica, bass guitar, and piano. He worked as a music teacher in Delhi and was asked to give music for the show Quiz Time, which was his first break. Loy composed tracks for The World This Week and Shahrukh Khan’s serial Fauji. Loy later moved to Mumbai and made several jingle ads with Ehsaan.
Shankar, Ehsaan, and Loy came from a non-film background and first debuted for the film Dus, which was never completed. Still, the music album for the same was released. Later they worked and composed music for Rockford, Bhopal Express, and Mission Kashmir. Their fame rose with their hits from the movie Dil Chahta hai. They later gave music for various Bollywood masterpieces such as Kal Ho Na Ho, Salame Ishq, Taare Zameen Par, Heyy Babyy, Kartik Calling Kartik, My Name is Khan, Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, and many more. They even composed music for the OTT platforms and series such as Bandish Bandits. They are a beautiful blend of different music styles, from Hindustani Classical Western Rock to Electronic Synthesiser. Shankar, Ehsaan, and Loy, whenever performed together, give birth to lively music that touches the heart of everyone.
Rahul Dev Burman is one of the most famous and recognized greatest music directors. He is considered the king of Bollywood and a music scientist in Bollywood. Burman worked with his wife and prominent singer Asha Bhosle and Kishore Kumar. He scored about 331 songs and worked on many songs with Lata Mangeshkar. Burman created many masterpieces of music and even gave vocals to a few. He got his admiration for music from his father, Sachin Dev Burman. The latter was also an incredible music composer in the Indian film industry. R.D. Burman gave music at the age of seventeen to the famous song ‘Sar jo tera chakras. His father helped him become an influential music composer in the industry by adding the track in Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa. Burman was trained and taught Sarod by Ustaad Ali Akbar Khan and Tabla by Samta Prasad. At the same time, he learned Harmonica under his father’s influence.
Burman rose to fame in the 1970s with his songs “Ye Shaam Mastani” and “Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai” for the movie Kati Patang starring Rajesh Khanna and vocals by Kishore Kumar. He went on to compose music for admirable and renowned songs such as Dum Maaro Dum, Raina Beeti Jaaye, Piya Tu Ab Aaja. He also produced songs for many famous movies such as Seeta Aur Geeta, Mere Jeevan Saathi, Bombay to Goa, Yaadon ki Baarat, and Sholay. In the 1980s, Bappi Lahiri gave out many disco songs that overshadowed the work of R.D. Burman. Burman gave music to many traditional and cultural songs for Durga Pooja. His composing style brought electronic rock into mainstream music. It revolutionised Hindi cinema by incorporating a wide variety of music genres.
A.R. Rahman is remarkably one of the finest music composers in the history of the Indian music industry. Rahman showcased his talent in many roles, including music composer, singer, record producer, and songwriter. He has worked majorly in the Hindi and Tamil music industry. He has been the receiver of many renowned national and international awards, including National Film Awards, two Academy Awards, two BAFTA Awards, a Golden Globe Award, seventeen Filmfare Awards, and fifteen Filmfare Awards. A.R. Rahman, aka Allah Rakha Rahman, born in Tamil Nadu, was influenced by his father, R.K. Shekhar, also a music composer. Unfortunately, Rahman lost his father at an early age, which led his family and him to face difficulties earning income. He even faced academic difficulties as he tried to make ends meet for his family. However, later he got admission to a college for his exceptional musical talent and even got a scholarship from Trinity College London.
Rahman started his career by composing documentaries and jingles for advertisements and television channels. Rahman’s music career started in 1992 with Panchathan Record Inn, which later became one of the most advanced and high-tech studios in India and Asia. He composed songs for many Malayalam and Tamil films in the beginning. He debuted in Bollywood with Ram Gopal Varma’s Rangeela, followed by Taal. He even produced music for films like Swades, Rang de Basanti, and Jodha Akbar. His first Hollywood debut was for the comedy film Couple’s Retreat, for which he won the BMI London Award for best score. After that, he created music for many critically acclaimed films such as Slumdog Millionaire, Jaane Tu ya Jaane Na, Raanjhanaa, Taal, Rockstar, Gurur, Jab Tak Hai Jaan, Ekk Deewana Tha, and Lagaan. He has mastered western and Hindustani classical music and the Qawwali. Rahman is known for amalgamating these and other genres of music. He even released an album for India’s 50th anniversary of its independence in 1997. It is one of the best-selling non-film albums in India.
Kalyanji-Aanandji is the most famous Indian composer duo of India. Both Kalyanji Virji Shah and Anandji Virji Shah have composed evergreen songs together for many recognized movies. They were taught music by the same teacher but learned different instruments. Kalyani learned a new electronic instrument called clavioline, known for its famous Nagin- Been sound. Later Kalyanji with Anandji started an orchestral group and did many shows in Mumbai. Kalyani made his debut for the film Samrat Chandragupta during the time when some of the most prominent music directors were ruling the music industry like S.D. Burman. Later he gave music for the “Chahe Paas Ho” song. After this, Anandji, who was first assisting him, joined officially with his brother to make the Duo of Kalyanji- Anandji provided scores for Satta Bazaar, Madari, and Chhalia.
Kalyanji-Anandji as a duo worked as music directors for more than 250 movies and worked with some of the significant stars of the music industry, such as with Kishore Kumar for Zindagi ka Safar, O Saathi Re, Mera Jeevan Kora Kagaz, and Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas. In addition, they collaborated with Lata Mangeshkar for many recognized songs such as Salaam-e- Ishq Meri Jaan, Jiska Tha Mujhe Intezaar, and several others. He even worked with several other significant music celebrities such as Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle, Manna Dey, Mukesh, and Mahendra Kapoor.
Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Rajvani are prominent music composers, singers, songwriters, and producers in Mumbai. Vishal- Shekhar rose to fame with their song “Tu Aashiqui Hai” for the film Jhankaar Beats and later the music for films like Salaam Namaste, Dus, and Bluffmaster made them recognized in the public eye. Vishal is specifically known for his vocals and incredible singing skills in songs such as Dhoom Again, Kurban Hua, Jee le Zara, Mar Jayian, I Feel Good Jab Mila Tu, and Tu Meri. Dadlani started his music journey with Mumbai-based Indie/Electronic rock band Pentagram in 1994. Ravjiani started his career in the advertising industry. However, he entirely focused on making music as a career when he auditioned for Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and was selected. He later teamed up with Vishal Dadlani to form the Vishal- Shekhar Duo. He is a singer, music director, record producer, actor, and singer. He has provided vocals for songs like Tujhe Bhula Diya, Meherbaan, and Bin Tere. He is also a trained classical singer under Ustad Niaz Ahmad Khan.
The Duo has given many famous hits for films like Dostana, Tashan, Tees Maar Khan, Anjaana Anjaani, Student of the Year, Bang Bang!, Sultan, Befikre, Om Shanti Om, and many more. Moreover, as a duo, both have received several music awards for their amazing lyrics, music composition, and vocals both nationally and internationally.
The Bottom Line-
Bollywood has provided the Indian music industry with essential music directors who have created incredible art pieces like music and given them to treasure. Several other music composers, such as O.P. Nayyar is worth mentioning. The list of only the top five Bollywood music composers does quite a little justice regarding the talent we witness as an audience. However, all the above five artists and music composers are the finest in their work and inspire millions with their art to learn how to become a musician. You can learn to be one, listen to their beautiful music, and groove to their composition with Hindi Karaoke Shop at pocket-friendly prices.