Joell Mukherjii & Swanand Kirkire Release Their Soulful Single

Independent music is enjoying its moment in the sun, aided by the rise of streaming platforms, video destinations and growth through social media.

Joell Mukherjii & Swanand Kirkire

The year gone past has offered plenty food for thought – it has forced us to reflect on the fleeting nature of life. One moment we are here, and the next we are gone. This sentiment is captured well in the latest song released by Joell Mukherjii, aptly titled ‘Jeevan ko Kya Naam Dun’. Composed and performed by Mukherjee, and written by three-time national award-winning artist Swanand Kirkire, the song was launched on March 22, and has received tremendous appreciation since then. Based on a piece written in Kirkire’s poetry compilation ‘Aap Kamayi’, the thought-provoking lyrics and their underlying message immediately struck a chord with Mukherjii when he read them, inspiring him to put them to music.

The collaboration between these two industry stalwarts began with the hugely popular song ‘Credit De Do Yaar’, which came out last summer and featured some of the greatest lyricists of the Indian film industry including Swanand Kirkire, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Varun Grover, Kausar Munir, Shellee and others, and was composed by duo Joell and Chinmayi. Mukherjii says, “while making this song, I began reading the book ‘Aap Kamayi’, which is a compilation of Swanand sir's poetry. I was deeply moved by his writing and felt inspired to compose music for some of the poems. This one particular poem really resonated with me – ‘Jeevan ko kya naam dun’, and a tune instantly came to me which I developed over time.” Kirkire was on board with Mukherjii’s vision and granted assent to create the song. They both worked on it together, by making a few choice additions and sensible subtractions to enhance the beauty of the song. Kirkire even recited the first few lines in his signature deep-set voice, lending it more poignance.

Collaborations like Mukherjii’s and Kirkire’s are becoming increasingly popular as the music industry adjusts to pandemic expectations. It is clear that independent music is enjoying its moment in the sun, aided by the rise of streaming platforms, video destinations and growth through social media. These measures together promote good music and allow phenomenal untapped talent to rise.

Essentially, independent artists can now release their music without depending on record labels. New streaming platforms allow easy distribution, and with social media, artists can connect and collaborate with others and increase their reach while exploring the depths of their craft. The art of making videos has also become a lot simpler than it was in the past. Mukherjii claims, “great videos are being made by creative artists at a nominal expense, allowing them to put money in to better promotion and placement of their song. I feel now is the right time for independent music to take centre stage in India.”

The collaboration for ‘Jeevan Ko Kya Naam Dun’, is a great example of the trend. While Swanand Kirkire is a renowned lyricist, playback singer, writer, and actor; Joell Mukherjii is a well-known composer, with experience of creating hundreds of ad films. He is popular in the independent music space for being a multi-instrumentalist and versatile singer-composer-producer. As an independent artist, Mukherjii has released various singles in collaboration with other artists. Hailing from a musical family based in Kolkata, he has previously produced music for composers such as Pritam, Amit Trivedi, Mithun and Jeet Ganguly. After a few years of working as a producer, Mukherjii made the transition to working independently as a composer.

Speaking about his latest song and its theme, he adds, “this song is like a conversation between the self and the subconscious and revolves around the eternal search for the meaning of life. That is why it touched me so much, because the words connect with a universal theme.”

For veteran lyricist Kirkire, this trend of composers and singers including meaningful poetry in their songs as a bridge between literature and music, is a welcome one. He declares with pride, “as an artist, it gives me great satisfaction to extend my poetry beyond film music and offer my fans and listeners something unique to look forward to.”

‘Jeevan ko kya naam dun’ can be streamed on all leading streaming platforms.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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Joell Mukherjii Swanand Kirkire

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