By Debamitra Mishra
Amidst the deadly second wave of the pandemic, the silent celebration of Mothers’ Day has been made special with Siddharth Music label’s new release ‘Maa’. Sung by the veteran singer Namita Agrawal and Siddharth Agrawal (Director, STV Networks), ‘Maa’ celebrates the bond of love between a mother and child in a conversational form.
Talking about her first collaboration with son Siddharth, Namita Agrawal says, “Siddharth is always listening to all kinds of new age music, and trending songs. So when he and his friends put forth this concept of a candid conversation between a mother and a son in song form, I was naturally interested in it.
I was unsure at first about how it would culminate but, knowing the team’s dedication and creative process, they proved me wrong. It was a challenge but I like challenges.”
Siddharth, who has debuted as a singer with this song, sums up his experience as, “My zest for music had begun when I was born in a family who loved music. My mother did her vocal practice every day while I stayed beside her, and she used to sing me lullabies to sleep.
As I grew up, with the use of these gadgets like the Sony Walkman, and radios, I started singing along it, after which my interest in a musical instrument grew. I learned keyboard for around 5 years, until my boards. I’ve since left practising, but the zeal for music was never lost. This song is special to me, not because it is just my first song, but the fact that it is about my mother. She has always believed in my dreams and always strived to see me succeed. I have no plans of doing any more songs further in line since I am not exactly trained in it, but I am sure that if a worthy project like this comes up and my friends/team members peer pressure me into it, you just might hear me singing once again.”
He also says that the song was unplanned. “It was an impromptu signal. The composer Anurag Mohapatra and music supervisor Saugato Roy Choudhury came up with an idea of a mother-son conversation for mother’s day. They were with the thought that I could justify the theme of the song in the best possible way. I agreed to it and here it is.
Since I am debuting with this song, I would say that singing is not an easy task at all. But it was made easy for me by all the people involved in the project. But also as a producer, I have a look into every aspect of the song- from conception to finishing touches. It was hard but manageable.
The team that has worked on this project is something that not someone would immediately think of in Odisha. This team is like ‘Super Heavy’ (SuperHeavy were a one-off supergroup project consisting of Mick Jagger, Joss Stone, Dave Stewart, A. R. Rahman, and Damian Marley). It’s a team of good musicians with the same mindset with a vision to make true” says Siddharth.
The music supervisor Saugato Roy Choudhury mentions, ” ‘Maa’ is a tribute from Siddharth to his mother on the occasion of Mothers’ Day. This is a tribute to all mothers out there too. We want to deliver a message that during this unfavourable situation, kindly stay at home and be a strength to your family.”
He further says, “I have been associated with the team closely as an ANR executive and music supervisor. However, we had a meeting for a different song the other day where Siddharth hummed something to me. That’s when I got the idea to do something for mother’s day. We discussed it and Siddharth took the word further to his mother Namita Agarwal Ma’am. The composer and music producer of the song Anurag Mohapatra who also is a good friend of ours came on board eventually. He is also working on few other projects with us.
The song has been penned by Sumit Panda, who also happens to be a software engineer. After the whole process, the song has been mix-mastered by Sangeet Pattnaik who also is from Odisha but currently residing in Mumbai.”
The making of the song has another story to tell. Due to the second wave of the pandemic, Siddharth had to allow his employees to work from home on shifts. Because of social distancing and limited access, sound engineer, mix engineer and composer could not be present. The process had taken place through video conference. Siddharth and Namita Agrawal recorded separately within a limited time.
Composer and music producer Anurag Mohapatra says, “Earlier, songs those were made for mothers or mother’s day, were generally one-directional. So, I wanted to compose a song with a conversational tone. I have infused a pinch of modernity in regional music. If you hear it, you will notice that the song is very flowy instead of giving a straightforward note.
Possibly, I was hugely inspired by Salim-Suleiman, A.R Rahman’s music compositions on mothers. So, I was focused to deliver such a song (in Odia) that would sound fresh and introduce a newness to listeners.
Making a studio song amidst covid norms and restrictions was very challenging. You don’t have the access to the studio, a team, or any other resources. All you have is yourself working in an isolated environment. It was very challenging because music is all about teamwork and dreamwork.
But I am grateful for working with such a cooperative team. Had the situation been normal, things would have been executed in a much better way. But within limitations, we as a team pulled it off well.
“My experience working with the team has been wonderful. Everyone was so professional that within limited access, resources and environment, the outcome is winning hearts,” says Anurag.
Lyrics is a crucial companion of music that makes a song worth listening to. Lyricist Sumit Panda tells us, “Maa – This word itself has no boundary. The day I heard about this project from Saugato, he told me Namita Ma’am will sing this song. I grew up listening to her. Without wasting a moment I agreed to be a part of the project.
I always put myself into a situation and consider myself in place of the character. I did the same thing here. The mother-child relationship is pure. So it didn’t take much time to convince my pen.
It was a wonderful experience. Mostly we coordinated virtually due to an unfavourable situation. Siddharth, Anurag, Saugato, Sangeet and everyone else have done a commendable job. The team effort reflects.”