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Shashwat Sachdev: Kill Will Redefine Filmmaking in India

In the realm of cinema, few films stand poised to evoke extreme responses quite like “Kill,” an upcoming action film produced by industry stalwarts Karan Johar and Guneet Monga Kapoor. According to Shashwat Sachdev, the creative force behind the captivating track “Kaawaa kaawaa,” this film is more than just a thrilling spectacle; it is a genre-defying venture that aims to change the landscape of Indian filmmaking.

Reflecting on the film’s protagonist, Sachdev compares the character to an “artiste with immense angst” and draws parallels with revolutionary figures in the arts. “Artistes usually follow a template, and then, one among them will display so much passion in their expression that they end up changing the palette,” he explains. To underscore his point, he cites Vincent van Gogh’s painting “The Potato Eaters,” which is noted for its raw emotion and departure from conventional norms. Similarly, musicians like Kurt Cobain transformed the music industry with their distinctive styles. “I believe this film is that transformative force for India,” Sachdev asserts. “It’s a genre-bending and genre-changing offering that will evoke extreme responses. It’s vital for great art to flourish and inspire conversations, even if they are polarized.”

This ambitious film, headlined by rising star Lakshya, premiered last September and has already garnered significant attention. For Sachdev, the unique cinematic approach of Kill had a profound impact on his composition of “Kaawaa kaawaa.” “I like this form of cinema because it is fresh in the Indian market,” he says, lauding the film for its originality and emotional depth. The track has quickly captured the hearts of cinephiles, and Sachdev credits the film’s influence for its high quality.

“When I’m meant to create a song, I usually hate taking any brief related to the sonic space because it defeats the purpose of composing it using my interpretation,” Sachdev elaborates. He prefers his initial attempts to be driven by his creative decisions, and he views his song as a small yet integral part of the film’s larger narrative.

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. The promotional draft he created aims to pull the film together, harmonizing with the random shots, lighting, and color palette chosen by the filmmakers. Despite describing the number as his interpretation of the protagonist’s anger, he concedes that viewers will draw their own inferences. “They wanted me to make something that was angry and passionate,” he reveals.

However, the audience’s reception of the music often differs from his original intent. “I was sampling the beat from the producers’ vision, because I was working on their brief,” he says. “But the way a song eventually lands depends on the context of the film, how the audience interprets it, and how the director uses the material. Then, it finds its direction and destination. Even if that differs from my original vision, it’s exciting to see where it heads.” Adding to this fluid creative process, the decision to craft a Punjabi track was “intuitive” rather than the result of any calculated effort.

In the broader scope of his career, Sachdev’s plate is brimming with high-profile projects. He is currently working on the music for Janhvi Kapoor’s upcoming film “Ulajh,” and he will also feature as the headlining act of Coke Studio, collaborating with friends from Rajasthan. Additionally, the composer has embarked on an international venture with the British thriller series “Virdee,” working alongside renowned German music producer Hans Zimmer.

Sachdev’s involvement in “Kill” and his reflections on its groundbreaking potential emphasize the significance of innovation in the arts. By pushing the boundaries of genre and inviting a range of responses, “Kill” aims to carve a new niche in the Indian film industry. As Sachdev eloquently expresses, the essence of great art lies in its ability to inspire and provoke, and “Kill” is set to do just that, one cinematic moment at a time.