Pritam, originally known as Pritam Chakraborty is a new age music director who composed popular chart busters for movies like ‘Dhoom’ and ‘Jab We Met’ that got him immense success as a rising musician in Bollywood.
Pritam was born in Kolkata on the 14th of June to Prabodh Chakraborty and Anuradha Chakraborty. His father was in the railways and his mother worked as a school teacher.
His father also has been a noted musician and used to play Hawaiian guitar. He also taught music to the children in their little house. Pritam also learnt tabla and guitar in his father’s music school but his interest majorly lied with the guitar. The family used to live in a tin-roofed one room house which was partitioned into two rooms.
Pritam did his schooling from St. James School in Kolkata and studied Geology from the Presidency College which is now regarded as the Presidency University. During his college days, he formed a Bengali boy-band with his college mates and the band was named as ‘Jotugriher Paakhi’. He also became a member of the famous Bengali band ‘Chandrabindu’ during the time.
After completing college, Pritam decided to join the Film and Television Institute of Pune and completed course in sound recording and sound engineering from there. It was during this period that he got an opportunity to compose music for a Hungarian movie as well.
His struggle in Mumbai started and his other struggling friends Sanjay Gadhvi, Rajkumar Hirani, Shantanu Moitra and Chandrajeet Ganguly were his acquaintances during those days. Chandrajeet Ganguly is popularly known as Jeet Ganguly nowadays and is a very familiar name in the Bengali music industry.
In 2001, Sanjay Gadhvi got his first film to direct by Zee Telefilms titled as ‘Tere Liye’. Being a friend to Pritam and Jeet, Gadhvi signed them as the music directors for his very first film. The music of ‘Tere Liye’ got good reviews although the movie failed to create any stir at the Box Office.
Pritam and Jeet teamed up for a few more movies in the upcoming years. In 2002, they were signed for Yash Raj Films’ ‘Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai’. The track ‘Sharara Sharara’ from ‘Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai’ was an instant hit. They also composed for Saurabh Shukla’s ‘Mudda -The Issue’ in 2003. The duo reportedly did split up after that.
His first movie as a solo music director started with Imtiaz Punjabi’s ‘Fun2shh: Dudes in the 10th Century’ which starred Amitabh Bachchan, Paresh Rawal and Gulshan Grover. He also composed music for Sanjiv Puri’s ‘Agnipankh’ which was a movie based on the Indian Air Force.
The Dhoom Triology:
Pritam was again signed for Sanjay Gadhvi’s ‘Dhoom’ under the banner of Yash Raj Films in 2004. The music and the title song of the movie was a sensational hit at the chart busters. There was no turning point for Pritam after the success of ‘Dhoom’.
‘Dhoom Machale’ by Sunidhi Chauhan for the first part of the trilogy sizzled the charts. ‘Dilbar Shikdum’ by Shaan and ‘Salaame Salaame’ by Kunal Ganjewala also rocked the nation.
In Dhoom 2, he again made Sunidhi Chauhan sing ‘Crazy Kiya Re’ which went on to become another stupendous hit. Other tracks like ‘Dil Laga Na’ and ‘Dhoom Again’ were equally huge successful.
‘Dhoom’ is not only a successful film at the chartbusters but it rocked the box-office as well. The soundtrack of the film became a sensation all over the nation and smashed the chart-busters with its rocking and electrifying music. Pritam always credited director Sanjay Gadhvi for his success in the industry.
His next big ticket break would be ‘Dhoom 3′ which is scheduled to get released on December 2013. The title track ‘Dhoom Machale Dhoom’ is back again with Aditi Singh Sharma being the leading singer this time. With Pritam being the composer for the Dhoom Triology, the third part will surely again be another enormous hit of the year.
His success stories include ‘Chocolate’ (2005), Garam Masala (2005), ‘Ankahee’ (2006), ‘Gangster’ (2006), ‘Woh Lamhe’ (2006), ‘Life In A Metro’ (2007).
‘Halka Halka Sa Yeh Sama’ and ‘Zahreeli Raatein’ from ‘Chocolate’ were unconventional hits of the year. Pritam also used KK perfectly for ‘Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai’ from ‘Gangster. He also selected the irregular singer Zubeen Garg for the track ‘Ya Ali’ from ‘Gangster’, which still stands to be one of the most popular tracks by the singer.
‘Kya Mujhe Pyar Hai’ by KK is one of the most memorable songs by Pritam. The use of rock guitar in the song and the chorus in the background would mesmerise any listener. ‘Chal Chale Apne Ghar’ by James and ‘Bin Tere’ by Jawad Ahmed are two other brilliant compositions by him. ‘Alvida Alvida…Meri Raahein Alvida’ is another mindblowing track by KK from ‘Life In A Metro’.
In later years, he gave out super hit compositions which were runaway successes and the list includes ‘Bhool Bhulaiya’ by Priyadarshan, ‘Kismat Konnection’ by Aziz Mirza, ‘Singh is King’ by Anees Bazmee, ‘Awarapan’ by Mohit Suri, ‘Jab We Met’ by Imtiaz Ali, ‘Race’ by Abbas Mustan, ‘Jannat’ and ‘Jannat 2′ by Kunal Deshmukh, ‘Love Aaj Kal’ by Imtiaz Ali, ‘Golmaal Returns’by Rohit Shetty, ‘Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahaani’ by Rajkumar Santoshi, ‘Badmaash Company’ under the banner of Yash Raj Films.
‘To Phir Aao’ and ‘Tera Mera Rishta’ from ‘Awarapan’, ‘Chor Bazaari’ and ‘Dooriyaan’ from ‘Love Aaj Kal’. ‘Yeh Ishq Haye’ and ‘Mauja Hi Mauja’ from ‘Jab We Met’ are examples of the versatile and exotic compositions of Pritam. Romance, rock, or Punjabi, he has record breaking numbers in all the genres.
‘Jannat’ was a marvelling Album by Pritam. He again gave KK some of the enchanting tracks like ‘Zara Sa’ and ‘Haan Tu Hai’. The entire soundtrack of ‘Jannat’ was super hit and the songs were not only dazzling but highly soothing to the ears with great arrangement of music for the scores.
More of his films include Prakash Jha’s ‘Rajneeti’, Balaji Telefilms’ ‘Once Upon A Time In Mumbai’ and its sequel, Madhur Bhandarkar’s ‘Dil To Bacha Hai Ji’, Anees Bazmee’s ‘Ready’, Anurag Basu’s ‘Barfi’, Vishesh Bhatt’s ‘Muder 3′ and Ayan Mukherjee’s ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’.
‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’ had the most successful soundtrack. The songs hit the charts instantly and are still the most popular tracks of the year. ‘Badtameez Dil’ by Benny Dayal and Shefali Alvares, and ‘Balam Pichkari’ by Vishal Dadlani and Shalmali Khodgale were the fast and catchy tracks that became humongous hits at the charts.
‘Ilahi’ by Mohit Chauhan and ‘Kabira’ by Tochi and Rekha Bharadwaj are slow and soulful tracks with some extra ordinary use of music. The female chorus at the background of ‘Ilahi’ would come as an attractive surprise to the listeners. The different genre of music along with the exceptional arrangement of music makes ‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’ one of the most saleable album of the year.
Career in Television:
At the beginning of his career, Pritam composed music for many commercials. The brands include, Emami, Head and Shoulders, Santro etc.
He further composed music for some successful daily soaps. The tune of Kkavyanjali on Star Plus received huge acknowledgment from the regular TV viewers. His other successful work on Television include Astitva (Zee Tv), Remix (Star One), Mili (Star Plus), Yeh Meri Life Hai (Sony Entertainment Television), Yeh Dil Kya Kare (Zee Tv), Kashmeer (Star Plus).
He also judged singing reality shows like, ‘ Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ and ‘Chote Ustad’ on Zee TV and ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’ on Zee Bangla. He appeared once on the reality show X-Factor on Sony Entertainment Television.
Experiment with New Voices:
Pritam has a knack to experiment his compositions with new voices. He can be credited for the introduction of many singers in Bollywood. Singers like Zubin, Mohit Chauhan, Soham, Suhail, James (from Bangladesh) were been given great opportunities by Pritam.
Neeraj Shridhar of Bombay Vikings fame also sang for Pritam and they gave out popular tracks like ‘Bhaagam Bhaag’ and later ‘Hare Ram Hare Krishna’ from ‘Bhool Bhulaiya’. He also re-introduced Amit Kumar through hit songs like ‘Dekha Jo Tujhe Yaar Dil Mein Baji Guitar’ from the movie ‘Apna Sapna Money Money’.
James became popular through the song ‘Alvida’ from ‘Life in a metro’. Soham also received the best playback singer award in 2008 for ‘In Dino’ from ‘Life In A Metro’.
‘Chor Bazari’ by Niraj Shreedhar, ‘Dooriyan’ by Mohit Chauhan are much experimental and appreciated tracks by Pritam from the movie ‘Love Aaj Kal’.
‘Bheegi Si Bhaagi Si’ by Antara Mitra and Mohit Chauhan from ‘Rajneeti’ was another track that had a soothing off-beat music which would impress any music lover.
Pritam considers ‘Jab We Met’ to be the most ‘creatively satisfying’ project for him. He prefers to compose more for romantic movies. However, he excels in all genres of music. Punjabi tracks like, ‘Nagaadaa’ and ‘Mauja Hi Mauja’ from ‘Jab We Met’ did hit the chart busters instantly after their release. ‘Yeh Ishq Haye’ by Shreya Ghoshal from ‘Jab We Met’ made her win the National Award in 2007.
Pritam shocked his critics after the release of the album of ‘Barfi’. The whistling tune along with the peppy beats received a lot of appreciation.
Controversies Regarding Compositions:
Allegations with regards to plagiarisms have been quite high for Pritam. Popular tracks like ‘Pehli Nazar Mein’ from ‘Race’, the title track of ‘Bhool Bhualiya’ and a few more are originally adapted from South Korean tracks.
Memory Disasters by The Composer:
Many of the times it has happened that Pritam kept on waiting at the studio for his singers and they didn’t turn up. Later, it was found out that he only forgot to notify them of the schedule. Typing sms but forgetting to send them, leaving car at the studio and going back home by auto are some incidents that took place because of the forgetting nature of the eminent musician.
Awards and Recognitions:
Pritam won two Filmfare Awards for the movie ‘Barfi’ in 2012. He also won four Screen awards for ‘Barfi’ and ‘Cocktail’ in 2012. ‘Barfi’ also made him win the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Zee Cine Awards, Mirchi Music Awards and Times of India Award. He also received Apsara Award, Gima and People’s Choice Awards for Cocktail in 2012.