Sanjeeta Bhattacharya: Uddchalein

photographed by Aryan Vij

Sanjeeta Bhattacharya: Uddchalein

Sanjeeta Bhattacharya is releasing a new single this weekend titled Uddchalein, in collaboration with producer Aman Sagar and rap duo Full Power (Frappe Ash and Yungsta). As the name suggests, the song speaks of freedom. The sound of the track is experimental, with electronic beats and a rap to add an interesting flavour — very unlike the music that Sanjeeta has put out before, still very soulful. 

She gives us an exclusive peek into the making of the track below. 

What was the starting point for Uddchalein?
The producer of the song, Aman Sagar, reached out to me with the idea in October 2020. We both have worked on Khoya Sa and Red before and wanted to create something dramatically different in terms of sound. I immediately jumped on the idea. We had the lyrical phrasing chalked out and wanted to have a rap verse on it. We found Frappe Ash and Yungsta’s music on a streaming platform and wrote to them along with a demo. Their verse blew us away with its pertinence. I feel twenty somethings like us often find ourselves bogged down in the midst of constant disarray and we wanted to create something with a message of hope and love, because as cliche as it sounds, that’s what defines the thin line between living and merely existing. 

Can you talk a little about the music sensibility?
I hope it will be a breath of fresh air for those who follow my music. I wanted to be mindful of keeping the soundscape fun and uptempo while being lyrically impactful and uplifting, without sounding preachy. We used the balafon which is a West African wooden percussion instrument and that’s the sound that inspired the inception of the song. Incorporating elements of RnB in the harmony, a very straight pop melody, using trap beats and the sitar was our way of creating a pleasant mishmash of cultures colliding. We also kept a bass heavy chorus, drawing attention to the lyric that says ‘naamumkin kuchh bhi nahi’ (nothing is impossible). 

Sanjeeta Bhattacharya: Uddchalein

How was it collaborating with Aman and Full Power?
Working with Aman is always a pleasure because I believe our musical sensibilities match only too well. He is not only exceptionally talented as a producer but is also an incredible guitar player and songwriter. Full Power’s compelling aesthetic is very driven and I love the flavour it brings to the song. The first time I heard them was on a track called Shauk Nahi and instantly knew I had to work with them! Most importantly, they’re all genuinely good people and I love surrounding myself with such people. 

Can you tell us a little about the thought process behind the animated video for the track?
The video was inspired by John Mayer’s New Light music video. We wanted to create something that’s lighthearted, funny and almost silly. Something that inspires you to take life not too seriously, be able to laugh at yourself and recognise the child in you that dares to dream without a shred of doubt. Animation is the easiest way to reflect that unbridled imagination. 

What’s next for you?
Next up is a web-drama about journalism on Zee5 called The Broken News, in which I play the character of a journalist named Juhi Shergill. This is alongside icons like Sonali Bendre and Shriya Pilgaonkar, so I’m really excited about it! Also looking forward to a film I just finished called Adbhut, directed by Sabbir Khan, where I play a character named Rimal alongside actors whom I have immense respect for like Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Diana Penty. Apart from this, I’ll be releasing more music that I has started writing when the pandemic began. They’re all sonically very diverse and some of my most honest work. I can’t wait to share it with you. 

Text Hansika Lohani Mehtani
Date 19-05-2022