It is not just songs that we hum or enjoy listening over and over again. Nowadays, there are certain jingles which we love listening to and at times we find ourselves humming or even singing them aloud, at times unknowingly. While songs are more about conveying our different emotion like love, happiness and sorrow, jingles are mostly witty and fun, used for promoting a product. Some jingles are so powerful, the music is so good that we remember them for years. But how easy is it to compose these jingles? Find out from Ambar Das, music composer who hails from Guwahati, and is now ruling the world of jingles after being very successful as a song composer and drummer and guitarist with several bands. Bands however, continue to be his first love.
Ambar Das, a music composer, producer, drummer and guitarist from Guwahati, Assam is breaking barriers in the music industry. He has been composing jingles for major brands as Adidas, Incredible India, Myntra, Flipkart, ICICI banks, etc. He is also known for composing music for a plethora of serials and documentaries for Discovery, BBC, National Geographic, Star World, Sony, Colors, News Live to name a few.
However, Ambar always considers himself to be a band guy. “I have had the great fortune of playing in some great bands with some of the best musicians like Soulmate (Shillong), Faith (Mumbai), Voodoo Child (Assam), Band of Brothers (an Indo-German fusion band), Crystal Ann (Assam), Monthsmind (Assam), Chocolates N Cigarettes (Assam-Hyderabad), East India Company (Delhi) and Warklung (A Karbi progressive folk-fusion band),” said Ambar.
He is also quite active in the regional music scene and has accompanied artists of the likes of Bhupen Hazarika, Zubin Garg, Angarag (Papon) Mahanta, and Santa Uzir. As a music producer in Mumbai, he has worked with artists like Shankar Mahadevan, Sonu Nigam, Ila Arun, Pankaj Udhas and Sukhwinder Singh to name a few.
Ambar’s first brush with composing jingles happened when he was searching for jobs in Mumbai and happened to meet Sanjoy Dazz through a mutual friend and renowned vocalist Sucheta Bhattacharjee. Sanjoy was interested in films and so along with him, they worked together in three films so far. Among the three films Ambar had the opportunity to work with the prolific director Rituparno Ghosh for the movie Sunglass. He along with Sanjoy did the BGM for the movie. However, due to the unfortunate death of the director, the film never saw its release.
However, the transition from performing in bands and telling a story through three minute long songs to short and precise jingles was challenging. “I have one talent, I am a very fast learner,” said Ambar. According to the musical genius, every piece has a story to tell and when the time is limited it becomes very challenging. But as the saying goes practice makes a man perfect and after composing a number of jingles for many clients, it now comes naturally to Ambar.
His recent composition Jai Shri Ram, The Bitter Truth, talks about the present, bitter situation of India. The lyrics though haunting, is nothing but the truth and holds a lot of meaning. Few excerpts from the lyrics are enough to give you a real sense of the times and the society we are in and the issues that should be our concern but are not.
“The cows are safe. But the girls are not
We can go to the moon And claim a spot
The beggar boy waiting for The bullet train
Another guy in the sewers Dies in pain
We lynched a guy Didn’t like his name
Currency changes So does the game
Calling this song as a rant or a rumination or the pains of an Indian citizen, Ambar shows us the grim reality of what the country is actually going through. In the description of the song in his YouTube channel he writes, “My intention is not to hurt anyone, but just share the things that have hurt me and many other people as well. I am just looking forward to a better India.”
This, however, is not the only composition by the artist that drew nationwide attention. In the year of 2014, he released Jote Tote- The first Assamese Acappella song. Ambar always dreamed of doing an acapella song but he lacked the resources. However, thanks to the multi-track recording and modern audio editing facilities it became possible for just one person to do an acapella.
Being in the field of music for over three decades now, Ambar has seen the highs and lows of the Indian music scene. Music according to him is like any other art which is dynamic and hence change is inevitable however, the core remains the same. “But mainstream music is unfortunately in a pathetic state all around the world and India and Assam is no exception. People are busy manufacturing ‘content’ than creating actual music which is more like instant noodles now,” Ambar adds.
But despite the grim situation there are a lot of artist who are creating good music with “absolute honesty without caring for what sells.” Feeling positive about the future, he talks about Anuraag Saikia, Nilotpal Bora, Shankuraj Konwar and many more who are trying to make a difference and are quite successful too.
“The so called celebrities come and go, the real artists remain forever.” he said.