Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy, Music Directors

By Team YS|17th May 2010
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Brothers in arms

The renowned and self made musical trio Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy share their musical journey and what it takes to pursue ones’ passion with YourStory

Music they say, can unite, cross boundaries and woo people. Wondering what inspiration can drive a software engineer ( Shankar Mahadevan) to quit his profession, an Indian ( Ehsaan Noorani) studying in California to return back to Swades, and an off beat musician (Loy Mendonsa) to get into composing. Passion for the five letter word: MUSIC.

Shankar Ehsaan and Loy have created legendary music, with their movie soundtracks for Dil Chahta Hai, Taare Zameen par, Rock On, Karthik Calling Karthik, Wake Up Sid, latest musical hit Housefull and many more. Simply put, the three musketeers of Indian Music are rightly the pioneers of a musical revolution that has changed the face of Bollywood music. In an exclusive conversation with YourStory, they talk about their highs and lows in life and what it takes to excel. An interesting read for all the startup entrepreneurs trying to build value and pursue their passion.

First step forth:

Shankar: “I started learning Hindustani Classical music at an age of five. Though I pursued my engineering, I continued singing. Ehsaan, after composing some advertisements’ jingles pushed me to quit my profession as a software engineer and take up singing. There hasn’t been any looking back ever since then, rather, it has turned out to be a great step!”

Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy

Ehsaan: “ I was in Los Angeles studying music. Being the music capital of world, I learnt a lot there. After my return to India, I was involved with jingles. I did that for few years, before we three got together to compose music for our first movie—Dus.”Loy: “ There was a lot of music in my family and hence I struck my first six strings at an age of thirteen. I went to Delhi after I grew up where I gave music for a lot of television serials like Fauji, Quiz time etc.. On returning back to Mumbai I met Ehsaan through a common friend and instantly we got together to compose music!”

Binding Force

Shankar: “ If I have to be honest, music holds us together! We compose music everywhere and anywhere. While we are traveling, hanging out, or just sitting idle. Breathless was composed during a traffic jam and similarly various others at random situations. Music is what keeps us going.”

Ehsaan: “ The pleasure we derive in creating and playing music is similar. That has been the force that has kept us together during all the lows and highs.”

Loy: “Our diversity has held us together.According to me this factor does the charm in our music. We three come from very different environments and varied school of thought. We learnt different kinds of music and we specialize in different genres. We are the Amar Akbar Anthony of music industry, with each one of us from a different faith.”

Stairway to Success:

Shankar : “ Its been a long journey for the three of us to achieve the name and fame that we share today. Coming from a middle class family, I was educated to have a risk free life post my graduation. To quit all of that and start afresh was a tough task. But one has to take a few tough steps. I had faith in myself and SEL (Shankar Ehsaan Loy) as a whole. The journey has been full of falls and struggles but we have finally got what we deserve. And that’s definitely satisfying.

Ehsaan: “ As Shankar said, it’s been a grueling path. I too, had to come back from California and start my life all over again. The transition was tough but today when I look back, I am glad that I took that decision.

Loy: “There were years when we have waited for that right movie or that right assignment. It has taken a lot of patience from all of us, but we have always stood by each other, shared our happiness , sorrows and struggles. That has been the key.”

Beyond Music:

Shankar: “Our lives revolve around music. Hence there’s music everywhere, in everything that I do. There is a song in my mind for every moment.”

Ehsaan: “I love guitars! I now have a collection of 24 guitars all together and I am glad that I know which one to play when!”

Loy: “ I am a gadget freak. I do make sure to catch up on the scientific developments in any field. I love to read about the same, be it on the web or read books on such topics.”

Message to the youth:

Shankar: “ It is very essential to do what you like! I have incorporated that in my life and here I am, a happy man. Always follow your passion and never let yourself down.”

Ehsaan: “ I am glad that I am doing something in which I derive fun. This has been my dream and I am living it. One thing that’s lacking in today’s generation is the tenacity to work towards their dreams. I think that’s something very essential. Always cherish your dreams.”

Loy: “ In today’s global village, increasingly young people are losing their identity and roots. There is a small Indian sitting inside every one of us, never forget that. It is very essential to be proud of that and reflect it in our identity, in whatever we do!”

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