His music is edgy, peppy and catchy. But every number Ram Sampath composes has soul. Be it music for Delhi Belly, Talaash or Raees, Sampath’s music has a way of carving a special place in charts and people’s hearts. And this time, the composer is back with a new composition, for a show on Discovery titled Yell Mem India. Incidentally, the composer has also sung the title track of the show, which began airing on August 14.

Sampath says, “The song is also called ‘Yeh Mera India’ and is about our love for India’s amazing, diverse and unique wildlife and natural beauty. It’s up-tempo, yet has a strong emotional thread that binds it together. It has lyrics in Hindi, Bengali and Tamil, which blend into each other. This song is also an expression of pride in our cultural diversity.”

He adds, “I set out to make a song that has an organic feel, yet reflects the contemporary sound of Indian music. It’s a personal expression of our love for our country, with lyrics by Prashant Ingole and rap by Divine, Ankurr and Kalai. The musicians, Siddharth Chopra (guitars and string instruments) and Pooja Majumdar (bass), have added a live flavour to the music.”

Ram Sampath has composed jingles for brands such as Airtel, Docomo, Thums Up and Pepsi

The composer, who has earlier made music for several films and indie projects, says that composing for a show was a different ball game altogether. “It was great fun because the creative team from Discovery gave us a free hand to create and collaborated with us wonderfully on fine-tuning all aspects of the song.”

Sampath currently has his hands full with two film projects and a whole bunch of non-film projects. “The future looks really exciting,” he says. “I find all these avenues challenging in their own way, but to achieve popularity in a non-film format like Coke Studio India or Indie Pop music, where you’re not dependent on a movie star’s appeal and massive marketing budgets, is very fulfilling.”

Sampath admits that he likes music with authenticity. “I like recognisability and personality in an artiste’s work. To share in the journey of an artiste is one of life’s great pleasures,” he says, adding when he makes music, he looks to make some with soul in it. “With film music, you create in context to the film’s script and genre, and a lot of the time the music company or marketing team’s requirements. In non-film music, the brief is generally more open, so my approach is driven by one dictum: make what you would like to hear.”

This article was originally published in The Hindu