We all know the ‘Rasode Me Kaun Tha’ fame, Yashraj Mukhate’s passion for music. In his quest for knowing the whole background of making music, Mukhate started a new initiative where he meets the creators at their studios and extracts information on how they make their music. That’s how ‘Music Breakdown with Yashraj’ was born and the first episode featured the talented music composer who gave us major Bollywood hits, the one and only Salim Merchant! The video was dropped on September 9, 2021, and has received over 330K views on Instagram and 209K views with 21K likes on YouTube.

Explaining his thought process, Yashraj stated on YouTube, “I always had this curiosity of knowing HOW it’s done? How do they make these amazing songs? What is the process? What are the number of layers they use? What is the starting point? and many more such questions. So I thought why not just go to the studio and ask the creators and get know it directly from them. I thank Salim sir from the bottom of my heart for letting see his process. :)”

‘Music Breakdown with Yashraj’ ft. Salim Merchant | E01

As the first guest of ‘Music Breakdown with Yashraj’, Salim, very graciously hosted Yashraj in his and Sulaiman’s studio. From their candid talk, we got to know that the video was shot on August 14, 2021. Who would have thought that behind making a piece of music, there’s so much theatrics? I, for one, surely didn’t. Well, I must say, I’m glad Mukhate started this series because we are getting to learn a lot about music. Also, it’s so interesting!

From talking about the whole music breakdown of Bollywood songs to playing a quick quiz, Salim answered everything wholeheartedly. Firstly, he revealed the whole scenario of ‘Chand Sifarish’ from ‘Fanaa’ with the added beats of musical instruments and the word “Subhan Allah”, as you may have noticed.

Refresh your mind with ‘Chand Sifarish’ from ‘Fanaa’:

Next, to my utmost surprise, he dropped the bomb that before the title track of ‘Chak De! India’ was finalised, six songs were already rejected! So, he didn’t have any hopes for his seventh song but ultimately, it became a hit. Till now, whenever there’s any nationalistic event, ‘Chak De India’ booms loud from the speakers. Salim had no inhibition in showing the tunes and musical shehnai notes which he had created previously for the song.

Here’s ‘Chak De India’:

Finally, he talked about the creation of ‘Ali Maula’ from ‘Kurbaan’, which was made keeping Ustad Rashid Khan in mind. Now, comes the fun part! Yashraj engaged Salim in a small quiz, where he had to name the best works of the mentioned music composers.

Listen to ‘Ali Maula’ from ‘Kurbaan’:

From the composer duo Vishal-Shekhar, Salim’s favourite is ‘Ra.One’, and ‘Bin Tere’ from ‘I Hate Luv Storys’. Talking about RD Burman, undoubtedly, his choices were ‘Tere Bina Zindagi Se’ and  ‘Jaane Jaha Dhoondta Phir Raha’. Next, from the musical trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, ‘Dil Chahta Hai’, ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’, and ‘Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara’ were the albums that he adored.

He loved A. R. Rahman’s albums from ‘Bombay’, ‘Roza’, and ‘Dil Se’. When asked about Amit Trivedi, he replied with ‘Dev D’, ‘Sawar Loon’ from ‘Lootera’, and ‘Queen’. Last but not the least, among his own albums his top three choices were ‘Kurbaan’, ‘Chak De’, and ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’.

Continuing with their chat, Salim mentioned how his bond with other artists is still great, such as Arijit Singh, Sunidhi Chauhan, Sonu Nigam, and Vishal Dadlani. Also, here’s a pro tip for all the aspiring musicians out there as truly stated by Salim, “The more you do, the better you get.” Nowadays, he prefers to hear Ghazals more. But that doesn’t mean he ignores other music. He’s open to everything, any new piece of work. For his own company, Merchant Records, he’s eager to find out new talents and always takes time to listen to new demos from new budding artists. In ‘Monday Mehfil’, he used to select creators from his live session to perform, and of course, the worthy ones got to work with him in reality!

On an ending note, Salim praised Yashraj saying, “I’m so happy for all the love you’re getting right now. Very deserving. Very very.” Even before Mukhate became famous, he was already known by Salim. Thus, knowing his work, he requests the audience, “Please try Yashraj’s music which is original, which is pure music. Of course, he entertains us but he also steals your heart.” Lastly, he generously showed the viral sensation, the whole Salim-Sulaiman studio along with the edit suite.