“It is deeply satisfying winning an international award that has been adjudged the best work from entries across the globe.” - Dhruv Ghanekar
STARDUST INDIA|July 2021
An accomplished and celebrated musician, Dhruv Ghanekar is a name to be reckoned with in the world of music. In an in-depth interview with Sumita Chakraborty, the amazing Dhruv Ghanekar talks about his action packed musical journey, producing two songs for the Beatles Documentary, winning accolades and awards, working with music bests and more…
Sumita Chakraborty

Dhruv Ghanekar, the super-talented music composer, producer, and guitarist from Mumbai is a musician par excellence. Recently, he won the award for ‘Best Music’ at the UK Asian Film Festival for his documentary film, ‘The Beatles and India’! Not only that, he has forged ahead with his work in the recently released Jimmy Nelson documentary film, Save Our Sentinels - his exceptional composition added telling layers to the visual storytelling. Not only that, he has also garnered rave reviews for the same from critics - winning him the Kyoorius Award for Best Music and the Best Music Award at the D&AD Awards London 2021.

This year has seen Dhruv scale even greater heights with three of his projects getting nominated at Cannes - The Jimmy Nelson film, The Fevicol Sofa Ad (It has won the Spikes Asia award for Best Music) and the Ad for Vaseline! Building on the what is turning out to be a very successful 2021 - Dhruv has a host of exciting projects in the pipeline. He’s composing for two major commercial films - Choona on Netflix and the Kangana Ranaut starrer Dhakkad that releases in 2022. …Read on as this exceptional musician talks about his musical journey and more.

Dhruv, you are a music composer, producer, and guitarist from Mumbai who has carved a niche for himself in the global and Indian arena, how has your musical journey of two decades been?

It has been incredibly rewarding. I never imagined that this journey would (a) Be this long and (b) Take me down so many different paths. Along the way there have been amazing experiences: from scoring Bombay Boys within the first year of my composing life,to having a golden run of doing an insane amount of advertising and television work. In the mid-2000s we set up Blue Frog, thanks to which I met so many brilliant artists from all over the world. The last decade has been about going back to my roots using all those experiences and channelling it into my music. Of course, all the international accolades have been extremely gratifying. I’m just lucky to be doing what I do, but the amazing thing about music is that after all these years, I feel like I am just getting started! There have been massive challenges along the way, but hard work and sincerity to your craft always pays off and that keeps me grounded.

You have produced two songs on the Beatles Documentary film, which has won many awards at the UK Asian Film Festival. Tell us a bit more about it.

The Beatles and India documentary was an incredible opportunity for me to revisit my childhood. I had a Beatles mixtape on loop for over three years when I was 10 years old, so it literally was the soundtrack of my wonder years.

I have the honour of contributing to this incredible project about The Beatles and their time spent in India. I have performed, arranged and produced 2 songs on the CD.

1. Julia by John Lennon

2. Love You To by George Harrison

Being a long-time Beatles fan, this was a marvelous opportunity to re-interpret these classics whilst giving it an Indian tilt. Reinterpreting Beatles songs is a daunting task, as there’s such a plethora of already existing covers by many a great artist. But I am pleased with the outcome and I am certain the end result will surprise audiences as well.

Besides winning accolades and 50 international awards for your composition for the film Jimmy Nelson Blink & Save Our Sentinls, you have also garnered rave reviews from critics - winning the Kyoorius Award for Best Music and the Best Music Award at the D&AD Awards London 2021, this is quite a feat, how do you feel garnering such wonderful reviews and accolades?

It is deeply satisfying winning an international award that has been adjudged the best work from entries across the globe. This year has been even more difficult as its 2020 and 2021 combined! The aim of the Blink and SOS films is to mobilise an international audience to help preserve the world’s collective cultural identity. The film is a powerful visual commentary on the cultural identity of the last sentinels of our natural reserves. It is stitched together from thousands of original documented pictures of the last few indigenous tribes interspersed with the unique footage of their ancient habitats in the previous twenty years by celebrated photographer Jimmy Nelson and his team.

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