Monday, February 1, 2010

Guest Lecture by renowned Lyricist- Dialogue Writer- Singer, Mr. Swanand Kirkire at Digital Academy – The Film School.

Swanand Kirkire was born and brought up in India. In 1996 he graduated from National School of Drama and started doing theatre. He is one of the most versatile personalities in the Hindi film industry, having tried his hands at various aspects of filmmaking and always succeeding in his venture. Mr. Kirkire has written Lyrics for various films like “Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi”, “Parineeta”, “3 Idiots”, “Paa”. He has won the National Award for Best Lyrics in 2007 for the song “Bande Mein Tha Dum” from the film, “Lage Raho Munna Bhai. He is also a Dialogue Writer, with films like “ Chameli”, Eklavya: The Royal Guard to his credit.


The song that has been going around inspiring people “ All eej well” from the film “3 Idiots” is written and sung by him along with Shaan and Sonu Nigam. He has also written and sung the song “Bawra mann dekne chala ek sapna” from the film “ Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi”.


Mr. Swanand Kirkire began the lecture by speaking about the importance of music and lyrics in Indian Cinema. A lyricist is known to accrue beautiful words of wisdom through their wealth of knowledge and experience, and songs add melody to it. Songs are a prominent part of Indian Cinema enhancing the emotions of a particular situation. They are sometimes so essential that stories are fashioned around them. Mr. Kirkire added that “The script plays a vital role to write a specific song. It is essential to know how the song is complimenting the story.


Writing is an inherent skill amongst few people but one can learn the skill by practicing it. Everyone has the talent to write, it’s a matter of sheer hard work and patience that is needed to reach a certain standard. Elaborating on this, he said, “My journey as a writer did not begin from childhood. I acquired the skill by reading a lot of poetry and listening to various lyrics and then tried to create some of my own. Being analytical of your own work also helps you grow tremendously. Creativity is a process; it depends on how you confine it within yourself.


Speaking about his versatile profile as a Lyricist, Dialogue Writer, and Singer, he said, “If you can do one thing appropriately at a time then you could achieve a lot but if you try to do everything at a time you may not go very far. Divide your tasks according to the time and then patiently work towards honing your skills. Wherever there is life, there is inspiration.



We have brimful of smart one-liners nonchalantly used in our daily conversations. In a country such as India which has a great culture of wit, lyricists are obligated to come up with interesting dialogues for which understanding the character, the strata they belong to, their values etc is very important. The dialogue writer has to be very clear in his mind about all these aspects because the Screenplay may not have all these things specified. The job of the dialogue writer is to enhance the story.


On asked about the usage of “Hinglish” in the lyrics, he said, “If a language does not change constantly with time, it becomes lifeless. We are constantly adapting to change. The entire country is speaking the language so a lyricist has to use a similar vocabulary to empathize with the audience. Citing an example from the Film “3 Idiots”, he said, “The film is based in the contemporary modern society of an engineering college and therefore the language of the film is written keeping the younger generation in mind, who would not accept anything ornamental, even the songs are straight from the heart… language should not be a barrier while displaying emotions”



Mr. Kirkire advised the students to work with conviction and believe in their work. Never consider your work as your baby but imagine placing it on a pedestal where it could be exposed to the outer world; it will help you gauge a clear perspective as to where you stand amongst others in the industry. He also mentioned that there is always a chance of failure but as a creative person your job is to concentrate on yourself and your work and create your own compositions for the audience to decide.



In his parting lines to the students, he said, “You have got a great opportunity to enhance your skills through Digital Academy. Since you are getting so much input from your faculty and Industry professionals here, do take advantage for this time may never come again. We want our Indian Cinema to go further”.




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