It was at the age of 19 that Bhushan Kumar inherited a reigning record label and a fledgling production house from his father, the late music baron Gulshan Kumar. But industry insiders vouch that apart from the music empire, the young producer also inherited an ear for music from him. Having come a long way since, the company has grown with Bhushan and he with the company, he says. Considered one of the top players in the market today, the house is producing as many as four films a year, and looking to bring up the numbers gradually. “The key is to identify and know what the audience wants and give it to them in the best package possible,” says Bhushan, as we talk to him about his successful journey in filmdom and his plans for the future:
What was the biggest challenge since you took over T-Series?
Our label was always known as a mass brand. To bridge that gap and to take it to the classes by bringing it a respectability with niche brand associations was what I took up as a challenge. And today we are working with the best names in the industry, so we have definitely grown and I want to take it further. It may not have been like starting from scratch, but it was a completely new start for me and I hope dad will be proud of me.
The music industry has undergone huge changes over the years, so how have you tackled these changes?
We have never shunned any of the changes or let them overtake us.
Instead we are moving ahead with time and making these very changes work to our benefit. Like we have exclusive tie-ups with various websites for song downloads. As for piracy, we try and beat it simply by providing the audience what they want faster and pricing it all reasonably.
Today there is more focus on content, so where does that leave music in films?
Music will always be the heart and soul of a film, whether the film is star-driven or content-driven. And we Indians are particularly fond of our songs, so whether actors lip-sync or not, music will always be one of the most important ingredients of the film. There are more chances of a film working at the BO if the music is a hit. Take any film in the past and I will prove it.
As a music producer, you are at present associated with some of the most-talked about films and also have a string of successful films in the recent past like Dabangg and Housefull 2. What are your plans for your home productions?
Well, after Ready last year, we are now looking at Nautanki Saala with Rohan Sippy, Aashiqui 2 with the Bhatts, then there’s my wife Divya’s film Yaarian, then I Love NY and one with Milan Luthria and Saif Ali Khan which is at present in scripting stages. I am not going to limit myself by genres or budgets and we are looking at a mix of small to mega-budget flicks.
How involved are you as a
producer and a music producer
in a project?
As a music producer, completely from start to the end. I take the call, suggest inputs and implement changes. I just know when a tune will click. But as a film producer, I back off once everyone is brought on board and things are locked. Then I don’t interfere with the director at all, except on the music.
What’s your take on competition?
Competition keeps you on your toes, encourages you to do better, so it’s actually a must for me. And today, I think the competition is more fair and transparent.
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