In pursuit of victory

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To pep up the mood of Goans and give hope during this time of despair, a video song ‘Jait’ (victory), directed by Aniket Naik and featuring several Goans, has been released on social media. NT BUZZ gets you the details

Danuska Da Gama | NT BUZZ

The coronavirus pandemic forced the world to come to a standstill. Indeed, no one had ever anticipated a situation like the current one. However, in Goa, an abundance of creativity is keeping the hopes of people high, while entertaining us.

Among these is filmmaker Aniket Naik who came out with an idea of a collaborative project to encourage his fellow Goans in these
difficult times.

“I had already started working on this idea when the lockdown began. I then shared this idea with Sachin Verlekar who was the producer of my debut Konkani film ‘Amizade’, and a senior writer in Goa, Saiesh Poi Panandikar who had also worked with me earlier as a writer, lyricist and as an actor in ‘Amizade’,” says Naik ,adding that “Saiesh Sir” instantly agreed to be a part of this, and soon the two began brainstorming on the lyrics.

“We chose a song from ‘Amizade’ – the title track, which was also written by Saiesh Sir himself. The biggest challenge for him while writing the new lyrics for this tune was to understand the mental state of people going through a lockdown, something which was never experienced before, while making sure that the lyrics don’t hurt any sentiments or are misunderstood by any community or religion,” says Naik.

As the lyrics were falling in place, Naik along with his friend Siddhesh Naik who had done the casting for ‘Amizade’ and worked as editor for the award-winning film ‘Juze’, began connecting with artistes from Goa. They say that the overall response was positive from the people they
approached.

The bigger challenge however, was to finalise someone who could lend a melodious voice to the song. “Trying to zero down on a singer for this song with very high energy tempo (the original song is sung by Bollywood singer Suraj Jagan) was not an easy task. It had to match the original tempo and energy,” says Naik says.

In a bid to get the best, several male singers were auditioned. They also toyed with the idea of making it a duet. Besides this, they had to factor in working from home which meant coordination, communication, and invention. “Since it was a lockdown and each of us were working from our respective homes, we were all coming out with various methods to collaborate with the help of technology like WhatsApp video calls and Zoom calls, to direct each other, take auditions, etc,” says Naik.

Panandikar, the music directors in Mumbai – Rithesh Rajan and Shridhar Chokkalingam, and Aniket Naik finally decided on Aniket Daddikar, as his voice was most suitable for the song, and then went ahead with the recording.

Fortunately, says Naik, Daddikar had a basic home setup wherein he could record himself keeping the professional standards in mind. “Even so it was a new experience as we were all on a Zoom call together from our own places creating one recording
session,” he says.

As for production, Naik had a clear picture of what he wanted, how the artistes should record themselves while lip- syncing, etc. There were hiccups here and there as sometimes there was no precision like it happens when an actor and director is in the same space. Patience, practice, and
perfection mattered.

Naik tells us that it took some time to receive all the footage from various artistes to commence with the edit. ‘Jait’ has several popular artistes including Prince Jacob and Salil Naik who willingly came forward.

Editor Siddhesh Naik worked on the song to match the tempo with the energy of the artistes in the video. “It wasn’t too difficult as every artiste had recorded with full enthusiasm despite the surrounding dull situation,” says Siddhesh.

However, as the edit was in process, Goa was declared a green zone. While this was indeed happy news, the makers initially felt that releasing the music video now served no purpose.

“We had almost decided to keep it aside and probably apologise to the artistes who had taken time out to record,” says Naik. But then when the Goa Government allowed for a few relaxations the creative team realised that their video could still be relevant.

Naik says that also looking at the statistics in surrounding states, they realised that this was going to be a new normal for a while and hence everyone needed to adapt to a modified lifestyle and keep heath as the big priority. Thus a few more changes were made to the edit structure, taking into account Goa’s green zone status and concerns, before releasing the video.

The pandemic situation may not end soon. We may somehow have to co-exist with this novel coronavirus, yet move on with life, using all precautions possible. But we can definitely work together to gain ‘Jait’ (victory) over a virus that has overpowered our lives for a pretty long time now.

(The music video ‘Jait’ can be viewed on YouTube and Facebook)