Sanjay Leela Bhansali: If you take music away from me, I will just collapse – Exclusive |

Sanjay Leela Bhansali: If you take music away from me, I will just collapse – Exclusive |

Renowned filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali is celebrated for his grand cinematic vision and his unique ability to blend visual splendor with musical genius. In an exclusive interview with ETimes, Bhansali opened up about his deep-rooted love for music and how it has shaped every aspect of his filmmaking process.
“I am nothing without music. I mean, I need music twenty-four hours a day.If I had my way, I would still be listening to music right now because I always have my headphones with me,” Bhansali begins passionately.
For Sanjay, music is not just a background score but the very foundation of his creative process. He says, “When it comes to cars, I only buy those with a good music system. I feel that music is an integral part of being. If you take music away from me, I will just collapse. It’s my foundation.”This unwavering dedication to music means that every thought and idea Bhansali has begins with a melody. “All my thoughts on any subject start with music. A song comes to mind first, then I develop it further. Even when there’s no specific situation for a song, it still comes to life on its own. The song creates a place for itself. That means the song is coming from deep down in my subconscious. I bring it out and create it,” he explains.
Further, the process of creating music for his films is both organic and collaborative. He works closely with his favorite writer, Turaaz, to craft lyrics that complement the music’s essence. “Sometimes, I tell Turaaz about a situation, and he crafts it beautifully. Occasionally, a phrase comes to my mind, and others build on it, even though some get rejected,” says the filmmaker.

Despite his meticulous approach, not all songs make it to the final cut. “We recorded fifteen songs, but only nine made it to the series. Some songs were directly left out, some didn’t feel right, and some could be improved. I strive to get better at my work every day,” he explains.
Bhansali’s commitment to excellence is evident in his continuous quest for improvement, he quotes “If you ask me to review something I did yesterday, I’ll see two more things I can improve because I live my work so intensely. Songs, too, get corrected and edited continuously.”
This relentless pursuit of perfection is driven by his belief in the evolutionary nature of an artist’s work. “As individuals, we must evolve, grow, and work hard. Many people think, ‘It’s done, I’ll do it again later.’ But what you did yesterday reflects your knowledge then, and today, you are a bit wiser and more experienced. I keep mixing, listening to a guitar riff that I didn’t notice before, or a beat that I hear differently another day. We are constantly discovering new things,” adds Sanjay.

He draws inspiration from legendary filmmakers who seamlessly integrated music into their storytelling. “Legends like Raj Kapoor, Mehboob Khan, Rishikesh Mukherjee, and K. Asif have influenced me deeply. Music was an integral part of their cinema. By learning from them, we carry their legacy forward. If I can add three or four more films to my name, I hope to continue their tradition while others pursue world cinema in their own ways,” he concludes.
Watch the full interview here:

EXCLUSIVE | SANJAY LEELA BHANSALI on Love, Rebellion & HEERAMANDI: Beyond The Glitz | Director’s Cut

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