Murder Mystery 2 composers Avinash-Vishwajeet: ‘We’d never dreamt of working on a Hollywood film’

Film-music composers Avinash Chandrachud, 50, and Vishwajeet Joshi, 52, are on cloud nine. The duo have composed a song, King di wedding hai, for the Netflix film Murder Mystery 2, their very first Hollywood project, which released on Friday on Netflix, starring Jennifer Aniston, Adam Sandler.

Over 25 years, the duo has composed songs and background scores for more than 75 films, spanning Marathi, Kannada, Telugu and Konkani languages. Some of their Marathi films include Premachi Goshta (2013), Gurupournima (2014), Sarsenapati Hambirrao Mohite (2022), among others. The two has previously worked on a French and a Swedish film.

While working on another French film, Avinash-Vishwajeet were approached by Paris-based choreographers Avishai and Mahina Khanum, who had liked their work, and asked if they would create music for a Punjabi wedding song. “So, we composed the song and they sent it to the Netflix US team and after a few days we heard that they liked the track. Our next meeting was with Kevin Grady from Adam Sandler’s production (Happy Madison Productions) and Jeremy Garelick, the director. There was no looking back after that,” says Vishwajeet, songwriter and composer. In an exclusive telephonic interview with Moneycontrol, before they flew to Paris for the preview, the composers spoke about the song’s making. Edited excerpts:

How challenging was the brief for the song?

Avinash: Vishwajeet writes most of our songs. But this one was not just a wedding song, it had lots of stories embedded, the Maharaja was to get shot, and it is one of the main parts of the film. So, that was a real challenge — to not only write the song but to incorporate the story which goes along with it. As we progressed, we came up with the narration of the story that went with the song and the lyrics. Farhad Bhiwandiwala has sung this song and he also wrote the rap part of it.

Jennifer Aniston wearing a Manish Malhotra lehnga and dancing to your beats, tell us about the song choreography.

Vishwajeet: Mahina Khanum choreographed this song. She is an Odissi dancer and promotes Indian dances all over France. Adam Sandler’s production guys got in touch with her as she knows Indian dance and its patterns. Together with Avishai, the music director as well as the video director, Mahina choreographed it. Overall, it was great fun composing the song.

Indian musicians and film-music industry has witnessed highs this year at international awards. How was it working on a Hollywood film? Avinash: Bollywood and Indian music is loved everywhere in the world. Indian music has its own tradition and legacy and it’s great that the entire world is appreciating us.Vishwajeet: We work towards hard-core melody, that’s why our songs have been popular in Marathi for the last 15 years. For Murder Mystery 2 also, we have tried to deliver a good melody. Working on a Hollywood film was beyond our imagination, something we’d not dreamt of. It’s like God’s gift to us, a superlative gift!

You both worked remotely to create music for this song. How was it managing the time differences?

Vishwajeet: The film was shot in Hawaii for most of the initial portion and second part was shot in Paris. So, while working on the song, we were connecting with the Paris guys, like Avishai and Mahina, and they were connecting with the Netflix guys. Our Zoom meetings were from Hawaii, Paris and Mumbai. So, yes, the time-zone management was challenging! It was quite difficult to pick a good timing suitable for everyone. Sometimes our meeting happened to be in the mornings, at 3.30-4.00 am, because that was the mean time possible for all of us. And, sometimes, for them, it was night. We were sleepless and we had to get up and attend calls and work at the song during the day!

Any fun memories while working with the filmmakers?

Vishwajeet: Yes, their terminologies were so different from us. In India, when we say ‘this song is sounding like a YRF song or a Karan Johar song’ it usually means that it is sounding like a romantic song. But they were terming our first draft as ‘a Disney song’ and almost rejecting it. We were more than happy to hear the Disney comparison…Disney is huge! But, apparently, they had actually meant that they didn’t want the song to be too happy, like a Disney song, because the character was a dark one. They explained they wanted it to sound more rough instead. That episode was quite funny.