Shashi Suman
Interview with Shashi SumanPR handout

Bollywood music director duo Shashi-Shivam created quite a buzz in 2014 with their soundtrack for "Mary Kom," a biographical sports drama based on the life of the eponymous boxer. This year they are back with "Nindiya," a song that they composed for another biographical film "Sarbjit," set to release on May 20, 2016.

"Nindiya" is a soulful and mellow acoustic guitar-driven track written by Sandeep Singh and sung by Arijit Singh. According to Shashi Suman, one half of Shashi-Shivam, the song will be played in the film's scene, where Sarbjit Singh's body is being brought back to India from Pakistan. "When we got the brief for the song, we decided that it should be melancholic due to the fact that Sarbjit Singh's dead body is being brought back, and it should also reflect the emotions of Sarbjit's sister who has been waiting to see him return home for many years. Keeping all this in mind, we ended up composing the bittersweet song that 'Nindiya' turned out to be. Both musically and lyrically, we tried to keep the song as positive as possible," says Suman, who states Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan as his greatest musical influence.

These days almost every other Bollywood film soundtrack comprises of a song sung by Arijit Singh. The singer's association with Suman and Shivam Pathak goes back to the days when Mary Kom's soundtrack was being composed. Suman says that Singh was their first and final choice for "Nindiya" as they thought that he is the only person who could bring out the emotional quotient of the song. "After we finished composing the song, when we sent it to Arijit, he liked it so much that he called me up and said that he would record the song that very night. Although that did not actually happen, he took the song to a whole new level when he finally recorded the song," he adds.

Both Suman and Pathak were contestants of Indian Idol where their musical chemistry started. They met at the show's auditions where they stood with each other in the queue. "We never realised that we would end up as music directors in Bollywood back then," says Suman. "After Indian Idol, we both went our separate ways but stayed in touch. We used to create songs and make the other listen. That is when we realised that we could do wonders if we start creating music together. And here we are today," he adds.