Mannan Shaah is an upcoming Indian music composer and singer who has composed songs for movies such as ‘
Commando’ (2013) and ‘Commando 2: The Black Money Trail’ (2017). Being one of the new talents, Mannan has garnered a fan following for his work in the world of Bollywood music industry in no time. Born in 1988, at the age of 5, Mannan started learning the art of classical music. He holds late Pandit Vinayak Vohra in high regards, acknowledging his gratefulness towards his first guru for bringing out the composer in him. He learned “tar shehnai” from late Pt. Vohra for two years. Notably, in one of the interviews, he stated his guru created his version of the instrument by using a dilruba.
For those who are unaware of tar shehnai, it is a bowed instrument and it possesses a bit of resemblance to sarangi and dilruba. Mannan expressed his desire to use the mentioned musical tool in his forthcoming films. In 2011, Mannan Shaah began his career as a playback singer with songs like “Thoda Sa Pyaar” and “Baadlon Pe Paon” to his name, for the movie “Kucch Luv Jaisa” starring
Rahul Bose and
Shefali Shah. The movie did not fare successfully, but the film’s music was appreciated. Mannan worked as an assistant to
Pritam Chakraborty, a well renowned Bollywood music composer, for a year. After getting a handful of experience, he began to compose his own music.
The big break came when
Dilip Ghosh, the director of Commando noticed his talent and met the young composer. The latter was narrated the whole script by the director and Mannan agreed to take up the challenge of composing songs for the movie. The film’s producer
Vipul Amrutlal Shah and Dilip Ghosh listened to his work, and they selected a considerable number of songs for the project. Commando, starring Vidyut Jammwal and
Pooja Chopra, was released in 2013 and got a positive feedback for the film as well its music. The songs “Saawan Bairy” and “Lena Dena” received favorable reviews for their uniqueness. Mannan emphasized the free flow of flute and sarangi for “Saawan Bairy” whereas for “Lena Dena” he used shehnai and dholki.
Nevertheless, critics praised Mannan for his effective use of classical music in the movie. He contributed his music to a short film “Chasing the Rainbow”. Mannan returned to work in the sequel to 2013 hit Commando, Commando 2: The Black Money Trail which added
Adah Sharma and
Esha Gupta to its cast. As compared to its prequel, the sequel consists seven songs with Mannan composing six and Gourov-Roshin recreating Pritam’s “Hare Krishna Hare Ram”. Apparently Mannan was asked to lend his voice to the song “Seedha Saadha”, however he opted for
Jubin Nautiyal, citing himself as the biggest critic of his voice.
The sequel has an urban music touch as compared to the “rusty-rural feel” music of the first part. Like the prequel, the second part did not disappoint fans with its action as well as the music. Mannan decided to make use of acoustic and electric guitars in the song “Tere Dil Mein”. Mannan pursued his education at St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai. The young music composer is a relative of film producer Vipul Amrutlal Shah who happens to be the producer of the ‘Commando’ series too. However, Mannan has brushed off any rumours of nepotism by stating that his professional relationship with the producer-relative has been a strict and no-nonsense but a co-operative one. Mannan considers Adele as one of his favourite artists of all time and considers music as a universal language. Films he has worked in: Kucch Luv Jaisa (2011), Commando (2013), Chasing the Rainbow, Commando 2 (2017)