Whether or not you’ve binged on the new TV series everyone is talking about, Scam 1992 - The Harshad Mehta Story, you must have definitely come across its the theme song - which has gone viral in the past few days since the critically acclaimed show was dropped on SonyLIV platform.
“Harshad Mehta theme" and “Harshad Mehta opening credits" have since become the top searches related to the TV series on YouTube and search engines, with people even making mash-ups of the theme, with other situations. There’s even a 1-hour loop of it on the Internet - for all the times you want to feel badass, and for an hour if you’re at it.
The musician behind the track, Achint, who had first posted the theme song of the opening credits on his YouTube page, now has close to 4 million views on the video in less than a month.
Speaking to News18, the creator of the viral theme song or as they call it an intro, as well as the soundtrack for the rest of the show, opens up about the fame.
“It feels great that the show is getting the appreciation it deserves," Achint tells News18.
Asked how he came up with the song that clearly struck a note with the audience, Achint explains the process was trial-and-error at first.
“I was given a very minimal brief, and the theme was made before they even started shooting. One of the directors, Jai, made it ambiguous. He told me it’s a show based in the 80’s, it’s on the rise and fall of Harshad Mehta. The first track I ended up making sounded like a caricature."
“This was the second attempt," explains Achint. “This was more gritty, had more attitude, was edgy. In a way, it sounded like money."
To produce what the theme is now, Achint did digging into what kind of a person Harshad Mehta was, and tried to put his attitude into the song.
“It’s kind of sinister, but it still has a hip hop swag going on, which I feel represents his character quite well. He did have a lot of confidence, and that hip hop sort of symbolizes that. The tune itself is a creeping tune, with Harshad being an outsider to the industry and having to ‘creep’ his way in," he adds.
The only very audible and coherent lyrics heard through the theme, is a stretched out, “Hey" which is looped around the track.
“It’s co-incidence I used that," says Achint, explaining that it was a Gujarati sample he had received, and Harshad Mehta himself was Gujarati. “I wanted the theme to have a flavour of Harshad, for his accent, of speaking Hindi with a Gujarati twang to really come through. It just fell into place perfectly."
Achint, who is Gujarati himself knew the sound of dandiya and garba singers and found it easy to accommodate that into the theme.
The entire song, Achint explains is actually made up of three elements: The bass, the drums, and the string line. “I had the main tune in my hard drive for years, but never found a use for it till now," he said.
With the tune in mind, Achint came up with the backbone of the drums, and then played the bass guitar himself. The bass is a very important part of the track, and is the main riff which is why it had to be perfect. So it was the three things, with the added vocal which was minimal on top, that made the tune come together as know it in its final version today.
For the rest of the show, Achint made the music while India was on its three-month-long coronavirus pandemic lockdown, as the show was being edited.
As Achint’s tune has popularly come to be known as “I’ve never skipped intro on this song," in all the comment sections online, Game of Thrones, Sacred Games and Mirzapur have some of the best opening themes in his opinion. But the one that tops his list is Stranger Things.
“I’ve never skipped that intro," he says.
Before Scam 1992, Achint has worked on other shows such as Four More Shots and TVF’s Insiders, but this was his first complete solo project, with a ten-episode series which was with him.
On what ‘worked’ for the track, Achint has no idea yet - “I have no clue, what worked. But it was completely unexpected, and I love the feedback," he said.
You can listen to the track below.
At the time of writing this article, it has over 3.8 million views.