Su wrote on 30 Jan 2009
Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy (S-E-L) is a musical trio consisting of Shankar Mahadevan, Ehsan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa. Formed in India, they teamed together to provide music for several Indian Films. Some of their famous works includes scores for movies such as Mission Kashmir (2000), Dil Chahta Hai (2001), Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), Bunty Aur Babli (2005) , Taare Zameen Par (2007) and most recently for Rock on!! (2008). They are currently working on Chandni Chowk to China and Luck by Chance. The trio often used Javed Akhtar to write the songs, as well as Gulzar, Sameer, and Prasoon Joshi.
Each member of this trio brings his own unique talents and experiences to the group, combining the Carnatic and Hindustani vocal tradition (Shankar), Western Rock (Ehsaan) and a deep understanding of fusion including a virtual mastery over the Electronic Synthesizer (Loy). They continue a tradition quite common in Bollywood Music, that of partnerships between music composers contributing and pooling their individual strengths, sometimes combining deep knowledge of Hindustani (North Indian) or Karnatic (South Indian) classical music and technical expertise as composers and orchestral arrangers. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy probably represent the first 'trio' of music composers to entertain Bollywood audiences with their chart-topping music. They are slowly becoming popular by the title 'Amar-Akbar-Anthony' of Bollywood music.
The eternal quest among Bollywood's music composers has been to create interest among younger audiences who tend to be inspired more by musical themes and influences from the west. Since a film's music (Soundtrack) is a very influential and critical component of commercial and critical success required and achieved or sometimes squandered at the box office, this quest to "deliver a film" has always inspired music composers to create tunes which combine the best of both traditional Indian music and popular western or international influences and an overwhelming majority of Bollywood's most popular music has been composed based on Classical Indian Ragas (in Sanskrit "Raga" is literally "colour" or "mood"). Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have come to create and retain a sweet spot in the mindspace of young audiences by successfully bridging that gap in their own inimitable style. They have won and continue to win critical and commercial acclaim and several awards from the Bollywood Press and Magazines, TV Channels and a National Film Award (Kal Ho Naa Ho, 2003). Their success owes to several contributing factors, among which are the adoption of interesting musical instruments and sounds as part of their orchestral palette, introduction of new voices weaned on immensely popular TV Musical Talent shows and an obsession for the perfect 'feel' for the movie scene necessitating the segue into a song sequence.