Shantanu Moitra is an Indian music composer and musician. He has composed many hit Bollywood songs including ‘Behti Hawa Sa Tha Wo’ from the film 3 Idiots and ‘Chaar Kadam’ from the film PK (2014).
Shantanu Moitra was born on Monday, 22 January 1968 (age 54 years; as of 2022) in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh. His zodiac sign is Aquarius. Shantanu spent his childhood in Delhi and Kolkata. In an interview, Shantanu recalled his childhood days and shared that he used to spend his summer holidays at his pishi’s (aunt’s) residence in Lake Gardens, Kolkata. Shantanu added in the same discussion that he belongs to a family of musicians from Banaras (now Varanasi), and he grew up listening to music, which influenced Shantanu to pursue a career in music. Shantanu did his schooling at the Springdale School, New Delhi. Later, after completing his schooling, he pursued a Bachelor of Economics at the Deshbandhu College, University of Delhi.
Height (approx.): 5′ 9″
Hair Colour: Black
Eye Colour: Black
Shantanu Moitra belongs to a Bengali family.
Parents & Siblings
Shantanu Moitra’s father, Sailesh Moitra, was a Sarod player. On 3 May 2021, Sailesh Moitra died after suffering from Corona Virus.
Sailesh Moitra’s mother, Manju Moitra, is an artist. Shantanu Moitra is the only child of his parents.
Wife & Children
On 23 November 1993, Shantanu Moitra got married to Sarada Moitra, an artist. The couple has a son named Shubham Moitra.
Shantanu Moitra follows Hinduism. Shantanu Moitra – Instagram
Client Servicing Executive
Before venturing into music composing, Shantanu Moitra worked as a client servicing executive at an advertising agency. One day, Shantanu Moitra’s boss and the director of the Hindi film Parineeta, Pradeep Sarkar, asked Shantanu to compose a jingle during an office crisis. The jingle was composed for a potato chips company named Uncle Chips, whose jingle was “Bole mere lips, I love uncle chips.” After the release of the jingle, it immediately earned popularity. In an interview, Shantanu Moitra talked about this and said,
He (Pradeep Sarkar) told me, ‘I have two lines; do you think you can compose?’ I said, ‘What are the lines?’ He said, ‘Bole mere lips. I love Uncle Chipps. Rediff.com
Shantanu Moitra, in the initial days of his music career, composed various album songs like Ab ke Saawan, Mann Ke Manjeere: an album of women’s dreams for Breakthrough, and Sapna Dekha Hai Maine (2003) for Shubha Mudgal. In 2002, he signed his first Hindi film Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi. In 2005, he worked for the Hindi film Parineeta for which he earned accolades. Later, Shantanu worked as a music composer for many Hindi films like Lage Raho Munna Bhai (2006), 3 Idiots (2009), Rajneeti (2010), PK (2014), Pink (2016), and Gulabo Sitabo (2020).
Subsequently, in 2008, he made his debut in the Bengali entertainment industry by working as a music composer for the film Antaheen. Subsequently, he worked on many Bengali movies like Paanch Adhyay (2012), Aparajita Tumi (2012), and Buno Haansh (2014). In 2013, he worked as a background music composer for the Telegu film Naa Bangaaru Talli.
In 2018, he made his television debut by hosting a Bengali television music reality show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Bangla. In an interview, Shantanu talked about the participants in the music reality show and said,
I love such talents. Each and every contestant has a story, a story behind their musical journey. During this season of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa I have met so many young talents. Like, Lama, who is from North Bengal. He never had a proper training. His mother works as a labourer in a local tea garden. Yet their level of dedication and talent amuses me. What makes me happier is the innocence they have.”
In August 2022, Shantanu Moitra made his digital debut with the travel web series ‘The songs of the River,’ which streamed on Disney+ Hotstar. The six-episode series, which was shot between October 2021 and December 2021, follows Shantanu Moitra’s emotional and spiritual journey to the Ganges. In the travel web series, Shantanu covered more than 3000 kilometres on a bicycle along the river Ganges from Gomukh in Uttarakhand to Gangasagar in West Bengal; he used a road bike for the journey. According to Shantanu, after his father passed away due to COVID-19, Shantanu wanted to pay tribute to all those who had succumbed to the virus on behalf of their family members. Therefore, Shantanu, after completing the last rites of his father, carried out his idea of Ananth Yatra on a bicycle. In the Ananth Yatra, Shantanu carried photographs of more than 800 people who succumbed to the virus.
In an interview, Shantanu Moitra talked about the Ananth Yatra and said,
These photographs, shared with me by people who lost their loved ones during Covid, were printed on discarded cotton wool and had Tulsi seeds in them. I wanted to perform a ceremony for them. In Gangasagar, there’s a memorial now of Covid patients at a school, Swami Kapilanand Vidya Bhavan. The memorial is a testimony to what those two years (of the pandemic) were. I dug those photographs in the soil. The metamorphosis of photos to plants signifies that life goes on.” The Hindu
• In 2006, he won Filmfare RD Burman Award as new music talent for the Hindi film Parineeta (2005).
• In 2006, he was Nominated for Apsara Awards as the best music director for the film Parineeta (2005).
• In 2010, he won the IIFA Awards for Best Music Direction for the Hindi film 3 Idiots (2009).
• In 2010, he was nominated for The Popular Awards as the Best Music Director for the Hindi film 3 Idiots (2009).
• In 2010, he won Film Music Awards for best film album for the Hindi film 3 Idiots (2009).
• In 2014, he won National Film Awards for Best Background Score for the Telugu film Naa Bangaaru Taali.
• In 2014, he won Technical Awards for Background Score of the Year for the Hindi film Madras Cafe (2013).
- In 2022, he won the Filmfare Award for best score for the Hindi film Sardar Udham (2021).
- Music Director(s): Salil Chaudhary, R.D. Burman, John Williams
- Music Composer(s): Vishal Bhardwaj, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, A. R.Rahman
- Singer(s): Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal, Sunidhi Chauhan
- Shantanu Moitra loves travelling to different places. In 2016, Shantanu, along with Dhritiman Mukherjee, an award-winning photographer from Kolkata, visited the Himalayas on a 100-day trip. He visited Ladakh, Lahaul-Spiti, Uttarakhand, Nepal, Tibet, and Arunanchal Pradesh during his trip. Additionally, he uploaded a series of music titled “The Song of Himalayas,” inspired by Shantanu’s 100-day journey through the Himalayas. In an interview, he talked about this and said,
I have always done these things in life. The idea for 100 Days in the Himalayas formed during 3 idiots, but I left right after PK. Here was a huge hit, and then my phone was off for about a 100 days. That’s suicide in Bollywood! But somebody who truly understands travel will know that there is no substitute for the lure of smelling a new land, of learning a couple of words in a new language, sharing a cup of tea with strangers in a whole new temperature. For me, travel is an internal journey. I transcend internally when I travel. National Geographic Traveller
- Initially, Shantanu Moitra worked for a bank; however, he later quit his job. According to Shantanu, he wanted to travel without having to ask for holidays. In an interview, he talked about this and said,
Twenty-seven years ago, I left my job with a bank because I wanted to travel. And I wanted to travel without having to ask a bunch of grumpy people for holidays. So what else could I do, where I could earn money but also didn’t have to ask for leaves? The answer was (ad) jingles. Independent music was the way to fulfil my dream of travelling, and suddenly I was free. Before that, I was far away from the world of music, just another good Bengali middle-class boy trying to make his parents proud. In that way, my love for travel led me to my love for music.” National Geographic Traveller
- In an interview, while mentioning his passion for travelling, Shantanu said that he pursued a career in music composing for exploring places.
- He is good friends with Gulzar. In an interview, while talking about this, Shantanu said that they both often discussed Astronomy. The Hindu
- Shantanu also shares a good bond with Shreya Ghoshal. At Shreya Ghoshal’s wedding, Shantanu Moitra was one of the few people from the Indian music industry who had been invited to the ceremony. The Times of India
- Shantanu Moitra took three years of cycling training sessions for his travel web series ‘The Songs of the River.’ For the web series, Shantanu cycled approx 8 hours to 10 hours every day between October 2021 and December 2021.
- According to Shantanu, he has a keen interest in astronomy. National Geographic Traveller
- In an interview, while talking about his love for Northeastern food in India, Shantanu quoted,
I love the food, especially from Nagaland. I love their black bean sauce, the way they prepare pork, even the pungent soya bean sauce. Once you get over the smell of fermentation, the taste is mind-blowing. Then there’s the dried meat. Northeast is also the storehouse of non-veg achar. In Lucknow, where I was born, and Delhi, where I grew up, pickles are always made with vegetables. So this was a big discovery for me. I must also mention the dish that binds the Himalayas together, the simple dal-bhaat (dal-rice), tastier with the gorgeous views of the region.” National Geographic Traveller
- Shantanu Moitra has appeared as a speaker at TEDx events at Ahmedabad University and IIT Kharagpur.
- Shantanu, a dog lover, had a pet dog named Lara. In 2021, Lara passed away.
- He follows a non-vegetarian diet.