Sonu Nigam : A Man With Many Voices

Sonu Nigam

Sonu Nigam

 

Har Ghadi Badal Rahi Hai Roop Zindagi
Chaao Hai Kahiin, Kahiin Hai Dhoop Zindagi
Har Pal Yahaan, Jee Bhar Jiyo
Jo Hai Sama , Kal Ho Na Ho

‘Kal Ho Na Ho’ will always remain to be one of the most unforgettable melodies from the current era. The lyrics, composition and the rendition made it an exceptional masterpiece that never tends to get old with time. One of the best tracks by Sonu Nigam, the song would have remained incomplete without his marvelling vocal contributing to its brilliance.

Sonu Nigam has been one of the sensational singers of India since decades. Often he has been tagged for following the Mohammad Rafi school of music. Initially, during the start of his career, his voice was associated with late Mohammad Rafi but with time, he discovered his own style of singing and gifted a mellifluous voice to the nation which still rule the hearts of millions.

Sonu Nigam with father Agam Kumar Nigam

Sonu Nigam with father Agam Kumar Nigam

Sonu Nigam was born on 30th of July 1973 in Mumbai. His parents Agam Kumar Nigam and Shobha Nigam were also singers. His father was from Faridabad who shifted to Mumbai to to start off his singing career. He met his mother in the city and they got married. Sonu Nigam was born after two years of their marriage in Mumbai but soon the Nigam family again shifted to Delhi.

Sonu Nigam watched his parents performing at live functions from a very tender age. His parents’ music inspired him to try his hands at music too. He was a bright student since the very beginning and always topped until his 10th. As he started winning competitions after his 10th, he decided to try his hands in singing.

Sonu Nigam with Anu Malik

Sonu Nigam with Anu Malik

After completing his 12th, he decided to travel back to Mumbai. As an inquisitive child, Sonu always wanted to be a scientist or an IFS or IAS officer before inventing out his real field of interest.

He was given the first break of in Mumbai by composer Usha Khanna. Before that, he sang numerous jingles for advertisement campaigns at Delhi. His first playback song was ‘Aate Aate Teri Yaad Aa Gayi’ from ‘Jaan Ki Baazi’ composed by Usha Khanna. He also sang for a television serial directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee.

Sonu Nigam

Sonu Nigam

He sang for Amar Utpal’s ‘Aaja Meri Jaan’. Gulshan Kumar on hearing his voice decided to give him a solo number and thereby he landed up singing the track ‘O Aasmaan Waale Zameen Par Utarke Dekh’ from ‘Aaja Meri Jaan’. In 1995, he gave out the major hit track ‘Acha Sila Diya Tune Mere Pyar Ka’ from Gulshan Kumar’s ‘Bewafa Sanam’.

Till 1997, he didn’t get much work to do. His breakthrough song ‘Sandese Aate Hain’ from ‘Border’ was offered to him by Anu Malik in 1997. As the song went on to become a major hit, Sonu Nigam started proving his versatility with ‘Yeh Dil Deewana’ composed by Nadeem Shravan from Subhash Ghai’s ‘Pardes’.

Sonu NIgam

Sonu NIgam

A. R. Rahman and Sonu Nigam together give our some outstanding numbers that are memorable and evergreen forever. He first worked with Rahman in the song ‘Shabba Shabba Haye Rabba Hone Laga’ for the film ‘Daud’. He continued to give extraordinary numbers under Rahman like ‘Satrangi Re’ from ‘Dil Se’, ‘Ishq Bina Kya Jeena’ from ‘Taal’, and ‘Saathiya Saathiya’ from ‘Saathiya’.

His classical brilliance is evident from songs like ‘Bawri Piya Ki’ from ‘Baabul’, ‘Do Pal Ruka Khawabon Ka Karvaan’ with Lata Mangeshkar is one of his best emotional tracks, ‘Jaane Nahi Denge Tujhe’ from ’3 Idiots’ can actually bring tears to your eyes, ‘Suraj Hua Maddham’ from ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’ is probably his most sensuous track,’Main Agar Kahoon’ from ‘Om Shanti Om’ depicts romance at its best whereas ‘Adaa Aye Haye Adaa’ from ‘Garam Masala’ or ‘Jeene Ke Hai Chaar Din’ from ‘Mujhse Shaadi Karogi’ are some of his best playful tracks.

Sonu Nigam

Sonu Nigam

He hosted the singing reality show Sa Re Ga Ma in 1995. Later he went on to judge Sa Re Ga Ma Li’l Champs International in 2007. His albums ‘Chanda Ki Doli’ and ‘Classically Mild’ became hugely popular.

‘Chanda Ki Doli Mein, Pariyo Ki Jholi Mein Shehzaadi Aayi’ went on to top the chartbusters in 2005. During his struggling years, he also rendered for an album which was a tribute to Mohammad Rafi titled as ‘Rafi Ki Yaadein’.

In 2004, he won the National Award For Best Male Playback Singer for ‘Kal Ho Naa Ho’. He received a Filmfare Award for the same. ‘Saathiya’ earned him another Filmfare Award in 2002.

Sonu Nigam with son Naveen Nigam

Sonu Nigam with son Naveen Nigam

Sonu Nigam married in the year of 2002 and his son, Nevaan was born in 2007. His son playbacked for the first time in 2011 in a re-arranged version of ‘Why This Kolaveri Di’. The child version of Nevaan was equally a hit track as the original one.

Abhi Mujh Mein Kahiin
Baaki Thodi Si Hai Zindagi
Jagi Dhadkan Nayi
Jaana Zinda Hun Main To Abhi

Sonu Nigam continues to sing and is now one of the most loved singers of Bollywood. His song ‘Abhi Mujhe Mein Kahiin’ from ‘Agneepath’ is one masterpiece track that stupefies a listener and one can’t help but only press the rewind button again and again.

Sonu Nigam with wife Madhurima

Sonu Nigam with wife Madhurima

Be it playful, classical, emotional, pop or romance, Sonu Nigam is the one singer who can emote them all flawlessly through his astounding and mellifluous voice.

Shreya Ghoshal : A Legend In The Making

Shreya Ghoshal

Shreya Ghoshal

Shreya Ghoshal, a name that touched the zenith of musical ingeniousness at a very young age. She climbed through the ladder of success only at 16 when she lent her voice in ‘Devdas’ for Aishwariya Rai. She still rules the charts and is the most popular and preferred playback singer of Bollywood today. In a career span of only 15 years, she has set such milestones that are evidently difficult to break.

Shreya Ghoshal was born on the 12th of March 1984 at Baharampur, West Bengal. Little Shreya later shifted to Rawatbhata of Kota in Rajasthan, where she spent most of her childhood. Her father, Biswajit Ghoshal, was a scientist at the Nuclear Power Corporation of India and mother, Sharmishtha Ghoshal, was a teacher who happened to be the first music teacher for Shreya as well. Shreya Ghoshal learnt her first musical notes from her mother.

Shreya during her childhood

Shreya during her childhood

Shreya often says that if not a singer she might would have followed her father’s footsteps to become an astraunaut or a genetic engineer. As a child she used to sit with her father for various experiments. The father-daughter duo had an unnerving time while experimenting with electronic boards.

The Winner At Sa Re Ga Ma:

In 1996, at the age of 12 she took part in the singing reality show Sa Re Ga Ma on Zee TV. She won the contest and won the hearts of a million viewers who were left spellbound by her performance. Sanjay Leela Bhansali too noticed her on television screen at the time and made a mental note to make her his Paaro’s voice later while filming ‘Devdas’.

Shreya Ghoshal at recording studio

Shreya Ghoshal at recording studio

After her stupendous win in the reality show, Kalyanji asked her father to shift his base to Mumbai, as only that would boost the singing career of Shreya. Her father applied for a transfer at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Mumbai and shifted along with his family to the city of dreams. In Mumbai, Shreya was initially guided and trained by Kalyanji for almost 18 months.

Devdas : The Big Break

After four years when ‘Devdas’ was about to go on floors, Sanjay Leela Bhansali remembered Shreya Ghoshal and started his hunt for the young singer. Problem aroused when he could not even remember her name properly. Bhansali contacted the director of Sa Re Ga Ma, Gajendra Singh and described the little young girl who won the show four years ago. His search ended there as Gajendra Singh recognised Shreya and helped Bhansali to reach her.

Silsila Yeh Chahat Ka
Na Maine Bujhne Diya

‘Devdas’ happened to her when she was only 16. ‘Bairi Piya’, ‘Silsila Yeh Chahat Ka’ and ‘Dola Re Dola’ by her went on to top the charts and she became the new singing sensation of the country.

Shreya Ghoshal with Sanjay Leela Bhansali

Shreya Ghoshal with Sanjay Leela Bhansali

During her voice test in front of Sanjay Leela Bhansali, she was asked to sing any song of her choice. She sang Lata Mangeshkar’s tracks so flawlessly that Bhansali finalised her selection in one go. Shreya Ghoshal, until now, considers Sanjay Leela Bhansali to be her Godfather who not only gave her the first break but also helped her throughout during her crawling days in Bollywood. During the recording of ‘Devdas’, Shreya often used to land up at the studio with books to study during the breaks as she had her examinations knocking at the doorstep.

Association with Anu Malik:

Suna Suna Lamha Lamha
Meri Raahein Tanha Tanha

In the year of 2003 and 2004, she gave out a bunch of hits under the guidance of Anu Malik. ‘Har Taraf’ and ‘Aye Meri Zindagi’ from ‘Saaya’, ‘Chanchan’ from ‘Munnabhai MBBS’, ‘Pyar Bhara Geet Koi’ from ‘LOC Kargil’, ‘Suna Suna Lamha Lamha’ from ‘Krishna Cottage’, ‘Tumhe Jo Maine Dekha’ and ‘Gori Gori’ from ‘Main Hoon Na’, ‘Agar Tum Mil Jaao Zamaana Chod Denge Hum’ are some of the super hit tracks dished out by the duo.

Regional Ventures:

Shreya Ghoshal has lent her voice to several regional cinema as well. She has sung in Tamil, Telugu, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati and even Bhojpuri. Less commercialisation in the regional industries appeal her more to contribute there as she is able to explore the genres more. Originally trained in Bengali, she went on to learn to render in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati and almost all the regional languages. Her first Telugu song was for the film ‘Okkadu’ under music director Mani Sharma.

Shreya Ghoshal

Shreya Ghoshal

Technically, Shreya Ghoshal sang in Tamil before her breakthrough in the Hindi music industry. Karthik Raja heard her while she was practicing riyaaz during Sa Re Ga Ma and made her sing alaps for his compositions.

Influences and Hits:
She draws heavy influence from Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Noor Jehan and Geeta Dutt. She also admires Madan Mohan and R. D. Burman as her favourite music directors. Her renditions surely are paving way for her to become a legend of equal stature. Her nerves only make her nervous when she sings for the maestro Ilaiyaraaja. Among foreign musicians, she desires to work with Norah Jones and Beyonce.

Shreya’s fan following is also increasing and growing at a rapid speed. She has a large group of fans in Twitter who term themselves as ‘SG Family’ and their reverence for Shreya only seems to be increasing day by day.

Piyu Bole, Piya Bole, Kya Yeh Bole Jaanu Naa
Jiya Dole Haule Haule, Kyun Yeh Dole Jaanu Naa

The song from ‘Parineeta’ went on to become the biggest chartbuster of 2005. Composer Shantanu Moitra, known for using less music to bring the magic of voices more, used Shreya’s voice in the best possible way and the simple melody of the song touched the chord of the audiences. ‘Kasto Mazza’ and ‘Soona Mann Ka Aangan’ are the other two hits from the same movie. ‘Zoobi Doobi’ from ’3 Idiots’ is also another major hit composed by Shantanu Moitra and rendered by Shreya Ghoshal and Sonu Nigam.

Shreya Ghoshal

Shreya Ghoshal

Her first playback for A. R. Rahman was for the film ‘Guru’. ‘Barso Re Megha’ was an instant hit where she rendered again for Aishwariya Rai after ‘Devdas’.
Shreya Ghoshal’s classical brilliance speaks for her through the song ‘Mere Dholna Sun, Mere Pyar Ki Dhun’ composed by Pritam for ‘Bhool Bhulaiya’. Her stint with ‘Yeh Ishq Haye, Baithe Bithaaye Jannat Dikhaaye’ from ‘Jab We Met’ for Pritam again was a surprising number depicting her versatility. ‘Teri Ore’ from ‘Singh Is King’ was another major hit by Pritam and Shreya in 2008.

Shreya Ghoshal with Vishal-Shekhar

Shreya Ghoshal with Vishal-Shekhar

She also delivered hits for Vishal Shekhar. ‘Om Shanti Om’ and ‘Ta Ra Rum Pum’ are major hit soundtracks composed by Vishal Shekhar and rendered by Shreya Ghoshal. Even with Salim Sulaiman she gave out marvelling tracks like ‘Is Pal Main Hun’ and ‘Ishq Hua Hi Hua’ from ‘Aaja Nachle’ and also ‘Tujh Mein Rab Dikhta Hai’ from ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’.
If you want to get a feel of 70s music then also Shreya Ghoshal is all set for that. Her ‘Ooh La La’ with Bappi Lahiri for ‘Dirty Picture’ and ‘Dhoom Tana’ with Abhijeet from ‘Om Shanti Om’ are perfect examples of music with the 70s feel.

Shreya Ghoshal receiving National Award from President Pratibha Patil

Shreya Ghoshal receiving National Award from President Pratibha Patil

Shreya Ghoshal has always been very particular about the lyrics of her songs. She has so far avoided or altered lyrics of songs that appeared to her as inappropriate or distasteful. Her songs are as elegant as the singer herself.

She is a legend in making and probably the only singer in Bollywood at the current stage, who can render and carry out a song of any genre. She has received four National Awards in the youngest possible age and the state of Ohio in the United States celebrates ‘The Shreya Ghoshal Day’ on every 26th June.

Sunidhi Chauhan : The Most Fervent Voice

Sunidhi Chauhan

Sunidhi Chauhan

Behta Hai Mann Kahin, Kahaan Jaante Nahin, Koi Rokle Yahin
Bhaage Re Mann Kahin, Aage Re Mann Chala, Jaane Kidhar Jaanu Naa

The bold, heavy and ponderous voice of Sunidhi Chauhan surely is one of the most versatile vocal in Bollywood. Earlier tagged as a voice suitable only for fast paced peppy tracks, Sunidhi Chauhan has proved over and over again that she is a singer who can adapt to any genre, style or school of music.

Practically being an untrained singer, Sunidhi Chauhan started to sing at the age of four at various stages shows in Delhi. Her father was a known theatre personality who played the role of ‘Ram’ in the famous ‘Ram-Leela’ continuously for almost 12 years. Actress Tabassum heard her in Delhi and suggested Sunidhi’s father to take this little talent to Mumbai.

Sunidhi Chauhan

Sunidhi Chauhan

Her father blindly took her to Mumbai when she was merely 11 and on the recommendation of Tabassumji, she found a place at the children’s troupe of Kalyanji-Anandji. She was the lead child singer in Kalyanji-Anandji’s show ‘Little Wonders’ consisting of more than 30 children.

During her days in the troupe, she also sang with Aditya Narayan, who was also a child during that time at the 40th Filmfare Award. Aadesh Shrivastav, after hearing her in the show gave her the first break and she rendered a duet with Udit Narayan at the age of 11.

Sunidhi Chauhan

Sunidhi Chauhan

She also took part in Doordarshan’s singing reality show ‘Meri Awaz Suno’ and acquired the first rank in the competition in 1996. The finale of the reality show had Lata Mangeshkar as the judge. Smitten by Sunidhi’s performance in the show, she asked her if she was trained in music. As Sunidhi didn’t have any musical training, Lata Mangeshkar herself proposed to teach her and groom her.

She performed at live stage shows for Kalyanji-Anandji too during this time and sang miraculously well. She did playback for the first time for Aadesh Shrivastav and rendered the song ‘Ladki Deewani Dekho Ladka Deewana’ for the film ‘Shashtra’. With growing age, her voice also began to undergo change and she took a vacation from singing for almost four years.

She made a smashing comeback after four years with ‘Ruki Ruki Thi Zindagi, Jhat Se Chal Padi’ for composer Sandeep Chowta. Sunidhi credits Sonu Nigam for introducing her to Sandeep Chowta and helping her to get her first big break after a gap of four years.

Sunidhi Chauhan with Lucky Ali and A. R. Rahman

Sunidhi Chauhan with Lucky Ali and A. R. Rahman

Gradually she kept on giving hits after hits every year. ‘Mehboob Mere’ from ‘Fiza’, ‘Bhumbro’ from ‘Mission Kashmir’, ‘Dhoom Machale’ from ‘Dhoom’, ‘Crazy Kiya Re’ from ‘Dhoom 2′, ‘Kaisi Yeh Paheli’ from ‘Parineeta’, ‘Deedar De’ from ‘Dus’, ‘Beedi Jalaile’ from ‘Omkara’, ‘Aaja Nachle’ from ‘Aaja Nachle, ‘Chor Bazari’ from ‘Love Aaj Kal’, ‘Dance Pe Chance Maar Le’ from ‘Rab Ne Banaa Di Jodi’, ‘Sheila Ki Jawani’ from ‘Tees Maar Khan’ ‘Race Saason Ki’ from ‘Race’, ‘Chaliya’ from ‘Tashan’ and the list goes on with countless number of hits.

At the age of 18 she eloped with video director and choreographer Bobby Khan. Much to the displeasure of her parents, she did cut off ties with them to marry Bobby Khan.

The marriage lasted for only 16 months after which they parted their ways and Sunidhi Chauhan had an eventual patch up again with her parents. Her career however, kept on moving with a rapid pace. She won three Filmfare Awards till date. ‘Sheila Ki Jawani, ‘Beedi Jalaile’ earned her two Filmfare Awards for best Playback Singer Female. She had also won the R. D. Burman Award for the most promising newcomer.

In 2012, she married music arranger and composer Hitesh Sonik at Mumbai. Hitesh Sonik has composed background scores for ‘Ishqiya’, ‘Kai Po Che’ and many more.

Sunidhi Chauhan with husband Hitesh Sonik at wedding reception

Sunidhi Chauhan with husband Hitesh Sonik at wedding reception

In May 2013, Sunidhi recorded Rabindra Sangeet in an unconventional album by Asha audios. The album titled as “Tagore & We – 2” has four solos and two duets by Sunidhi Chauhan along with singer Soumyajit. An excited Sunidhi described her feeling to be ‘gratifying’ and ‘exhilarating’ after recording the songs.

Sunidhi Chauhan also rendered for the Hindi version of musical film ‘High School Musical’. She was also appointed by Microsoft to sing the title song for their promotional campaign of Windows Vista.

Moreover, it is undeniable that Sunidhi Chauhan might be the most energetic singer on stage shows and live concerts. She has been awarded the Chevrolet- Global Indian Music Awards for Best Live Performer Female in 2010.

In a career spread for almost 17 years, Sunidhi Chauhan has rendered the most unconventional and versatile music ever. Her high pitched voice and forever energetic vocal still keeps the audiences on their toes as she continues to surprise them with her everlasting stupendous renditions.

Himesh Reshammiya : A Musical Rage

Himesh Reshammiya

Himesh Reshammiya

Whether it is the trendy ‘Aashique Banaaya Aapne’ or ‘Aap Ka Suroor’ or even the sensuous romantic ‘Teri Meri Meri Teri Prem Kahaani’, Himesh Reshammiya has always been able to top the charts. He is one of those rare composers and singers who brought back the trend of nasal voice again in Bollywood making it his trademark ‘Himesh Reshammiya style of singing’.

He believes in change and hence keeps on changing his style of compositions after every 2 to 3 years. The continuous variations in his music has enabled him to acquire top positions at the charts with his every release since 15 years.

Himesh Reshammiya was born on 23rd of July 1973 to Vipin Reshammiya and Madhu Reshammiya. Vipin Reshammiya himself was also a celebrated music composer who did work with Shankar Jaikishan, R. D. Burman and Laxmikant-Pyarelal.

Himesh Reshammiya with Karan Johar

Himesh Reshammiya with Karan Johar

At a tender age of 16, Himesh Reshammiya turned into a television producer. He holds the credit for producing television series like ‘Andaaz’ and ‘Amar Prem’ on Zee Television Network.

Himesh Reshammiya’s first break is always credited to Salman Khan. He considers Salman Khan his Godfather for establishing him in Bollywood as a successful music composer.

Salman Khan and Himesh Reshammiya

Salman Khan and Himesh Reshammiya

His first movie was the Salman Khan and Kajol starring ‘Pyar Kiya To Darrna Kya’ in 1998. ‘Odh Li Chunariya’ and ‘Tum Par Hum Hai’ were the two songs from ‘Pyar Kiya To Darrna Kya’ that was composed by Himesh Reshammiya. This was followed by ‘Hello Brother’ in 1999, ‘Dulhan Hum Le Jaayenge’ in 2000 and ‘Yeh Hai Jalwa’ in 2002. ‘Mujhse Shaadi Karogi’ from ‘Dulhan Hum Le Jaayenge’ and ‘Teri Chunariya’ from ‘Hello Brother’ were smashing hits from both the movies.

Himesh Reshammiya with Salman Khan

Himesh Reshammiya with Salman Khan

Himesh’s first massive success as a composer came through ‘Tere Naam’ in 2003. ‘Tere Naam Humne Kiya Hai’, ‘Kyun Kisi Ko’, ‘Tumse Milna Baatein Karna’ were huge hits at the chartbusters. ‘Tere Naam’ stood out to be the bestselling album of the year.

He entered into playback singing with ‘Aashique Banaaya Aapne’ in 2005. His duet with Shreya Ghoshal went on to break all records and stood out as one of the most groundbreaking renditions of the year. He came up with a voice using his nasal tone which instantly clicked with the audiences. ‘Aap Ki Kashish’ from the same film also was equally popular.

Himesh Reshammiya in 'Aap Ka Surroor'

Himesh Reshammiya in ‘Aap Ka Surroor’

He continued to sing with his nasal voice and dished out hits like ‘Tera Tera Tera Suroor’, ‘Tanhaiyyan’, ‘Tere Mera Milna’, ‘Tandoori Nights’ and ‘Madhushala’. He started his acting career with the film ‘Aap Ka Surroor’ in 2007. His long time school friend, Prashant Chadha, directed him in ‘Aap Ka Surroor’ and also holds the credit for giving him the famous look with his cap.

His next films ‘Karzzz’, ‘Kajraare’, ‘Radio’ and ‘Damadamm!’ didn’t do too well at the box office. But most of the movies recovered their production cost through selling the music rights composed by Himesh Reshammiya himself.

Himesh Reshammiya in 'Karzzz'

Himesh Reshammiya in ‘Karzzz’

After a gap of a few years, he made a stunning comeback with his music through Salman Khan starring ‘Bodyguard’. ‘Teri Meri Meri Teri Prem Kahaani’ by Shreya Ghoshal and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan became the most popular romantic number of 2012. He made wonders even with the tracks like ‘Go Go Go Govinda’ from ‘OMG – Oh My God’.

The soundtrack of ‘Khiladi 786′, that released during the same year was just another addition of feather to the already flourishing cap. ‘Saari Saari Raat’, ‘Long Drive’, ‘Hookkah Bar’ are some of the stupendous hits from ‘Khiladi 786′. Among the songs, ‘Hookkah Bar’ deserves special mention as it was rendered, composed and written by Himesh Reshammiya himself whereas ‘Lonely’ was the result of a fruitful collaboration between him and Yo Yo Honey Singh.

He also acted in ‘Khiladi 786′ and received the Dadasaheb Phalke Best Supporting Actor Academy Award for the same. He received the Filmfare Best Male Playback Singer Award for ‘Aashique Banaaya Aapne’ in 2006.

He is also going to launch his very first international album named ‘@ Da Edge’ in 2014. Himesh Reshammiya has collaborated with famous Romanian composer, producer and musician Edward Maya for this album. The highly anticipated song ‘I Have Been Waiting For You’ will release sometime during next year. The regular director of Justin Bieber, Roman White, would be directing the promotional music video of the album. All the 15 songs of romantic genre in the album are composed by Himesh Reshammiya and are rendered with different modulations of his own voice.

Himesh Reshammiya

Himesh Reshammiya

He made his comeback on TV through the reality shows of ‘Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge’ on Zee Tv, ‘Music Ka Maha Muqabla’ on Star Plus and ‘Sur Kshetra’ on Colors.

Himesh Reshammiya has two big ticket projects coming up in the upcoming years. A sequel of ‘Aap Ka Surroor’ and also a suspense thriller titled as ‘The Xpose’. Supposedly, Himesh would play a character inspired by the yesteryear actor Rajkumar based on a plot of 1960s.
Although being a successful composer, Himesh Reshammiya has been criticised often for his nasal voice. His regular critics also blame him for sidelining music direction for his ambitious acting projects. However, Himesh delivers his best to whatever he touches and continues to be the one of the rockstars of the nation!

K. L. Saigal : An Eternal Legend

K. L. Saigal

K. L. Saigal

K. L. Saigal is a name that crops up in our mind whenever we get to hear any soundtrack from the pre-playback era. The nasal touch, the classical aroma along with the special Saigal aura reminds us of the man constantly even today, almost after 110 years since his demise.

K. L. Saigal was born on 11th April 1904 in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. His father worked as a revenue administrative officer in the Maharaja’s court. As a child he used to accompany his mother to various religious occasions and the bhajans, raag, kirtan deeply attracted little Saigal.

He also enacted as ‘Sita’ in Ramlila during his childhood. Saigal left school and started earning at an early age. He worked as a typewriter and also as a salesman before he landed up in Kolkata. It is said, that Mahenchand Jain was the main man who inspired Saigal to take up his hobby of singing as a career for living.

He recorded his first song under the guidance of Harishchandra Bali in Punjabi which was released by the Indian Gramophone Company. He came to Kolkata in the 1930s and joined the famous New Theatres headed by B. N. Sircar. He met the musical brilliants Pankaj Mullick, Timir Baran and Rai Chandra Boral during this time period who helped him to groom his voice.

In 1932, he acted for the first time on screen in the movie ‘Mohabbat Ke Aasoon’. Just a year later, his bhajan collection of ‘Puran Bhagat’ became hugely popular.

K. L. Saigal in 'Devdas'

K. L. Saigal in ‘Devdas’

A major breakthrough happened in his career in 1935 when he played ‘Devdas’ in P. C. Barua’s screen adaptation of the original Bengali novel ‘Devdas’. The songs of Devdas as well as the movie created an unbeatable sensation throughout the country. ‘Balam Aaye’, ‘Dukh Ke Ab Din’ became extremely popular tracks that time.

Saigal and his association with the New Theatres of Kolkata produced almost seven Bengali movies. He became very competent in the language and was absolutely fluent in Bengali. He rendered more than 30 songs in Bengali too. He continued to act in films till 1940. ‘Zindagi’, ‘Street Singer’, ‘President’, ‘Parichay’, ‘are some of the notable films by K. L. Saigal. ‘Yahudi Ki Ladki’ in 1933 was the first hit of Saigal.

K. L. Saigal in 'Shahjehan'

K. L. Saigal in ‘Shahjehan’

Towards the beginning of the 1940s, Saigal came down to Mumbai. During this period he worked in successful films like ‘Bhakt Surdas’, ‘Tansen’, ‘Bhanwara’, ‘Tadbir’, ‘Shahjehan’, ‘Parwana’.

Saigal shared a close bond with musical maestro Naushad Ali. He rendered songs for Naushad for the movie ‘Shahjehan’. ‘Mere Sapno Ki Rani’, ‘Ae Dil’, ‘Jab Dil Hi Toot Gaya’ from ‘Shahjehan’ became hits.

K. L. Saigal

K. L. Saigal

During the 1940s, Saigal adopted a regular habit of alcohol. His habit soon became a predominant addiction which slowly started affecting his health. Saigal started believing that his creativity and best renditions came out only when he was under the influence of alcohol.

On the day of recording the song ‘Jab Dil Hi Toot Gaya’, Saigal came to the studio, sat for the recording and asked for a bottle of alcohol. He kept singing and drinking simultaneously. Being dissatisfied with his own performance, he started giving takes and re-takes for the same song again and again. After some time he lost all his control and collapsed down due the increasing effect of the alcohol.

Next day when he appeared to the studio again, Naushad requested him to give a take without drinking. Saigal, inspite of his belief, succumbed to Naushad’s idea and rendered the song without consuming any alcohol.

Later, Naushad played both the version of his renditions and on hearing the best one among the two, Saigal commented that he always delivers his best when he is under the influence of alcohol. Naushad gladly corrected him and informed that the best one was the one which he recorded without drinking. The information took Saigal by surprise.

Naushad further told him that those who say that without alcohol he doesn’t sing well, are not his friends. A grieving Saigal regretted and said, “Only if someone told me this before, I might have been able to live a bit longer”.

His last movie was ‘Parwana’ in 1947. ‘Toot Gaye Sab Sapne Mere’, ‘Mohabbat Mein Kabhi’, ‘Kahiin Ulajh Na Jaana’ were the most popular tracks from ‘Parwana’ that released after his death on the 18th of January 1947. K. L. Saigal, in his fifteen years of career span acted in 36 movies and rendered more than 150 songs. His style of singing may have become outdated today but still it is highly recognisable as a typical Saigal style.

K. L. Saigal took his last breath at the age of 42 and was survived by his wife and four children .

Mahendra Kapoor : The Vibrant Voice of India

Mahendra Kapoor

Mahendra Kapoor

Mere Desh Ki Dharti Sona Ugle
Ugle Heere Moti
Mere Desh Ki Dharti

The song with the everlasting patriotic fervor went on to become almost a second national anthem when Manoj Kumar came up with the brand of patriotism with his memorable film ‘Upkaar’ in 1967. ‘Mere Desh Ki Dhari’ was originally supposed to get recorded by Mohammad Rafi but unexpectedly it went to Mahendra Kapoor, who later became the unparalleled voice for Manoj Kumar and also an unmatched singer for any patriotic song. ‘Mere Desh Ki Dharti’, recorded in the year of 1967 was again listed in 2000 as one of the most popular tracks among audiences of all ages by BBC.

Mahendra Kapoor was born on 9th of January in 1934 in Amritsar, Punjab. A great admirer of Mohammad Rafi since his childhood, Kapoor took his music lessons Pandit Hussainlal, Ustad Abdul Rehman Khan, Pandit Jagannath Bua, Ustad Niaz Ahmed Khan and Pandit Tulsidas Sharma.

Mahendra Kapoor

Mahendra Kapoor

He took part and won the Metro-Murphy all India musical competition which led him to playback under C. Ramchandra for ‘Navrang’ in 1958. Naushad, C. Ramchadra, Madan Mohan, Anil Biswas and Vasant Desai were the highly acclaimed judges of the contest. ‘Aadha Hai Chandrama, Raat Aadhi, Reh Naa Jaaye Teri Meri Baat Aadhi, Mulaqat Aadhi’ from ‘Navrang’ became hugely popular and it just settled the idea that Mahendra Kapoor was there to stay.

His association has been very close to B. R. Chopra and Manoj Kumar. Later when O. P. Nayyar had a major clash with Mohammad Rafi, he too used Mahendra Kapoor as his leading male singer for all his compositions from 1966 to 1969.

Neele Gagan Ke Tale, Dharti Ka Pyaar Pale
Aise Hi Jag Mein, Aati Hain Subhaein, Aise Hi Shaam Dhale
Neele Gagan Ke Tale, Dharti Ka Pyaar Pale

Though stamped to be the best while rendering patriotic songs, Mahendra Kapoor with B. R. Chopra gave out a handful of romantic songs that are still popular. ‘Neele Gagan Ke Tale’, ‘Kisi Patthar Ki Moorat Se’ from ‘Humraaz’, ‘Aa Bhi ja’, ‘Chalo Ek Baar Phir Se’, ‘Tujhko Mera Pyar Pukaare’ from ‘Gumrah’, ‘Maine Ek Khwab Sa Dekha Hai’ from ‘Waqt’, ‘Tere Pyar Ka Aasra Chahta Hoon’, ‘Jhukti Ghata Gaati Hawa’, ‘Jo Tum Muskuraa Do’ from ‘Dhool Ka Phool’, all were among his best renditions.

Mahendra Kapoor

Mahendra Kapoor

Mahendra Kapoor did most of his duets with Asha Bhosle for the B. R. Chopra films. In 1988, B. R. Chopra again turned to Mahendra Kapoor for singing the title track of the historic television series of ‘Mahabharat’.

Aur Nahi Bas Aur Nahi, Gham Ke Pyaale Aur Nahi
Dil Mein Jagah Nahi Baaki
Rok Nazar Apni Saaki
To Aur Nahin Bas Aur Nahi

Manoj Kumar and Mahendra Kapoor were almost an inseparable pair of combination. On-screen if it was the face of Manoj Kumar then off-screen, it had to be the voice of Mahendra Kapoor. Their association produced some of the most memorable tracks that are unforgettable even today. While ‘Mere Desh Ki Dharti’ by them was nothing less than another national anthem for India, his other tracks for Manoj Kumar were no less.

Manoj Kumar in 'Mere Desh Ki Dharti' from 'Upkar'

Manoj Kumar in ‘Mere Desh Ki Dharti’ from ‘Upkar’

‘Bharat Ka Rehna Waala Hun, Bharat Ki Baat Sunaata Hun’ from ‘Purab Aur Paschim’, ‘Ab Ke Baras’ from ‘Kranti’, ‘Aur Nahin Bas Aur Nahin’ from ‘Roti, Kapda Aur Makaan’, ‘Ik Taara Bole’ from ‘Yaadgaar’ are famous tracks by Mahendra Kapoor. He also rendered ‘O Mera Rang De Basanti Chola’ along with Lata Mangeshkar and Mukhesh for Manoj Kumar Starring ‘Shaheed’.

He won the Filmfare Award for the Best Playback Singer Male for ‘Aur Nahi Bas Aur Nahin’ in 1975. The National Award for Best Male Playback Singer was also awarded to Mahendra Kapoor for ‘Mere Desh Ki Dhari’ in 1967.

Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega, Woh Gaana Gaayega
Deewaana Saikdo Mein Pehchaana Jaayega

Mahendra Kapoor had a good association with Raj Kapoor as well. During a trip to Russia, where Raj Kapoor has been nothing less than another God, Raj Kapoor requested Mahendra Kapoor to play the harmonium while he sing his songs. Mahendra Kapoor gladly agreed and played the harmonium as Raj Kapoor kept on singing.

Mahendra Kapoor with Lata Mangeshkar, Dilip Kumar and others

Mahendra Kapoor with Lata Mangeshkar, Dilip Kumar and others

Mahendra Kapoor’s ‘Neele Gagan Ke Tale’ was also a huge hit in Russia. Mahendra Kapoor requested someone to translate the song in Russian language for him. After Raj Kapoor’s exit from the stage, he sang the song on stage in Russian and the crowd went frenzy. The audiences cheered for Mahendra and the loud applaud even surprised the showman, Raj Kapoor, who said that ‘Only a Kapoor can beat another Kapoor’.

On their return to India, Raj Kapoor offered Mahendra Kapoor to sing ‘Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega, Woh Gaana Gaayega’ along with Mukesh and Lata Mangeshkar for ‘Sangam’.

 

Mahendra Kapoor with Mohammad Rafi

Mahendra Kapoor with Mohammad Rafi

Mahendra Kapoor’s admiration towards Mohammad Rafi grew when he was only 12. During their long time friendship, many of the times Mohammad Rafi had advised and taught particular tunes to Mahendra Kapoor. As their voices sounded identical at times, Mohammad Rafi always feared about people creating rift between them as he never wanted to spoil his relation with Mahendra Kapoor. Yet time and again, they were compared. With a rift between O. P. Nayyar and Rafi in 1966 and also owing to the royalty row between Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi, Mahendra Kapoor took away the crown.

Naushad dropped Mohammad Rafi and made Mahendra render the chartbuster song of ‘Chand Chupa Aur Taare Doobe’ from ‘Sohni Mahiwal’ in 1958. In 1968, a duet of Mohammad Rafi and Talat Mahmood was recorded by Naushad for ‘Aadmi’ starring Manoj Kumar and Dilip Kumar. After the recording of the song the voice of Talat Mahmood didn’t sound impressive in comparison with Mohammad Rafi.

Mahendra Kapoor and Mukesh

Mahendra Kapoor and Mukesh

The track failed to express the competing fight through the voice rendition. Manoj Kumar at that instant suggested Naushad to replace Talat Mahmood with Mahendra Kapoor, as he thought only Kapoor had the voice that can touch the zenith of Mohammad Rafi’s rendition. The song ‘Kaisi Haseen Hai Aaj Bahaaron Ki Raat’ from ‘Aadmi’ remains to be the only one single duet of Mohammad Rafi and Mahendra Kapoor till date.

While most of the music directors in the clan were divided in the Mahendra Kapoor versus Mohammad Rafi illusion, Kapoor actually got to work with almost all the major music directors of the era. Kalyanji-Anandji, Naushad, Khayyam, C. Ramachandra, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Shankar-Jaikishan, O. P. Nayyar, no one could actually do without him. He was even resonant in S. N. Tripathi’s devotional music which was again from a complete different school of music.

Mahendra Kapoor

Mahendra Kapoor

Mahendra Kapoor had been active in Gujarati, Marathi and Punjabi movies as well. His contribution to Marathi cinema as a playback singer is also very significant.

He took his last breath on the 27th of September 2008 due to heart failure. He still remains to be the most favoured and unmatched singer for patriotic songs in India. Whether it is the Independence day or the Republic Day, ‘Mere Desh Ki Dharti’ still is being played throughout these years without any exception. His vibrant renditions of patriotic numbers made him the most ‘Vibrant Voice of India’.

Bappi Lahiri : The Disco King of India

 

Bappi Lahiri

Bappi Lahiri

I am a disco dancer
I am a disco dancer
Zindagi Mera Gaana, Main Kisi Ka Dewaana
To Jhumo, To Naacho, Aa Mere Saath Naacho Gaao
I am a disco dancer
I am a disco dancer

He is the pioneer of the disco theme in India. Towards the early 1980s, Bappi Lahiri came with his new, refreshing and out of the box disco genre in Bollywood. His ‘I am A Disco Dancer’ for the movie ‘Disco Dancer’ starring Mithun Chakraborty in 1982 flew high above the chart busters and the song almost carried the identity of the entire film. With this song, it was evident that Bappi Lahiri had arrived.

He was born on 27th of November 1952 in Kolkata to Aparesh Lahiri and Bansari Lahiri. Both his parents were experienced singers and he was the only child to his parents.

Bappi Lahiri appeared in Mumbai in 1971. His first movie as a composer was the 1973 release ‘Nanha Shikari’. But his real success came with ‘Chalte Chalte’ in 1976. The song ‘Chalte Chalte Mere Yeh Geet Yaad Rakhna, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna’ by Kishore Kumar went on to top the charts that year.

Bappi Lahiri with Kishore Kumar

Bappi Lahiri with Kishore Kumar

In 1981, he composed another stupendous disco number ‘Ramba Ho Samba Ho’ for the movie ‘Armaan’. Rendered by Usha Utthup, the song became almost a rage among the listeners.

Mithun Chakraborty in 'I am a disco dancer'

Mithun Chakraborty in ‘I am a disco dancer’

In 1982, his music for ‘Disco Dancer’ and preferably the two songs ‘I Am A Disco Dancer’ and ‘Jimmy Jimmy’ created such a everlasting craze that it did spread to the far away nations of China and Russia. Bappi Lahiri happened to be the first Indian composer to win the China Gold Award for ‘Disco Dancer.. Even Russia embraced his music with open arms. During the 1980s, the on screen persona of Mithun Chakraborty and the disco theme of Bappi Lahiri became almost synonymous.

‘Ke Pag Ghungroo Baandhe Meera Naachi Thi, Aur Hum Naache Bin Ghungroo Ke, Ke Pag Ghungroo Baandhe Meera Naachi Thi’

- ‘Ke Pag Ghungroo’ from Prakash Mehra’s 1982 release ‘Namak Halal’ had a little bit of classical touch which was quite irregular to come from Bappi Lahiri. But the song turned heads due to the mellifluous rendition by Kishore Kumar and the long stretched play time of the song. It goes on to play for almost 12 minutes without boring the audience even for once. This musical piece is a happening example entertainment, fun, rhythm and beat, all mixed together.

Amitabh Bachchan in 'Ke Pag Ghungroo' from 'Namak Halaal

Amitabh Bachchan in ‘Ke Pag Ghungroo’ from ‘Namak Halaal

‘Jawani Janeman’, ‘Raat Baaki Baat Baaki’, ‘Aaj Rapat Jaaye To Humein Na’, ‘Thodi Si Jo Peeli Hai’, all were smashing hits at the charts from the same movie. Almost all the songs from this soundtrack has been remixed many times in the modern days and the tunes still rock the audiences with their charm.

‘Inteha Ho Gayi Intezaar Ki, Aayi Na Kuch Khabar, Mere Yaar Ki’

- The trademark song by Kishore Kumar from ‘Sharaabi’ was also composed by Bappi Lahiri. The song became such a huge success that it still remains to be one of the signature tunes among the current generation audiences. ‘De De Pyar De’, ‘Manzile Apni Jagah, Raaste Apni Jagah’ are another two extremely popular tracks from the movie. He received the Filmfare Award for Best Music Direction in 1984 for ‘Sharaabi’.

Amitabh Bachchan in 'Inteha Ho Gayi Intezaar Ki' from 'Sharaabi'

Amitabh Bachchan in ‘Inteha Ho Gayi Intezaar Ki’ from ‘Sharaabi’

Bappi Lahiri shared a very close rapport with Kishore Kumar. Their association remained intact until Kishore Kumar’s death. It is said that it was Kishore Kumar who influenced and inspired Bappi Lahiri to playback songs. Their association gave birth to evergreen songs like ‘Pag Ghungroo’, ‘Inteha Ho Gayi’, ‘Mazile Apni Jagah’, ‘Aaj Rapat Jaaye’.

Bappi Lahiri with Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar

Bappi Lahiri with Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar

‘I am a street dancer’ by Amit Kumar for the movie ‘Ilzaam’ in 1986 was another disco theme by Bappi Lahiri that became immensely popular. The song gave birth to the dancing Govinda in Bollywood and still remains to be an evergreen number.

Bappi Lahiri with Vishal-Shekhar and Shreya Ghoshal

Bappi Lahiri with Vishal-Shekhar and Shreya Ghoshal

Bappi Lahiri’s magic started fading from Bollywood towards the end of 1990s. But he never vanished from the musical arena. He kept on proving his presence after long intervals and made headlines everytime when he came back with a bang. He composed for ‘Maine Gandhi Ko Nahi Maara’ in 2005. He rendered the famous song ‘Shola Hai Ya Hai Bijuriya Dil Ki Bajariya Bambai Nagariya’ for Vishal-Shekhar for the movie ‘Taxi No. 9211′ in 2006.

Bappi Lahiri and Shreya Ghoshal

Bappi Lahiri and Shreya Ghoshal

In 2006, he also did playback for A. R. Rahman for Mani Ratnam’s ‘Guru’. The song ‘Ek Lo Ek Muft’ from ‘Guru’ was a duet of Bappi Lahiri and Chitra. He was back with his ever-so-loved ‘Disco Dancer’ again in Golmaal 3 in 2010. The most surprising hit that came from Bappi Lahiri was ‘Oo Lala Oo Lala, Tu Hai Meri Fantasy’ from ‘Dirty Picture’ in 2011. ‘Oo Lala’ was again a collaborative result of Vishal Shekhar’s music and Bappi Lahiri’s rendition along with Shreya Ghoshal. The song with a retro feel immediately did hit the charts and became a massive success throughout.

‘Kaliyon Ka Chaman Tab Banta Hai, Thoda Resham Lagta Hai, Ho Thoda Sheesha Lagta Hai, Heere Moti Jadte Hain, Thoda Sona Lagta Hai’

Bappi Lahiri has been alleged with the blame of plagiarism a lot of times. But in 2002, similar tune of the song ‘Kaliyo Ka Chaman’ (originally composed for the movie ‘Jyoti’ in 1981) was found in an American album ‘Addictive’ by ‘Truth Hurts’. A copyright infringement case was filed against the album by Sa Re Ga Ma and Universal Music Group. The US court of Los Angeles barred any further sales of the album until Bappi Lahiri was listed as the original composer of the tune in the credits.

Bappi Lahiri with Anu Malik

Bappi Lahiri with Anu Malik

His ‘Zooby Zooby’ from the film ‘Dance Dance’, ‘Come Closer’ from ‘Kasam Paida Karne Waale Ki’, ‘I am a disco dancer’ from ‘Disco Dancer’ has influenced a lot of foreign musicians over the years which includes America’s Showbiz and A. G., Dabrye, Albert Johnson (Prodigy), Duval Clear (Masta Ace), Russia’s Ruki Vvreh and even France’s Arnaud Bernard (Onra).

His song ‘Jimmy Jimmy’ from ‘Disco Dancer’ was featured in the famous Hollywood flick ‘You Don’t Mess With The Zohan’ starring Adam Sandler in 2008. Lahiri was listed in the credits as the original composer of the song as well.

In 1989, he was invited at London for a live performance at BBC, marking him as the only Indian music director to get the opportunity. In 1986, his name was included in the Guinness Book Of World Records for composing 180 songs for almost 33 films in one single year, making him the only composer in the world to achieve that. The record still remains to be unbroken till date. He also remains to be the only composer who was invited by Michael Jackson to his concert in Mumbai in 1996.

Bappi Lahiri1

Not only as a music director but also as a singer, Bappi Lahiri has successfully pulled in audiences towards his music from different parts of the world. He has more than 10 albums on his credit and almost 500 films in different languages. In 1994, he founded his own music label company BL Music. In 1997, his wife produced the Bengali movie ‘Lal Darja’ which won the National Award for being the Best Feature Film Of India that year. Directed by Buddhadev Dasgupta, the film received tremendous national and international appreciation.

He judged television reality shows including Zee Tv’s Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and Sony Entertainment Television’s K for Kishore. In 2011, he launched his album ‘Walking On The Love Street’. The album features American Idol participant Shaun Barrows and the album rules the US chart for a long time.

Bappi Lahiri at Indian Idol Junior

Bappi Lahiri at Indian Idol Junior

‘Gunday’ – The most waited film from the Yash Raj Productions starring Ranveer Singh and Priyanka Chopra also is supposed to have a song rendered by Bappi Lahiri. The song is a cabaret number with the touch of jazz and composer Sohail Sen chose Bappi Lahiri to render the song. The film is scheduled to get released in February, 2014.

While Bappi Lahiri continues to give tremendous hits trough his compositions and renditions, it is undeniable that he is truly ‘The Disco King of India’.

Jagjit Singh : The Ghazal Maestro

Jagjit Singh

Jagjit Singh

Chitthi Na Koi Sandesh
Jaane Woh Kaunsa Desh
Jahaan Tum Chale Gaye

The resonant voice would strike a chord with anyone’s mind as the song mellifluously appeals to everyone whenever they listen to him. Jagjit Singh, a legend of ghazals, have always ardently poured life into his soulful renditions.

Jagjit Singh was originally born as Jagmohan Singh on the 8th of February in 1941 in Sri Ganganagar of Rajasthan to Sikh parents, Amar Singh and Bachan Kaur. He completed his graduation from Jalandhar’s DAV college and earned his post-graduation degree from Haryana’s Kurukshetra University.

He took his music lessons from Pandit Chaganlal Sharma for two years and learnt Khayal, Thumri and other form of classical music from Ustad Jamaal Khan for six years. As he spent a considerable time period of his life in Rajasthan, the folk culture of Rajasthan became evident in many of his renditions in later life.

Jagjit Singh

Jagjit Singh

Jagjit Singh’s father, a government employee by profession, always aspired for his son to become a engineer or bureaucrat. In 1965, he eloped to Mumbai without the knowledge of his parents to build a career out of music. He started off by singing advertisement jingles and his first singing opportunity came with a Gujarati film named ‘Dharati Naa Chhoru’ by Suresh Amin. During this time, he also abandoned his turban, shaved his hair and moustache only to leave behind his image as a Sikh.

Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho
Kya Gham Hai Jisko Chhupa Rahe Ho

It was a phase when the genre of ghazal was ruled by prominent singers like Beghum Akhtar, Talat Mehmood, Noor Jehan and Mehdi Hassan. Inspite of that Jagjit Singh could blend the school of ghazal in the most modern manner and created a niche for himself. In 1967, he met Chitra Singh at a recording studio. On hearing his heavy voice, she doubted whether she would be able to mould her voice with him as his rendition turned out to be a very heavy one. However, their voices blended beautifully with each other only to initialise a long journey together.

Jagjit Singh with wife Chitra Singh, daughter Monica Singh and son Vivek

Jagjit Singh with wife Chitra Singh, daughter Monica Singh and son Vivek

In 1969, Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh tied the wedlock together. Since then, the husband-wife duo produced a handful of extremely successful albums which earned them worldwide reputation. The Unforgettables, the first most celebrated album of the duo turned them into ghazal stars overnight. The songs like ‘Baat Niklegi’, ‘Raat Bhi Neend Bhi’ became the runaway successes at the chartbusters.

Their success stories continued with more albums titled, ‘Main Aur Meri Tanhai’, ‘The Latest’, ‘Ecstasies’, ‘Echoes’ and ‘Beyond Time’. The albums not only became hits within India but earned international fame as well.

Hontho Se Choo Lo Tum
Mera Geet Amar Kar Do

With ‘The Unforgettables’, Jagjit Singh blended western instrumentation with classical ghazal in a way that appealed to the modern ears as well. It can’t be denied that Jagjit Singh holds the credit for umpteen amount of contribution towards making the genre of ghazals a popular phenomenon among the new-age audiences. With ‘Beyond Time’, he did set another record. It is the first digitally recorded album of India by Indian singers.

Jagjit Singh with wife Chitra Singh and Lata Mangeshkar

Jagjit Singh with wife Chitra Singh and Lata Mangeshkar

During the same decade, he also rendered for many Bollywood hits. ‘Arth’, ‘Saath Saath’, ‘Prem-Geet’ had stupendous hits tracks by Jagjit Singh.

Tumko Dekha To Yeh Khayal Aaya
Zindagi Dhoop…Tum Ghanaa Saaya

‘Saath Saath’ and ‘Arth’ remains to be the highest selling combined album till date. The songs ‘Tumko Dekha To Yeh Khayal Aaya’, ‘Yeh Tera Ghar Yeh Mera Ghar’, ‘Yeh Bataa De Mujhe Zindagi’ from ‘Saath Saath’ and ‘Tum Itna Jo Muskura Rahe Ho’, ‘Jhuki Jhuki Si Nazar’, ‘Koi Yeh Kaise Bataaye’, ‘Tere Khushboo Mein Base’ from ‘Arth’ were the most soulful mellifluous tracks by Jagjit Singh.

He became a music director himself in ‘Prem-Geet’ and composed brilliant pieces like ‘Hothon Se Choo Lo Tum’ in 1981.

Jagjit Singh At Recording Studio

Jagjit Singh At Recording Studio

In 1988, he also composed music for the television series ‘Mirza Ghalib’ directed by Gulzar.

Jagjit Singh With His Wife and Son

Jagjit Singh With His Wife and Son

During the 1990s, a heart-breaking tragedy broke into the happy life of Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh. Their only son died at the Marine Drive in a car accident. ‘Someone Somewhere’ was the last album of the duo after which Chitra Singh lost her voice and stopped singing. Jagjit Singh, however, returned to singing after a year. He came out with albums like ‘Hope’, ‘Chirag’, ‘Kehkashan’, ‘Visions’, ‘Insight’, ‘Love Is Blind’, ‘Mirage’ and many more. His one major successful album with Lata Mangeshkar was ‘Sajda’.

Hoshwalon Ko Khabar Kya
Bekhudi Kya Cheeze Hai
Ishq Kijiye Phir Samajhiye
Zindagi Kya Cheeze Hai

Penned by Nida Fazli and rendered by Jagjit Singh, ‘Hoshwalo Ko Khabar Kya’ is a brilliant masterpiece from the 1999 release ‘Sarfarosh’. The song still creates an enchanting effect on the listener’s mind. In between, he rendered innumerable numbers for several movies like ‘Veer-Zaara’, ‘Joggers Park’, ‘Bhopal Express’, ‘Dushman’ and many more.

Jagjit Singh with Gulzar

Jagjit Singh with Gulzar

Jagjit Singh is the sole singer to render the songs written by the previous Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee for a compiled album titled as ‘Samvedna’ in 2002. The song ‘Kya Khoya Kya Paaya Jag Mein, Milte Aur Bichadte Pag Mein’ became hugely popular with Shahrukh Khan in the promotional video of the album.

Album Cover of 'Samvedna' compiling lyrics of the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and rendered by Jagjit Singh

Album Cover of ‘Samvedna’ compiling lyrics from the then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and rendered by Jagjit Singh

But tragedy broke into his life again with the death of his daughter in 2009. Monica, Chitra Singh’s daughter from her previous marriage, hanged herself from a fan and committed suicide. Jagjit Singh, who has been a father figure to her since she was 5, cancelled his US trip midway to return back to India on hearing the grieving news. A distraught and shaken Jagjit was consoled by friends like Gulzar, Nida Fazli, Om Puri and Javed Akhtar after the incident.

Jagjit Singh and Gulzar

Jagjit Singh and Gulzar

Koi Fariyaad Tere Dil Mein Dabi Ho Jaise
Tune Aankhon Se Koi Baat Kahi Ho Jaise
Jaagte Jaagte Ek Umr Kati Ho Jaise
Jaan Baaki Hai Magar Saas Ruki Ho Jaise

In 1998, he suffered from a major heart attack. He survived the attack but was admitted to hospital again in 2007. After fighting with death for almost two weeks and being in coma for a long time, he finally took his last breath on 23rd of September 2011 due to cerebral hemorrhage. He attended his last concert at Dehradun on the 20th of September 2011.

Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh Meeting The President of India

Jagjit Singh and Chitra Singh Meeting The Then President of India Pratibha Patil

Jagjit Singh still remains to be the sole artist who could make ghazals appeal to the masses. He was the first musician who introduced rich musical backgrounds and western instruments in ghazal scores. He is an artist of that dynamism who can never be replaced by any contemporary singer for a long time in future.

Kailash Kher : The Most Earthy Voice

Kailash Kher

Kailash Kher

 

Allah Ke Bande Hasde, Allah Ke Bande
Allah Ke Bande Hasde
Jo Bhi Ho Kal Phir Aayega

Kailash Kher – A voice that is raw, earthiest and may be the closest to any pure form of soul. ‘Allah Ke Bande’ is one of his best renditions that topped the charts back in 2003. Composed by Vishal-Shekhar, it is a beautiful devotional musical piece from ‘Waisa Bhi Hota Hai’ that would touch the hearts of many.

Kailash Kher was born on 7th of July 1973 in Meerut of Uttar Pradesh. His father Pandit Maher Singh Kher was a traditional folk singer from whom Kailash learnt his initial music. At an young age of 14, he abandoned the comforts of home and came down to Delhi in search of a competent ‘guru’ in order to learn music. After a brief association with almost 15 ‘gurus’, he decided to leave for Mumbai.

He did learn and teach music to young students at the same time to earn his livelihood. He was greatly inspired by the classical maestros like Pandit Bhimshen Joshi, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Pandit Gokulotsav Maharaj, whom he listened to very frequently in order to learn from their renditions.

Kailash Kher

Kailash Kher

He started off soon with a saree export business with one of his friends. After a brief success followed by an unfortunate failure in 1999, he gave up business and again decided to give a chance to his music. He then came back to Delhi to complete his graduation only to return back to Mumbai in 2001.

During his early struggling days, Kailash Kher spent his nights at the Andheri railway station and took up petty musical works that came in his way.

Soon he was introduced by a common friend to Ram Sampat, who gave him a chance to sing a jingle for a television commercial. Later, he went on to sing more jingles for commercials of Coca Cola, Honda Motor Cycles, Pepsi and many more.

Kailash Kher

Kailash Kher

He got an opportunity to playback for Nadeem-Shravan for the film ‘Andaaz’ in 2003. ‘Rabba Ishq Na Hove’ with Alka Yagnik brought him under spotlight. The same year with the release of ‘Allah Ke Bande’, he reached the height of fame and popularity overnight.

The fervor of ‘Allah Ke Bande’ enchanted A. R. Rahman to the extent that he made Kailash Kher sing for him in ‘Swades’ in 2004. ‘Yun Hi Chala Chal Rahi’ from ‘Swades’ was sung by Kailash Kher along with Udit Narayan and Hariharan. His first music director Ram Sampath called him during the same year to render the song ‘Mere Maula’ along with Richa Sharma for Rajkumar Santoshi’s ‘Khakee’.

His high pitched and raw voice was used extensively by Aadesh Shrivastav for ‘Rang Deeni’ from ‘Dev’. He rendered the song beautifully along with Mahua Kamat and Shraddha Pandit  and the song went on to become a huge hit of 2004.

Kailash Kher with A. R. Rahman

Kailash Kher with A. R. Rahman

In 2005, A. R Rahman again roped him in to sing the title track ‘Mangal Mangal’ for Ketan Mehta’s Aamir Khan starring ‘Mangal Pandey’. Jatin-Lalit used his voice along with Shaan in the song ‘Chaand Sifaarish’ from ‘Fanaa’. The lines ‘Subhan Allah…Subhan Allah’ in between the song were rendered by Kailash Kher. Anu Malik too offered him with ‘Toot Gaya’ from the Amitabh Bachchan and Akshay Kumat starring ‘Waqt’.

He also worked with Pritam in ‘Chocolate’ in 2005 and sang the song ‘Jhuki Jhuki’ along with Sunidhi Chauhan.

‘Yeh Duniya Oot Patanga, Kite Hath Te Kite Tanga, Ate Kukdi Dindi Baanga, Ede Chakde Phatte’

– A solo number of Kailash Kher from ‘Khosla Ka Ghosla’. The song went on to become a super hit at the charts in 2006. The peppy track by Kailash Kher would stupefy anyone. It is composed and sung with a mix of Hindi and Punjabi flavour and is a stupendous piece by Kailash Kher.

Khosla Ka Ghosla (Poster)

Khosla Ka Ghosla (Poster)

‘O Sikander’ from ‘Corporate’ in 2006 and ‘Ya Rabba’ from ‘Salaam-E-Ishq’ in 2007 were also huge hits at the charts. Both the songs are different in terms of genres and became very popular among the masses.

A Lyricist and Composer:

‘Ankhiyan Teriya Ve’ from Karan Johar’s ‘Kaal’ was penned by Kailash Kher. He not only sang the song but also holds the credit for the lyrics. He also went on to write lyrics for ‘Chandni Chowk To China’, ‘Dasvidaniyaan’ and ‘Traffic Signal’. He rendered the songs ‘Dilruba’ and ‘Albela Saajna’ from ‘Traffic Signal’ too.
He also composed the songs of the super hit movie ‘Dasvidaniyaan’. ‘Alvida’ and ‘Mumma’ from ‘Dasvidaniyaan’ were rendered by Kailash Kher while he made Sonu Nigam render the song ‘Muskura’ in the movie. In ‘Chandni Chowk To China’, he composed the songs ‘Chak Lein De’ and ‘S.I.D.H.U’ along with Paresh and Naresh and rendered for the same.

Albums:

Kailash Kher's album 'Kailasa'

Kailash Kher’s album ‘Kailasa’

Kailash Kher also holds credit for four major successful albums through the years. His first album ‘Kailasa’ was released in 2006. The famous song ‘Teri Deewani’ from ‘Kailasa’ was a massive hit and the album went on to become one of the best selling albums of the year. The name ‘Kailasa’ was inspired from the name of the band that Kailash Kher earlier found with his two friends Paresh and Naresh in Delhi.

His second album ‘Jhoomo Re’ in 2007 was also another successful album from his kit. ‘Saiyyan’, ‘Babam Bum’, Chhap Tilak’ are the songs that became immensely popular among the audiences.

Cover of the album 'Chaandan Mein' by Kailash Kher

Cover of the album ‘Chaandan Mein’ by Kailash Kher

His third album ‘Chaandan Mein’ in 2009 and fourth alum ‘Rangeele’ in 2012 were equally successful and they all became chart toppers during their respective years.

His versatile voice makes him different from the rest of the singers. Today, he is one of those singers in Bollywood who refines the folk genre of music and instills a natural earthy feel among the music lovers.

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam : The Forever Youthful Voice

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam

From ‘Dil Deewana Bin Sajna Ke Maane Na’ to ‘Pehla Pehla Pyar’ to the recent rage ‘Ticket Khareedke, Baith Ja Seat Pe, Nikal Na Jaaye Kahiin Chennai Express’, he has sung for almost four decades and have given Bollywood some of its endurable hits during the 1990s. Been tagged as the inimitable voice of Salman Khan, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam did render record breaking chart-busters in Rajshri Productions’ ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ and ‘Hum Aapke Hain Kaun’.

His voice is youthful forever as even in his late 60s, the magic of his songs haven’t faded. As music directors Vishal-Shekhar commented, “He is 67 years old, he has sung more than 37,000 songs and he sounds like a 20-year-old”.

Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam is popularly known as S. P. Balasubrahmanyam. He is also fondly referred to as S. P. B or Balu by his fans.

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam was born in the Nellore district at the border of the two states of Andra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. His father was a singer and a harmonium and flute player in various religious function across the states. He has six siblings, one of whom is the famous singer S. P. Sailaja.

After completing his schooling, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam enrolled himself in the Jawaharlal Nehru Technology College of Anantpur in Andhra Pradesh. He had to discontinue his engineering course due to severe typhoid only to continue again at Chennai after a short break. He kept on learning and performing at various musical event during the course of his engineering studies.

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam with Usha Utthup

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam with Usha Utthup

Balasubrahmanyam sang for the first time as a playback singer in 1966 in a Telugu film. In 1969, he made his Tamil debut in ‘Shaanti Nilayam’ followed by his next Malayalam venture ‘Kadalppalam’ the very same year.

He rose to instant fame after the release of the prominent Telugu film ‘Shankarabharanam’ in 1979. The soundtrack of the movie was based on heavy Carnatic music and S. P. Balasubrahmanyam being untrained in classical music was an unconventional choice of composer K. V. Mahadevan. However, he did wonders with the notes and went on to receive the National Award for The Best Male Playback Singer that very year.

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam made his Bollywood debut in 1981 with K. Balachander’s Kamal Hassan starring ‘Ek Duuje Ke Liye’. He met Govind Pani in a reputed musical gathering in Chennai where he was asked whether he would be interested to sing for Hindi films. Soon enough Laxmikant-Pyarelal roped him in as the voice for Kamal Hassan in the remake of the Telugu blockbuster ‘Maro Charitra’ by the same director. Balasubrahmanyam sang for both the versions of the movie and received the National  Award for playback singing again for the Hindi version in 1981.

‘Tere Mere Beech Mein Kaisa Hai Yeh Bandhan Anjaana’

- ‘Tere Beech Mein’ still remains to be an evergreen song by Balasubrahmanyam and one of the bests by Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Britney Spears’ ‘Toxic’ was composed with some of the inspired musical phase of ‘Tere Mere Beech Mein’ in 2004. Other songs like , ‘Hum Bane Tum Bane Ek Duuje Ke Liye’, ‘Hum Tum Dono Jab Mil Jaayen’, ‘Mere Jeevan Saathi’ from ‘Ek Duuje Ke Liye’ were super-hit at the charts.

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam

In the same year he also sang for the Jeetendra starring ‘Ek Hi Bhool’. The songs ‘Hey Raju Hey Daddy’ and ‘Hum Tumse Pyar Na Karte’ became quite popular.

In 1985, he collaborated with R. D. Burman to sing for the super hit film ‘Saagar. ‘O Maria O Maria’ with Asha Bhosle was an instant success at the chart busters. Burman also gave him a solo ‘Sach Mere Yaar Hai’ and a duet ‘Yun Hi Gaate Raho’ with Kishore Kumar from the film. Ramesh Sippy’s ‘Saagar’ that year was India’s official entry for the Oscars.

Maine Pyar Kiya (Poster)

Maine Pyar Kiya (Poster)

Sooraj Barjatiya’s ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ starring Salman Khan came and hit the box office like a storm in 1989. The music as well as the movie were chart toppers. Composers Raam-Laxman again chose Balasubrahmanyam’s voice for Salman Khan. The songs went on to become such huge hits that his voice effortlessly was started to be associated with Salman Khan’s on screen voice.

‘Mere Rang Mein Rangne Waali’, ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’, ‘Kabootar Ja Ja Ja’, ‘Aaya Mausam Dosti Ka’ are the stupendous melodies by S. P. Balasubrahmanyam from ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’. He received the Filmfare Award for the Best Male Playback Singer for the song ‘Dil Deewana’ in 1990. He again rendered for Raam-Laxman in another Salman Khan starred movie ‘Patthar Ke Phool’ in 1991.

Salman Khan in 'Tumse Milne Ki Tamanna Hai' from 'Saajan'

Salman Khan in ‘Tumse Milne Ki Tamanna Hai’ from ‘Saajan’

‘Tumse Milne Ki Tamanna Hai, Pyar Ka Iraada Hai, Aur Ek Waada Hai Jaanam’

– The song is still embedded in our hearts. The unforgettable track rendered by S. P. Balasubrahmanyam for ‘Saajan’ was a smashing musical hit. ‘Bahut Pyar Karte Hain’ and ‘Dekha Hai Pehli Baar’ were also groundbreaking numbers by him that topped the charts. ‘Saajan’ can be regarded as one of the best albums composed by Nadeem Shravan.

‘Pehla Pehla Pyar Hai, Pehli Pehli Baar Hai, Jaanke Bhi Anjaana, Kaisa Mera Yaar Hai’

He also had been the main voice for Salman Khan in the biggest blockbuster of the decade ‘Hum Aapke Hai Kaun’. The movie went one step ahead of ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ and set unbeatable records at the box office as well as at the chartbusters. ‘Didi Tera Devar Deewana’, ‘Pehla Pehla Pyar’, ‘Mausam Ka Jadoo’, ‘Mujhse Juda Hokar’, ‘Hum Aapke Hain Kaun’, ‘Wah Wah Ramji’ and ‘Joote Do Paise Lo’, all were instant hits. The music went on to be played widely at all radio stations and the album became the bestselling album of the year.

Salman Khan and Madhuri Dixit in 'Pehla Pehla Pyar' from 'Hum Aapke Hain Kaun'

Salman Khan and Madhuri Dixit in ‘Pehla Pehla Pyar’ from ‘Hum Aapke Hain Kaun’

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam took a break from Bollywood in the late 1990s and returned after 15 years to sing for Shahrukh Khan’s Chennai Express.

Chennai Express (Poster)

Chennai Express (Poster)

‘Ticket Khareedke, Baithja Seat Pe, Nikal Na Jaaye Kahiin Chennai Express’

- Composed by Vishal- Shekhar, the song went on to become one of the biggest hit of the year. Although Balasubrahmanyam was a bit apprehensive about singing the song but later he agreed considering Shahrukh Khan’s personal request and the message it delivers. ‘Chennai Express’ also became one of the biggest all-time blockbuster of Bollywood.

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam felicitated at  the 6th Annual Vijay Awards by A. R Rahman and Kamal Hassan

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam felicitated at the 6th Annual Vijay Awards by A. R Rahman and Kamal Hassan

With Chennai Express’ success, Bollywood again awaits for S. P. Balasubrahmanyam to return with his voice on a regular scale. His renditions remains to be immortal and are almost unforgettable till date.