Ismail Darbar : The King Of Western Classical

Ismail Darbar

Ismail Darbar

Jo Hai Albela Madnaino Waala
Jiski Deewani Brij Ki Har Baala
Woh Kisna Hai…

Rich music with the fusion of classical and western touch, grand chorus and extravagant usage of percussion instruments, exquisite tunes and magnificent melodies are the trademark specialties of Ismail Darbar. His kind of rich music is rare in Hindi cinema. Ismail Darbar is a conventional pick for filmmakers who require western classical genre of music in their movies.

He was born on the 1st of June 1964 in Surat of Gujarat. He carries forward the lineage of a family who are musicians since five generations. His father was a saxophone and clarionet player and Ismail Darbar also earned his first music lessons from his father only.

He learnt to play violin and went on to become a violinist for Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Bappi Lahiri, Rajesh Roshan, Kalyanji-Anandji, Anand-Milind, Jatin-Lalit and A. R. Rahman.

Ismail Darbar

Ismail Darbar

His first project as an independent composer was Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’. Although, his first film should have been Ram Gopal Verma’s 1995 release ‘Rangeela’ but it eventually went to A. R. Rahman’s bag.

Ismail Darbar initially started off with composing for television serials. He also composed music for a major recording company with Kunal Ganjawala as the lead singer.

While Sanjay Leela Bhansali was in search of an unconventional composer for ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’, it was Kunal Ganjawala’s recommendation that helped Ismail Darbar to bag the movie in his kit.

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (Poster)

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (Poster)

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Tere Ho Gaye Hain Hum
Teri Kasam…Teri Kasam…

The entire soundtrack of ‘Hum Dil De Chukle Sanam’ was a smashing hit at the chart-busters. Each song of the movie depicted different moods and versatile compositions of the songs with reference to the semblance and tenor made them examples of classic compositions.

Salman Khan and Aishwariya Rai in 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam'

Salman Khan and Aishwariya Rai in ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’

If Kavita Krishnamurthy’s ‘Nimbooda Nimbooda‘ never fails to make you tap your feet then ‘Tadap Tadap‘ is another haunting song that represents immense pain and heart wrenching cry of a defeated lover. KK truly made the song more effective with his voice emoting the emotions perfectly.

Kumar Sanu and Kavita Krishnamurthy’s ‘Aankhon Ki Gustakhiyaan Maaf Ho‘ is another stupendous track from the film. The soft and melodious track is also supported with an equally euphonious chorus.

Salman Khan and Aishwariya Rai in 'Chaand Chupa Badal Mein from 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam'

Salman Khan and Aishwariya Rai in ‘Chaand Chupa Badal Mein from ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’

Chaand Chupa Badal Mein, Sharmaake Meri Jaana….‘ by Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik is yet another surprising musical piece by Ismail Darbar. This symphonic piece is an example of Ismail Darbar’s brilliance. Even the female chorus that accompanies the song with the lyrics of ‘Aaya Re Aaya Chanda Ab Har Khwaish Puri Hogi’ on the eve of Karva Chauth will connect with the audiences almost instantly.

Where ‘Dholi Taro Dhol Baaje’ presents unbeatable usage of percussion, the title track of ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’ is equally slow and a soulful masterpiece.

Salman Khan and Aishwariya Rai in 'Dholi Taaro Dhol Baaje' from 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam'

Salman Khan and Aishwariya Rai in ‘Dholi Taaro Dhol Baaje’ from ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’

‘Albela Sajan Ayo Re‘ by Ustad Sultan Khan is another irregular yet dazzling piece that actually would endure any music lover.

‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’s title track earned him the National Award For The Best Music Director in 1999.


Devdas (Poster)

Devdas (Poster)

Silsila Yeh Chaahat Ka Na Maine Bujhne Diya
O Piya, Yeh Diya Na Bujha Hai, Na Bujhega
Meri Chaahat Ka Diya
Mere Piya… Ab Aaja Re Mere Piya


Aishwariya Rai In 'Silsila Yeh Chahat Ka' from 'Devdas'

Aishwariya Rai In ‘Silsila Yeh Chahat Ka’ from ‘Devdas’

Ismail Darbar’s brilliance was again evident with his marveling music in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s ‘Devdas’. ‘SilSila Yeh Chahat Ka’ rendered by Shreya Ghoshal is a beautiful composition and the solitary mind of a lover waiting for her love is aptly expressed through the song.
‘Humpe Yeh Kisne, Haraa Rang Daala, Khushi Ne Humaari Humein…Maar Daala, Allah…Maar Daala’ – Kavita Krishnamurthy in no way fails to impress one through this song. Filmed on Madhuri Dixit, the song is composed in classical mujra style. Ismail Darbar has always been able to use Kavita’s voice in the best way possible and this song is just another superb example of their effective partnership.

Madhuri Dixit in 'Maar Daala' from Devdas

Madhuri Dixit in ‘Maar Daala’ from Devdas

‘Kaahe Ched Mohe’ by Pandit Birju Maharaj and Kavita Krishnamurthy again would amaze anyone who listens to it. Ismail Darbar again used Kavita Krishmurthy in another composition of ‘Hamesha Tumko Chaha‘. The song is simple but its explicit tunes makes it all the way different.

‘Bairi Piya’ by Shreya Ghoshal and Udit Narayan is another surprising piece. The unconventional ‘ishhh’ in the song by Shreya Ghoshal would raise many eyebrows. This is undoubtedly another impressive piece by Ismail Darbar.

If you want versatility, then there’s more in the album of ‘Devdas’. ‘Chalak Chalak’ is a whimsical and cheery track by Udit Narayan and Vinod Rathod that is enjoyable and lively. The accompanied chorus (which is a specialty of Darbar by now) fits the tune and mood of the song convincingly.

Madhuri Dixit And Aishwariya Rai in 'Dola Re Dola' of 'Devdas'

Madhuri Dixit And Aishwariya Rai in ‘Dola Re Dola’ of ‘Devdas’

And last but not the least, the infamous ‘Dola Re Dola’ by Kavita Krishnamurthy and Shreya Ghoshal is the most resonant piece from the movie that really did strike well with masses. The song was picturised on Madhuri Dixit and Aishwariya Rai. The brilliant cinematography and the mindblowing choreography accompanied with Ismail Darbar’s everlasting vibrant music made the entire sequence absolutely enchanting.

The Bhansali and Darbar pair stopped working together later due to unwanted clashes between them. Also Ismail Darbar didn’t compose for any movie for a very long time. May be his kind of music was not in demand during the period. He made a groundbreaking comeback in 2005 with Subhash Ghai’s ‘Kisna: The Warrior Poet’.

Kisna’s soundtrack has been a joint venture by A. R. Rahman and Ismail Darbar. Both shared each other’s notes to compose music for the film. Ismail Darbar composed almost 11 tracks for the film and each track depicts its own class!

Kisna (Poster)

Kisna (Poster)

Jo Hai Albela Madnaino Waala
Jiski Deewani Brij Ki Har Baala
Woh Kisna Hai…

‘Woh Kisna Hai’ – the mere title track gives away the clue about how the rest of the album would be. Sukhwinder Singh is nothing less than mindblowing in the title track. The chorus and the use of flute in the background is simply outstanding. If you want to hear some brilliant western classical track, then this title track of ‘Kisna’ is a must in your collection.

‘Ga Tu Aisi Dhun Mein Ga’ on the other hand is a mix of classical, western and folk! The beautiful village scenario of contemporary India has been significantly portrayed through the tune of the song.



‘Kahe Ujdi More Neend’ or ‘Tore Bina Chain Nahin’ are the two utmost classical tracks with the touch of traditional ragas. People who are extreme fans of traditional classical music will find these two pieces to be alluring.

‘Woh Din Aa Gaya’ or ‘Tu Itni Pagli Kyun Hai’ are again two distinct tracks from ‘Kisna’ by Ismail Darbar.

Ismail Darbar’s family and name has a musical history that moves a long way towards the Mughal era. The ‘Darbar Band’ was more like a tradition in the family that went on for years. His ancestors found the ‘Darbar Band’ which was quite famous back in those days and were often called in weddings and ceremonies.

Ismail Darbar has always been vocal about his musical leanings. While composing for ‘Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam’, he expressed to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, ‘I have never learnt classical music. It is in my blood lineage. But I have learnt western classical and that is my speciality’.

His kind of music is rare in the industry. May be that makes him go out of work very often. Even after such splendid music he doesn’t get frequent offers. The less amount of work forced this composer to even take part in the Bigg Boss season 3 due to his financial needs during the time.

Ismail Darbar With Sukhwinder Singh, Subhash Ghai and Irshad Kamil Working For 'Kaanchi'

Ismail Darbar With Sukhwinder Singh, Subhash Ghai and Irshad Kamil Working For ‘Kaanchi’

This king of western classical will be back with Subhash Ghai’s ‘Kaanchi’, which is scheduled to get released early next year. While music of Mukta Arts have always set high standards, the mere name of Ismail Darbar add more expectations to it.

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