Back in 1973, he started off his career as a music composer with the Tanuja-starrer Nanha Shikari. And now, as Bappi Lahiri completes 40 years in Bollywood, he says it all “feels like yesterday” to him. “I believe you do well when you keep reinventing yourself; when you change with the times and yet, retain your essence,” says Lahiri, adding that every musician lives on the adulation he or she receives. “I’m glad that the industry and the audience still love me. That keeps me going.”
Lahiri, whose recent hits include songs like ‘Ooh la la’ (from The Dirty Picture, 2011) and ‘Dhar pakad’ (from Special 26), has just finished recording his latest for Arshad Warsi’s upcoming film, Jolly LLB. “The film is about a loser who makes it big. We all go through that phase in life, so the song manages to touch a chord. Even the boy who serves tea at the recording studio, where we were working, was humming it,” he says. The song is titled ‘Mere toh l lag gaye’.
Even though in the ’80s, it was the 60-year-old artiste, who popularised disco music with the soundtracks of Disco Dancer, Namak Halaal (both 1982) and Sharabi (1984), today, he doesn’t make that much music. “I’m very choosy now. The songs I sing for others keep me happy these days. After four decades, all you want is work that you enjoy and get a creative high from,” says Lahiri.
His songs, ‘Nainon mein sapna’ and ‘Taki o taki’ from Himmatwala (1983) are also set to make a comeback later this year with Sajid Khan’s official remake. Proud, Lahiri says, “I’m very overwhelmed. They are my immortal compositions from the ’80s.”