You may not have heard of this music composer but you couldn’t possible have missed his music. Forty-two-year-old New Zealander, Mikey McCleary, is the guy behind many popular ad jingles such as the one for Vodafone’s– World is our playground… – and Tu jo mil gaye ho…. in the invisible Coke bottle commercial featuring actors Imran Khan and Kalki Koechlin. His most recent claims to fame though are the two music tracks he recorded for indie flick Shaitan – Hawa hawaai… and Khoya khoya chand…both sung by Suman Shridhar.
Having lived in London for most of his adult life, Mikey moved to India four years ago, but his connection with the country stretches back as far as 1996 when he first produced Lucky Ali’s album Sunoh from his studio in London. But musically, it’s the composer’s next step that seems his boldest yet.
Mikey’s put together cover versions of vintage classics by artistes such as Geeta Dutt and Mohammedi Rafi amongst others, but sung by contemporary singers like Monica Dogra (of Shaa’ir + Func), Anushka Manchanda and Suman Shridhar. To be released next month by Sony Music, the name of the album is Classic Bollywood, Shaken Not Stirred, while Mikey refers to himself as ‘Bartender’. “It was originally my girlfriend’s idea to reinvent old classics in a way that could be fresh for younger listeners, while retaining their magic and sensuality,” he says.
Mikey mentions that Classic Bollywood – Shaken Not Stirred is a ‘concept album’ with a consistent theme. “I thought it should have a late-night, chilled-out cocktail bar sort of feel. So I decided to call myself the Bartender, and mix tracks instead of drinks. Geeta Dutt, too had her relationship with alcohol,” he says, adding, “The challenge was to retain the soul of the songs but dress them in newer and sexier clothes.”
The interesting thing about the album is that it only features female singers. “This album has a sensual vibe to it; the feel I wanted in some of the tracks is as if the girl is lying in bed next to you singing,” he says. Mikey has also produced Lucky Ali’s latest album Raastaman and is already working on Bartender’s second volume. “We’ll be playing gigs as well, so keep yourself free,” he signs off.
What’s inside the album
Here are the list of songs inside Bartender — Classic Bollywood, shaken not stirred:
Yeh Raat Yeh Chandni Phir Kahan — Jaal (1952)
Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho — Madan Mohan (1973)
Khoya Khoya Chand — Kala Bazaar (1960)
Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh — Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai (1960)
Jaane Kya Tune Kahi — Pyaasa (1957)
Pukarta Chala Hoon Main — Mere Sanam (1965)
Chalte Chalte Yun Hi Koi — Pakeezah (1971)
Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam — Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)
Ye Sama Sama Hai Ye Pyaar Ka — Jab Jab Phool Khile (1965)
Babuji Dheere Chalna — Aar Paar (1954)