Remember that hit song from the film R...Rajkumar, Gandi Baat? Well, turns out that singer and minister of state for Urban Development, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Babul Supriyo was the original voice behind the song, but was later replaced by singers Mika and Nakash. “I sang Gandi Baat but at the last minute, it was dubbed by Mika and later by Nakash. Prabhudheva felt that my voice was not tapori enough to match Shahid’s image in the film,” says Supriyo.
But he has no regrets. Why? Because it probably saved his political career. “It helped me, because it would have been the worst time to come up with a song like Gandi Baat when I was campaigning for Lok Sabha elections. So Gandi Baat nahi karna hi behtar raha. If you think about it, Mika and Nakash saved me,” he adds.
Supriyo might now be a politico, but that doesn’t stop him from receiving singing requests -- that too from PM Modi. “On Jan 30, I was to receive the PM for an event at Raj Ghat. I was chatting with Venkaiah ji (Venkaiah Naidu, minister, Urban Development of India) and said to him that the place’s solemn atmosphere and the cold Delhi morning is making me want to sing. He replied, ‘Aaj nahi gaa sakte protocol hai. Ab minister ban gaye ho, ab gaa nahi sakte,’” narrates Supriyo.
Watch Gandi Baat here:
But then, Modi arrived and something unexpected happened. “The PM arrived and asked, ‘Gaa rahe ho ke nahi?’ Venkaiahji said, ‘nahi protocol hai.’ To this, the PM said, ‘Nahi. Achhi cheez hai gaane dijiye.’ Even President Mukherjee said in Bengali, ‘Ki gaicho toh? (I hope you will sing)’. Eventually, I sang a song by Rabindranath Tagore at that event,” he adds.
Supriyo reveals that Modi always encouraged him to carry on singing. “I asked him, as a minister, ‘What happens to my singing?’ He said, ‘You carry on singing, aapki pehchaan hai music, toh woh to bilkul continue karna chahiye,’’’ says Supriyo.
Watch and listen to Jhelum Naina by Babul Supriyo here:
Singer-polititician Babul Supriyo’s daughter Sharmilee Supriyo, made her singing debut recently with her father in this season of the Coke Studio with songs that have been composed by music composers Anupam Roy and Jeet Ganguli. The lyrics have been penned by Javed Akhtar. An elated father, Babul talks about it and says, “As a kid, whenever she accompanied me for shows she would throw a fit so that she could sing on stage with me. She wasn’t nervous at all,” he adds, “I am sure she was anxious but the excitement overpowered it and she did pretty well, Anupam was also happy,” he adds.
Ask about her experience, and the 16-year-old says, “To work with people like Javed Akhtar, Anupam, Amitabh Bachchan was a dream come true. As a child I have sung with dad, but it was nerve-wracking as I didn’t want to disappoint anybody.” Sharmilee adds, “Of course I know there are areas where I have to work hard and I am not perfect yet, but I am glad, I got a chance to share the stage with my dad who’s my idol.” Sharmilee has dedicated her song I wanna fly to International Girl Child Day on October 13. Actor Amitabh Bachchan has also given a foreword to the song.