I’m a one-man army, says Bappa Lahiri
Bappa Lahiri, talks big with
on composing music for next flick
and the film's most popular song on the charts
Sufi tere pyaar mein
How has the response to Jai Veeru been?
(Smiles) It’s been very positive. I have worked really hard on the score, and I’m on all the charts now, As soon as I recorded it, I knew Sufi tere pyaar mein would be my first major hit. I’m just really happy right now.
You started composing at the age of 11.. why has your first full fledged album taken so long to come?
You know, thanks to my dad, Bappi Lahiri, I’m a one-man army. I can play all instruments, I can record, I can sing and I can compose my own tunes. Today’s composers have no clue about arrangements.. but I don’t need anybody. I was assisting my dad and composing background scores for years.. I’ve turned independent when my dad felt I was ready.
Why were you composing one-off songs for soundtracks?
Actually, Sanjay Gupta wanted to launch me with Alibaug.. I’m here because of him. But following his problems with Sanjay Dutt, the movie has been delayed. So I composed in an OST for him because he’s like family. Then Jai Veeru came up. But now, I’ll only do full-fledged albums.
What was the reaction to Jai Veeru from your father?
He loved it.. the day I recorded the songs, he presented me with a Rolex watch. (Laughs) I’m happier about that! He doesn’t say much.. but the day I played the entire CD to him, he did admit that he was proud of me. That was my big moment! It’s not easy for me to live up to the expectations.
You mean comparisons between your father’s music and yours?
(Frowns) Yeah, people compare. And the worst thing is that Dad is a legend.. he’s composed for 450 movies. No one else on earth has done that. He’s had 37 silver jubilee hits. Today, we are lucky if a movie runs for five days. I don’t find it fair to compare. It hurts.. I try to focus on my work.
Do you try to be intentionally different?
I have accompanied my father to recordings as a kid, when he would record with 100 musicians in Mehboob Studios. The one thing I have learnt there is that if you get the melody right, the song will be remembered forever. I am trying to do just that, unlike the present trend, where only arrangement and beats matter. I want to stress on lyrics and sound quality the way RD Burman and dad did. Today’s generation is the last one that still remembers their songs.. I want my music to be remembered by the coming generations.
Your sister Reema has sung for Jai Veeru. Doesn’t she want to compose too?
(Laughs) No, she’s never been interested in composing. She’s my biggest critic, though. She always inspires me to do something different. For my album, I didn’t want singers who have sung a 100 songs. I wanted a new sound. I’m very happy to have introduced fresh voices.
You are working on a rock album. Will your father and sister collaborate with you on that?
(Smiles) Yes, I’ll be starting it in April. It’s a live album with only drums, bass and guitars. I’m a drummer and love pure rock. Both dad and Reema will be singing. I’m still forming the band.. Siam, who’s sung in Jai Veeru, and some friends of mine will be working with me.
What about Slum Stars, your father’s album?
I’m programming and arranging for him. He’s going to US for the recording. Some bigwigs there are also working on it
There’s Anjum Rizvi’s Flat, which has very intense music. Then there’s Alibaug, Acid Factory, Shaadi Online and Jagmohan Mundhra’s next. I’m also planning an album with Sanjay Dutt...he loves singing and we’ve collaborated on a song in Alibaug. I’ve been a fan of his since Thanedaar.
You are also dating Karishma Tanna?
(Smiles sheepishly) Two people going out can be friends, right? We are very good friends. Right now, I need to focus on my career. My work is my wife.. I’m married to it.