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Zakir creates jazz for Bollywood

Grammy-award winning tabla maestro Zakir Hussain returns to films as a composer with Sona Jain’s For Real, seven years after his last, One Dollar Curry. Read on.

music Updated: Sep 14, 2010 13:48 IST
Nikhil Taneja
Nikhil Taneja
Hindustan Times

Grammy-award winning tabla maestro Zakir Hussain returns to films as a composer with Sona Jain’s

For Real

, seven years after his last,

One Dollar Curry

. And since the film’s main character, played by Sarita Choudhary, is a jazz singer, Hussain’s self-confessedly “had fun” while scoring for the film.

“I think this is the first time in Bollywood that a live jazz orchestra quartet has been used in the background of a movie,” says Hussain. “Since music is an integral part of the story and the lead character is a club singer, I thought the songs should be recorded live to get authentic sound.

“So we had a piano player, bass player, drummer and horn player performing live to the singer crooning in the studio. On the album, it sounds like a orchestra of 50, but it’s just four to five people!”

Zakir Hussain

Hussain has got American singer Lynn Ray Pardo and Mumbai-based Indian singer Samantha Edwards on the album as well. All the songs have been written by director Jain herself, except for one,

No blame

, which has been penned by Hussain’s wife, Antonia Minnecola.

“We needed songs that would fit the atmosphere of the film, and not bashful Bollywood numbers,” says Hussain. “That’s why we have only two singers on the album, whose voices reflect the two different periods in the life of the character.”

The legend admits that he has not been able to compose for Bollywood due to his travel commitments, but adds that he took up debutant director Jain’s movie because he felt a “connection” with her.

“Sona reminded me of my daughter, Anisa, who is a film producer in Los Angeles,” says Hussain. “Despite being a newcomer, she had the confidence to actually take this project through. And after reading the script, I felt that it was the kind of subject I could contribute a lot to musically, so I came on board.”

Although Hussain is busy with his tours and multiple music albums at the moment, he promises that he may take up more movies, but only “if I have the time, and if it is fun.”

First Published: Sep 14, 2010 13:40 IST