Bollywood songs don’t have to be tosh.
Several years ago myself and the fabulously gifted Indian classical singer Ritika Sahani recorded a number of tracks that were trying to bring two musical worlds together. Our collaboration at the time was quite unusual and we got a lot of press and radio play from it too. You can hear one of the songs here and read the story of our collaboration too. It seems we were quite ahead of our time as it has taken a ages for Indian pop to truly integrate with western styles of music.
[pullquote]it’s not all ”shouty, shouty, shouty, shouty, shouty, shouty, daba-daba-daba-dabdaa’. Trust me there is one song that goes just like that in every Bollywood movie. [/pullquote]
This year (2012) a new movie called Barfi was released and the soundtrack is simply superb, full of some great playing and a huge step away from traditional voicings. This is particularly true of the male leads voice which has some character and it’s not all ”shouty, shouty, shouty, shouty, shouty, shouty, daba-daba-daba-dabdaa’. Trust me there is one song that goes just like that in every Bollywood movie. There is even one on this otherwise cracking soundtrack too and it’s well worth a listen.
I’m not a big fan of cheesy latino jazz, it gets on my tits frankly and I wouldn’t want to be seen to be encouraging anyone to start bothering it by the next comment, but there is definitely a mellow latino type groove going on here on the album. It’s a bit cafe, it’s a bit rive gauche, it’s a bit very good coffee shop with free wifi, it’s not, well, it’s not the usual tosh typical of both Bollywood and Latin Jazz, in short it’s any good and I am digging it big time at the moment.
I include my favourite track on the album, it’s a song sung by the male lead early in the movie and beautifully reprised by the female lead later on and it’s the latter I want to share with you. The song was composed by Kolkuttan Pritam Chakraborty. The lyrics of Phir Le Aya Dil have were written by Swanand Kirkire and it’s sung by the wife of famous Director-Producer-Music Composer Vishal Bharadwa the very unique Rekha Bhardwaj. Very few if any Bollywood stars actually sing at all, their singing voices are done by what is known as ‘playback singers’ no-one knows why they have never been able to find actors who can act and sing at the same time. The same may be true in the west too but sadly it doesn’t stop them trying.