Known popularly as the Disco King, Bappi Lahiri is still ruling the hearts of millions of fans with his songs. Starting his career at the young age of nineteen, he had the opportunity to work with the singing legends of the music industry like Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, Usha Uthup and others. The ace music director-singer will now be seen as the judge of the reality show Phire Asar Gaan which is aired on Star Jalsha. Sholoana Bangaliana correspondent caught up with this musical genius on the sets of Phire Asar Gaan. Read on….
Priyanka Dutta, Sholoana Bangaliana- The show Phire Asar Gaan is about nostalgia. Similarly the name Bappi Lahiri also spells nostalgia. How is your experience till now of judging this show?
Bappi Lahiri- Well, this is indeed a noble concept. Putting bands on our eyes and listening to the songs. You do not see the singer before. It is only after you like the voice of the person that you remove the band from your eyes. In today’s time people listen less to the songs and watch them more. In my career of forty six years, from Chalte Chalte to Gundaay, Jai Gangaajal, how audiences listen to songs have undergone a huge change. If you come to my house, you will find over a hundred platinum discs on the walls of my house. In such a situation, listening to the songs before you actually watch the singer is indeed good. Moreover, giving a second chance to those singers who could not make it big in the first chance is also helpful for them. This is my 21st show on the National television and I am glad to see this initiative.
You are a wonderful stage performer and so are Usha Uthup and Amit Kumar. You also have worked with them before. You must be having fun judging the participants with them on the show?
Bappi Lahiri- True!! I have worked with Usha Uthup in songs like Ramba Ho, Uree uree baba and others and also with Amit Kumar in songs like Chali aana tu paan ke dukan pe. So I have a good working relationship with them. We all have experiences of performing on stage. So we are utilizing those experiences when we are judging the participants on the stage.
Do you really feel that these reality shows give great opportunities to upcoming singers in making their presence felt before the audiences?
Bappi Lahiri- Absolutely!! You see most of the top singers of today’s time starting from Sonu Nigam, Shreya Ghoshal, Sunidhi Chauhan, Aditya Narayan, Arijit Singh, Kunal ganjawala have started off from singing in such reality shows. Arijit Singh is singing very well and he has sung numerous hit songs. So the stage is very helpful for finding new talents. Without new talents, the music industry will not be able to progress.
You have given chances to many new comers. So do you have any plans of giving a chance to any singer on this show?
Bappi Lahiri- New talent needs to be promoted and I have done so before too. I have already declared that I will be giving Snighdhojeet a chance to sing a song. He has great vocal abilities. If he can keep his mind cool, he will surely go a long way. He has the ability. I have given him the nickname “Bon Jovi Nusrat Mix”. Priyanka is also good. Apart from him, all the other participants are outstanding.
What are the next projects that you are working on?
Bappi Lahiri- Jai Gangaajal has released already. Apart from that I have a film with Salman Khan and also a film named Sattya Sai Baba. An album of Tagore songs that I have done was recently released on You Tube. I have also directed a short film “Slum Stars of India” which has received widespread recognition. The film was released by the Prime Ministers of three countries- Shri Narendra Modi (India), Sheikh Hasina (Bangladesh) and Sri Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli (Nepal). “Slumstars of India” has been broad casted by Fox News in the US and received Best Short Film at the Sydney Film Festival and at the Rajasthan Film Festival.
I have also done a song for Bengali New Year’s day named “Notun bochor abar elo amar Banglai”. This has been promoted on You Tube and I have made a video for this song. Prime Minister of Bangladesh has appreciated this song and has asked for this song.
Slum Stars of India focused on the singing sensations in the slums of Dharavi, Mumbai. Do you have any plans of making such a short film on the Kolkata slums?
Bappi Lahiri- Yes, the next film will focus on the slums of Kolkata. Slumdog Millionaire, the name did not sound good to me. An individual living in the slum should not be so named. Instead Slum Stars sound good to me. Everyone has to toil hard to achieve success.
With Jai Gangaajal, you achieved the feat of composing music for 650 films. Congrats on the achievement. How does it feel?
Bappi Lahiri- (smiles) I am privileged that people have loved me so much that I have been able to continue with this job for so many years. I am also blessed that I have been able to work with musical maestros of the past and also with new talents of the present time. I went to Dhaka a few days ago and about twenty five thousand people turned up. To see so much love showered on me makes me feel wonderful and blessed. I had to sing “Oo la la” three times and then I performed a Baul song. I will be next going to Dubai for the Bong Connection show. See, more than anything else, I have always been proud that I am a Bengali. Wherever I go, whatever I may do, this fact remains etched in my heart and mind.
With an advanced wish for Sholoana Bangaliana readers on the occasion of the upcoming Bengali New Year’s Day, Bappi Lahiri headed for the shoot of Phire Asar Gaan yet again!!
Priyanka Dutta takes a keen interest in lifestyle and entertainment related news. She also enjoys interviewing celebrities and other renowned personalities. Priyanka holds a post graduate degree in English and Mass Communication. Journalism is her passion and she has reported for many a reputed international web portals.