With a journey that started off with the likes of composers Kalyan-Anand and Laxmikant-Pyarelal to AR Rahman and Vishal-Sehkhar, composer-lyricist-singer Bappi Lahiri has seen it all — 40 years of untiring effort. And he refuses to let the resounding success of his last playback number, Ooh La La from The Dirty Picture, get the better of him.
“It’s work as usual. I’ve just recorded the title song for Rajiv Ruia’s Zindagi 50-50 and know for certain it’s going to be a hit. It’s very trendy and catchy,” he informs. Quiz him if he had anticipated the popularity of Ooh La La and Bappi reminisces, “Vishal, Shekhar, Shreya (Ghoshal), Milan (Luthria) and I knew we had a peppy number and the catchy hook would keep our feet tapping. In fact, the song is based on the very popular number of yesteryear, Oui Amma, Oui Amma.”
Bappi, very sportingly takes in his stride when he’s referred to as the ‘golden’ man of the industry. “My voice is a trendsetter and all that matters to me is the love of my fans. How else would one explain 40 years in the film industry? I believe in God and he has made this possible,” he states. The veteran composer will be playing himself in the musical comic caper, It’s Rocking Dard-E-Disco, directed by Ashok Tyagi. “It’s a fun story — I play DK aka Disco King, who gets kidnapped for his gold,” he quips, adding, “There is an interesting number in the film titled Boka chor, with multi-lingual lyrics — Hindi, English, Bengali and Tamil.”
In fact, Bappi’s Walking On Love Street, an ode to his wife, which will soon release in India, has been in the top 10 chartbusters in USA for many weeks at a stretch. “Earlier, people used to listen to music, now people watch songs — from Chalte Chalte to Ooh La La — I’ve seen it all. But I strongly feel that these days, most of the music we hear seem to sound familiar — they lack the freshness and originality,” he rues, adding, “I have received a lot of flak for being inspired, so has RD Burman; but we have never kept our inspiration under wraps. Nowadays, south east Asia ‘inspires’ a lot of our musicians.”