Sunday, August 27, 2006

Remembering Mukesh-30th Death Anniversary!

Mukesh Chand Mathur breathed his last in 1976 on this day 30 years back in Detroit. But his voice will never die. It will remain evergreen in the minds of millions of music lovers across the globe, whether it be the soulful Dil jalta Hai, the classic Chandan Sa Badan or Kabhie Kabhie, the most successful romantic song in hindi film history which is still on the lips of the young and the old alike even today!
One of the classic true stories of musicdom concerns a top-notch classical vocalist, playback singer Mukesh and veteran music director Kalyanji. The singer was leaving the composer's music room after a sitting when the classical luminary entered for a social call. After Mukesh departed, this worthy told Kalyanjibhai, "Look at the irony! What does that man know about classical raag and sur? And he drives a Mercedes and I have to travel by bus!" Kalyanjibhai beckoned the man to sit next to him and asked him to sing Chandan sa badan chanchal chitwan along with the harmonium. The classical singer sang the line, with excessive murki as per his training. Kalyanjibhai again explained to him the exact notes. Try as he might, the classical maestro could not get the requisite straight and heart-touching rendition needed for this Saraswatichandra classic. Gently, the composer drove home his point by telling him, Ab aap ko pataa chalaa ke woh Mercedes main kyoon ghoomte hain? (Do you now realise why he drives a Mercedes?) -
He was considered to be the Voice of Raj Kapoor. Mukesh had a voice which could convey pathos very well and many of his songs like Dil jalta Hain, Saaranga Teri Yaad Mein etc. are examples.
His last film song was Chanchal Sheetal Nirmal Komal, from Satyam Shivam Sundaram. He won his fourth and last Film Fare Award prosthumously in 1976 for Kabhie Kabhie.It was just sheer coincidence that one of the doyens of Indian Cinema, Hrishikesh Mukherjee whose film Rajnigandha was instrumental in getting Mukesh his first National Award died today!
I present the song Dost Dost from Sangam. This song is from an old montage and was recorded in 1997 in the days of Analog recording! So please do bear with the quality, and mistakes if any.
Song: Dost Dost Na Raha
Film: Sangam
Music: Shanker Jaikishen
Lyrics: Shailendra

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

Deepak Dev -The New Wave!

It all started with Chronic Bachelor some years back. It was new life for Malayalam Cinema music and Deepak in particular, as he was on the verge of giving it all up by selling his Keyboard as “nothing exciting was happening in his career.” But, as fate would have it, every time he tried to sell off his keyboard, it came back to him, as the guys who bought it couldn’t cough up the money that they had promised him! He was trying to sell off his precious Keyboard for the umpteenth time, when Siddique, of Siddique-Lal fame spotted this bright talented youngster in a U.S tour and put him on the pathway to stardom. Thereafter he has not turned back. From the times when he used to play for A.R Rahman, Anu Malik, Sandeep Chowta, Vidyasagar and M.M Kreem he has transformed into a promising music director in Malayalam, and has given a new whiff of life for Malayalam film music with films like Chronic Bachelor, Symphony, Udayananu Tharam, Naran, Lion etc. He is also the main judge in the ongoing Super Singer show on Amrita T.V. Melody is his forte and simplicity in arrangements, is his signature. All his songs are marked by technical excellence in the quality of voices, tones and sibilance. The song Thumbi Kinnaram (my most favorite one from deepak) from Naran is an example to his skills. He is a very choosy music director and does full justice to whatever project he takes up. Deepak, Alphonse and M. Jayachandran are the present and future of Malayalam Cinema music!
I have tried to sing Swayamvara Chandrike, one of his melodious duets along with Meera Manohar. Meera, whose mother tongue is Tamil, and in spite of having difficulties in singing Malayalam, gladly accepted the challenge and spent hours in learning, recording and re-recording the song. The result is here to see. I do am amazed by her sincere efforts.

(above image credits:

Song: Swayamvara Chandrike
Movie: Chronic Bachelor
Music by: Deepak Dev
Originally rendered by: P. Jayachandran & Sujatha Mohan
Sung by: Meera Manohar & Pradip

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Pinneyum Pinneyum-Vidyasagar's Enchanting Music!

Vidyasagar needs no introduction for any of the South Indians. He has already been there since a very long time and has been giving us enchanting music in all the south Indian languages since a decade. Initially he was considered good only for soft melodies. But he broke the belief when he started rolling out fast peppy numbers and had all the people in the south dancing to his tunes with numbers like "Appidi Poodu", in Tamil and recently "Omanappuza" in Malayalam and "Devuda Devuda" from the "Rajnikanth" megahit "Chandramukhi" in Tamil. Since that there has been a gap in Malayalam. We all miss his music very much here and hope he is back soon. I thought to remember this melody king with one of his best songs in Malayalam. Pinneyum Pinneyum won "Yesudas" and "Gireesh Puthecheri" the state awards for the best singer and lyricist respectively in 1997. This song was on the lips of everyone and still evokes a nostalgic romantic feeling. Such class melodies will never die.

Song: Pinneyum Pinneyum
Film: Krishnagudiyil Oru Pranayakalathu
Originally sung by: K.J Yesudas
Music: Vidyasagar
Lyrics: Gireesh Puthencheri

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Mousumi-Heavenly Music From Tagore's Land!

Friends, let's welcome one more singer, this time from the land of "Tagore" and "Rabindra Sangeeth". Hear "Mousumi Karmakar", my friend from Kolkatta. She has to be heard to be believed! Her "Amar Raat Pohalo", Tagore's song made me cry for the sheer beauty of soulful singing, music, mood and lyrical value. It's very rare that a song strikes a chord in your inner soul nowadays. This was one such instance. Do not know what is about this song that did it. She is a professional singer from Kolkatta and is very passionate about her music. Her bubbly daughter has made her Blog look like the night sky with the Moon and all the twinkling stars adding to the charm of her already silky voice! Let's welcome her!
Mousumi's Blog:

Friday, August 18, 2006

Vizhiyil Vizhunthu- Illayaraja's Early Gem!

Meera Manohar needs no introduction to the audio blogger's world. She is an amazing singer with a trademark lazy elegance to her singing, unique voice and style. When she gave me this song and asked me to sing the male portion, I was very happy to agree immediately. Since the male portion was small, I finished singing and mixing the track yesterday night itself. I do admit that I have not sung as raw and hard as I.R, since I could not match his voice. But I have tried my best. But the whole show belongs to "Meera" who has given this song a whole new fresh feel. My role here is only as a "Sabji" in a grand full course meal as commented by Murali on her blog! "I can never forget to mention "Murali Venkatraman's" Karaoke track. Murali, kudos for the track. You are surely getting stronger and stronger day by day on using your Keyboard and samples. The links are from Meera's Blog.

Song: Vizhiyil Vizhundu
Movie: Alaigal Oyvathillai
Music by: Ilayarajaa
Originally rendered by: I.R and B.S.Sasirekha.
Sung by: Meera & Pradip
Karaoke track by: Murali
Mixed by: Pradip

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Monday, August 14, 2006

Remembering Kishore Kumar's Genius!

August 4th was Kishore Kumar's birthday. It's been almost 20 years since the eccentric genius left us. But the songs which he sung are still cherished by millions of his admirers world wide. If he acted like a joker in films and did all kinds of wild antics on stage during his live programs, on the other hand, he had a melancholy and deep philosophical side too, which was very evident in the songs he wrote and composed. Kishore the composer and writer was sometimes an enigma. The intensity of his compositions sometimes leaves us bewildered and confused on judging the true self of one of the greatest playback singers of India. His voice could convey the depth of any type of song like a funny "Ek Chaturnaar", or the erotic "Roop Tera Mastana", the romantic "Khilte Hain Gul Yahan", or the pathos of "Dil Aisa Kisine". His own compositions some of which he penned himself, were simply out of this world in terms of sheer briallinace and beauty of the music, and deep philosophy of the lyrics! Here I present such a song from the film "Jhumroo". This is one of his best songs that I always love to sing.
Song No: 69
Song Name: Koi Humdum Na Raha
Film: Jhumroo
Original Singer: Kishore Kumar
Music & Lyrics: Kishore Kumar
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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Bheeghe Hon't Tere & Upacharamu- A Terrific Contrast!

Today I present two contrasting songs. One is a terrific, typical song of the urban music lover and the teenage College goer! The other is a typical Carnatic song which ebellishes our rich cultural heritage. One is a song which boasts of technical advancement in audio recording techniques while the other shows how human voice and tradition is still supreme and is the base for everything! Kunal Ganjawala is a awesome singer of our times who specialises in high pitched songs. Since I loved this song the very first time I heard it, I had this wild idea to sing the song and just try to see how this song was created(singing part). The last part of this song and the continued high pitched voicing was a challenge, and I myself am amazed at myself on how I did it! But I enjoyed singing it and also enjoyed applying technology for the far voiced echoes and the last part in particular! Kunal shot to fame with this song from Murder which became a College anthem of sorts in 2004. He got the Film Fare award and also the R.D Burman award for the best newcomer singer of 2004! No small achievement by any means. The song was composed by Annu Malik. Kunal, Kailash Kher, K.K & Co. are supposed to be the best "soprano voiced" singers in the male category in Bollywood today! Anyway the "Britone voiced" singers (who were a rage in the golden era from the 50's to the 80's) are now considered to be a disgrace to Bollywood and elswhere. Lung power rules everywhere! The other song which I present is Upacharamu a Thyagaraja Krithi in Bhairavi set to Roopaka taal. Enjoy the contrast!
Song No:67
Song Name:Bheeghe Hont Tere
Film: Murder
Original Singer: Kunal Ganjawala
Music: Annu Malik
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Song No:68
Song: Upacharamu
Composer: Thyagaraja Swami
Raag: Bhairavi
Taal: Roopakam
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Sunday, August 06, 2006

Happy Friendship Day!

Happy Friendship day! This day is more important to me as something good happened today only due to support of my friends worldwide who enjoy my songs. First of all I would like to thank all those who supported the article about me on wikipedia! It has been decided to keep the article after a long battle of words there! That's the happy news!
Special thanks to Jyothis and Gluewhale who relentlessly pursued this case and especially Jyothis (responsible for the final form of the article) who spent hours of his valuable time on modifying the article and a long time talking to me from the U.S and putting all relevant proof there in defence of the article. I will never forget the sincerety of these guys! You two are really responsible for it's inclusion there.
I also would like to thank even those who have put up comments against me there. This is the reason why so many details on the net about me(which even I did not know!) were produced by so many of the fans who love me all over the world.
I do not know whether you all know but there was virtually a wiki war going on for me at this place for over a week! It all started like this. One of our bloggers/fans created an account in my name at wikipedia. This was an immature article with bare facts which resulted in it's placement in the deletion section. The article was placed there for further debate. Then I got an anonymous comment on my blog saying that I was not at all a known singer in kerala and I did not deserve an article on wiki! Then I checked on the said article and also the deletion page. Here I found that some guys like this anonymous person had by ignorance written nonsense here. At this point I sent a mail to some of our blogging friends as I could not intervene myself (since the article was on me and was supposed to be started by me!). Then started a big fight on wiki for almost a week which ended today! I have realised the respect and love of all those who supported me there.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Meri Awaz Suno-Mohammad Rafi Lives On!

It has been 26 years since Mohammad Rafi left this world for another world of melodies. But all the melodies that he left for us in this world still linger on! He was born in a small village called Kotla Sultan Singh near Amritsar in December 1924. His family shifted to Lahore when he was still a baby. One day Rafi and his brother Hamid had gone to attend a performance by K L Saigal. But the legendary singer refused to sing since there was a power failure at the venue. Hamid went up to the organiser and asked if his brother could sing to keep the audience quiet. That was Rafi's first public performance -- at the age of 13. As it turned out, the setting was just right for him. Among the audience sat noted composer Shyamsunder who was so impressed that he invited the young Rafi to come to Bombay. Hamid brought him to Bombay without telling their father why they were going. Their mother, however, knew about it and blessed them. Mohd Rafi started his film career at the age of 20, with a punjabi song, Soniye Hiriye, teri yaad ne bahut sataya for the movie Gul Baloch, which was released on 28th February, 1944. Rafi could sing any type of song, be it pop, qawali, bhajan, gazal, romantic, rock’n'roll, light music, slow numbers, sad song, parody, fast numbers…, he was remarkeable with anything. He was the first to fit into the playback singer role in a convincing way. His voice enhanced the brilliance of actors like Dilip Kumar & Shammi Kapoor. His last recording was on May 26, 1980. He died on July 31, 1980.
I present the song “Meri Awaz Suno” from Naunihal. This song is very much linked to what I am today! Absolutely remarkable lyrics with full depth of life by Kaifi Azmi set to tune by the eccentric genius Madanmohan Kohli.

Song No: 66

Song: Meri Awaz Suno
Film: Naunihal
Music: Madanmohan
Lyrics: Kaifi Azmi
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