Thursday, June 20, 2013

Rajashree Menon - A "natural" voice

Well, here is my opportunity to introduce another wonderful voice from LaFango platform. Rajashree Menon is a wonderful singer - a fresh and pleasant addition to the group. We all heard her and immediately appreciated the voice that was so pleasing to ears and so ..... "natural"? Why natural? To me, that word just describes her voice perfectly. Call it a gut feeling!

Coming to the song at hand, there are some songs that are truly evergreen! "Aye Dil Hai Mushkil" is definitely one of such songs! OP Nayyar gives out a collection of memorable songs for the 1956 super hit movie, C.I.D. “Aankhon hi aankhon mein”, “Leke pephla pehla pyar”, and “Kahin pe nigaahein” are iconic composition in the history of Hindi cinema! A few lesser known facts about this movie are:

  1. Dev Anand and Guru Dutt were friends when they struggled to get a break in films and had promised each other that Dev would give Guru Dutt a film to direct (which he did with Baazi) and Guru Dutt would cast Dev as a hero and direct him. As Guru Dutt did not direct C.I.D. he could fulfill only half his promise.
  2. Guru Dutt had spotted Waheeda Rehman in a Telugu movie and cast her in Pyaasa, but gave her a key supporting role in C.I.D. to prepare her for Pyaasa.
  3. Guru Dutt had reportedly gifted Raj Khosla a swanky foreign car after the success of C.I.D.
  4. You can hear famous songs of O. P. Nayyar from other movies such as Muhabbat Kar Lo Jee Bhar Lo and Jaatta Kahan Hain Deewane in the background music of this film.

I am happy to have Rajashree accompany me in this song. Many have already heard her here at LaFango. She keeps trying to get away from there (and for the right reasons) but we should all tell us that she cannot take such a long break. She is certainly allowed to take short breaks here and there :)

Movie: C.I.D (1956)
Music: O.P. Nayyar
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
Singer: Mohammed Rafi, Geeta Dutt
Picturized on: Johny Walker, Kumkum

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tu Hai Meri Fantasy (The Dirty Picture - 2011)

Here is the crazy song I have talked about a few days ago. It is an “R” rated song from a similar type of movie. However, this movie makes you realize that all that glitters is not gold. The story of The Dirty Picture resembles the personal lives of other women in popular culture such as Smitha, Nylon Nalini, and Disco Shanta, including Hollywood actress and sex symbol Marilyn Monroe. The movie received 3 National Film awards with Vidya Balan taking the best actress award.

So why did Sarmi and I decided to sing this song? Well, in our search to sing something non-tradition and a little crazy, we decided to sing this song - a funky song from a funkier movie, I agree!

Sarmi, one of the most versatile singers from the blog world, has simply proven her versatility once more. I thank her for singing this song beautifully!

Movie: The Dirty Picture (2011)
Music: Vishal-Shekhar
Lyrics: Rajat Arora
Singer: Bappi Lahiri, Shreya Goshal
Picturized on: Naseeruddin Shah, Vidya Balan

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tribute to legends - Rafi & Shammi

Friends, I have given my tribute to the two legends who kept the world enthralled with their unique combination of vigor, naughtiness, cuteness and oomph!

I hope you like this rendition and will not deprive me of your valuable feedback. Thank you very much!

Movie: Pagla Khain Ka (1970)
Music: Shankar-Jaikishan
Lyrics: Hasrat Jaipuri
Singer: Mohammed Rafi
Picturized on: Shammi Kapoor and Asha Parekh

Tum Mujhe Yun (Download)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Mohammed Rafi - Sweetness Personified

Today is Rafi sahab's 31st anniversary! Anything that could be said about the legend has been said. I would be only be showing desperation if I said that I miss him tremendously. To me, the most amazing thing is that the sweetness of his voice grows more every time you hear one of his previously heard songs again!

Despite of my hectic schedule, I could not resist recording one of Rafi sahab's songs from the movie, Leader. Leader's music was scored by Naushad sahab and Dilip Kumar was the hero. Those who are fond of old Hindi movies know that this combination is the most lethal. Whether it is "Daagh", "Mela", "Deedaar", "Kohinoor, "Aan", "Ganga Jamuna", "Dil Diya Dard Liya", or "Raam aur Shyaam", most of the songs are unforgettable!

In my quest of learning, I learned a bit more about singing through Rafi sahab's song today and I am glad it was on his anniversary!

I thank you all in advance for your time!

Song: Hum Hi Se Mohabbat
Movie: Leader (1964)
Lyrics: Shakeel Badayuni
Music: Naushad Ali
Original singer: Mohammed Rafi
Picturised on: Dilip Kumar & Vyjayantimala

Friday, February 18, 2011

Gum Hai Kisi Ke (Rampur ka Lakshman)

"Gum Hai Kisi Ke Pyar Mein" is a beautiful song! A short tale of love and innocent feelings! It is written by Majrooh Sultanpuri, who was considered a dominating musical force and one of the finest lyricists of Hindi movie songs. When these lyrics are given to the giant singers like Lata and Kishore with a brilliant composition by RDB, the result can be nothing but pure delight! People love this song for its sheer simplicity and innocence! The short dialogs in between make this song even more loveable!

I have attempted this song with Deblina who is quite well known in the music blogging world for her excellent singing with emotions that carry depth and subtlety!

PS: "Gum Hai ..." video has been posted on my Facebook blog!

Song: Gum Hai Kisi Ke
Movie: Rampur Ka Laxman (1972)
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
Music: RD Burman
Original singer: Kishore & Lata
Picturised on: Randhir Kapoor & Rekha

Download "Gum Hai Kisi Ke"

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pehla Nasha (Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar)

I consider this as one of the most romantic duets from 90s. Even today, this song still holds the same charm as it did when it was originally created in 1992. Sung in soothing and calming voices of Udit Narayan and Sadhna Sargam, I present this to you with Sarada Bhagavatula. Sarada has done a wonderful job singing this in her enchanting voice and unique style.

Thanks in advance!

PS: "Pehla Nasha" video has been posted on my Facebook blog!

Song: Pehla Nasha Pehla Khumaar
Movie: Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar (1992)
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
Music: Jatin Lalit
Original singer: Udit Narayan & Sadhna Sargam
Picturised on: Amir Khan & Ayesha Jhulka

Download "Pehla Nasha"

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Sarmistha - A resounding voice

Sarmistha's name is not new to many Hindi music bloggers! She is a very well known name amongst bloggers at LaFango and recently at Muziboo! Sarmistha has an impeccable voice with bright and charming expressions and a unique style that is very mesmerizing! I have been quite impressed with her singing since I heard her the very first time. Hence, I am pleased to share her lovely voice with those who have not heard it yet.

Here, we are presenting a Hindi song with a touch of Western Country music! "Agar Main Kahun" is from the movie Lakshya! This is originally sung in the beautiful voices of Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik. Music is composed by the 3-and-only Shankar-Ehsan-Loy team, and lyrics by none other than Javed Akhtar. In terms of style and listening experience, this song belongs to the same group as "Jaane Kyun Log Pyar" and "Wo Ladki Hai Kahan" both from Dil Chahta Hai. A beautiful exchange of dialogs between the boy and the girl which start with an argument and ends in a make up. Besides the amalgamation of music genres, this song is also challenging since it contains many emotions and expressions that cover romance, naughtiness, complaint, acknowledgement, and everything in between! Sarmistha and I both realize these challenges during recording and had an increased appreciation for the original song and the team.

I thank Sarmistha for singing this with me and also thank you all in advance for your time.

PS: A video has been posted on my Facebook page!

Song: Agar Main Kahun
Movie: Lakshya (2004)
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
Music: Shankar Ehsan Loy
Original singer: Udit Narayan & Alka Yagnik
Picturised on: Hrithik Roshan & Preity Zinta

Download "Agar Main Kahun"

Friday, December 24, 2010

And the smile lives on ...

For some crazy fans like me, Rafi sahab's angel-like smile is perhaps enough to feel contented! I often wonder how his charisma would be for those who were lucky enough to have been in his presence! "Truly heavenly" is perhaps an understatement.

In one of the interviews, when I heard Naushad sahab saying, "Rafi sahab ka naam rehti dunya tak rahe ga", I smiled and ignored his sentence as over-emotional and overly-passionate! However, several years later, thinking about it tonight, I find myself believing it ... and believing it strongly. Rafi sahab's voice still possesses the same magic. The same magic that melts the hearts and minds of listeners! The same magic that makes you feel truly happy and smile from the bottom of your heart! The same magic that gives you hope and optimism on a gloomy day!

Happy birthday to you, Rafi sahab!

Song: Pukaarta Chala Hun Main
Movie: Mere Sanam (1965)
Lyrics: Majrooh Sultanpuri
Music: OP Nayyar
Original singer: Mohammed Rafi
Picturised on: Biswajit Chatterjee & Asha Parekh

Download "Pukaarta Chala Hun Main"

Download "Pukaarta Chala Hun Main" (Remix version)

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Ninna Nodalentho - exploring Kannada

After my attempt at "Panivizhum" in November of 2006, I wanted to sing more songs in other regional languages of the subcontinent. Last year, I had a chance to sing a Kannada song and felt comfortable with the language. The words and their pronunciation was relatively easy. When Sarada brought my attention to "Ninna noDalentho" I could not resist. Its a bautiful song and working on it with Sarada was a pleasure. Again, like Ramesh who helped my with Tamil, she was very encouraging and provided all the help possible ... lyrics, translation, and pronunciation! Thanks Sarada!

Ninna noDalentho is from the movie "Mussanje Maathu" which revolves around the life of a Radio Jockey, Pradeep (Sudeep), who runs a radio programme called "Mussange Maathu" for depressed people. Tanu (Ramya) is a depressed girl who comes to Bangalore to live with her friend (Anu) and to find a new life. One day she calls Pradeep's radio programme and becomes very impressed by his suggestion. (Read more...)

Sarada has sung this song beautifully! After I created the video I was able to appreciate her singing even more as it sounded as if the heroine on the screen is singing the song herself. As usual, I have posted the high quality audio and video on my Facebook page so please visit there if you wish. As always, please leave your valuable comments!

Movie: Mussanje Maathu (2008)
Lyrics: Ram Narayan
Music: V. Sridhar
Original Singers: Sonu & Shreya
Picturized on: Sudeep & Ramya

Download "Ninna Nodalentho"

Friday, June 25, 2010

Pehle Pehle Pyar Ki (The Great Gambler - 1979)

This is a light, romantic song! Kishore and Asha has sung many such wonderful songs and this is indeed one of those fun songs that makes you smile and hum for no particular reason! I like it because of its expressions! When it comes down to expressions, duets of Kishore & Asha can be considered some of the best! Talking to Deblina, I once mentioned that these were the singers who even delivered dialogs in "sur". The ease with which both singers have provided expressions is amazing!

Although, challenging to imitate, here is a humble attempt by Deblina and I. Please listen and provide your valuable comments when time permits! Also, here is the video link to the song!

Movie: The Great Gambler (1979)
Lyrics: Anand Bakhshi
Music: RD Burman
Original Singers: Kishore & Asha
Picturized on: Amitabh & Nitu Singh

Download "Pehle Pehle Pyar Ki"

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Memoirs of a music junkie (continued)

A couple more old recordings! Shah Rukh Khan was giving one blockbuster after another in 1990s. "Yess Boss" was another one of those. I enjoyed recording these two songs quite a bit.

Thanks for your time in advance!

Download "Main Koi Aisa Geet"

Download "Maine Socha Na Tha"

Friday, May 14, 2010

Memoirs of a music junkie

It was the year 1997 or perhaps 1998. All I remember is that I was fresh out of college and had started working as an Engineer. Single life has its own merits and one of them was the availability of ample amount of extra time.

One of my dearest friends had just offered me to buy his complete entertainment center that included a top-notch Sanyo VCR, a Philip Magnavox television, and the state of the art AIWA stereo system with 5 speakers, 3-CD player, and a double cassette player unit. The CD player came with the Karaoke option to suppress the singers' voices while playing the CD. The mic input also came with the echo level adjustment option. But the best of all options was to be able to play a karaoke CD and record on the audio tape while singing through the microphone. Little I knew that this beautiful technology of ancient times (for technology more than 10 years is considered ancient nowadays) would change so many things in my life.

Anirudh of Anirudh Karaokes had also been to the same university that I went to. I met him when he was working on releasing his first karaoke CD. I actually bought a single karaoke song of a famous Pakistani singer Alamgir, for a show at school. By that time, he had come out with several of his CDs and unlike now, those CDs used to contain much greater number of songs than just 4 or 5.

I would look forward to get back to my little apartment on College street, often to find out that my dear friend and roommate Anshuman was already in the middle of a recording :D It was a lot of fun to record something and listen to your own voice. We used to buy high quality Maxell audio tapes which had a better retention capacity of the audio signal.

Well, to cut the story short for now. I am presenting one of those recordings today. This song is actually part of my first audio cassette release that I indeed distributed freely to all of my friends :D

A better quality version is also posted on my Facebook page. Thanks for your time in advance!

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Sonu, Shreya, and Zoobi Doobi

After a long time, a movie came that I could not get enough of. It makes you laugh, it makes you cry, it makes you think ... and think hard. Although the story of "3 Idiots" deal with the stale topic of being able to choose your own career and not the one shoved into your throat by your parents and other family members, the presentation of the message and issues that surround it are exemplary.

All songs compliment the movie very well. Each song in this movie is a gem. Usually I judge the success of songs when kids get hooked to it. And trust me, plenty of little kids have been hooked to songs in this movie, specially AAL IZ WELL, Zoobi Doobi, and their remixed versions.

Last but not least, Sonu and Shreya did it again! Zoobi Doobi is sung with such an assertion, confidence, and attitude that is very commendable! The style of this song reminded me of Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Asha Bhosle, and the golden era of Hindi Film Industry. I truly felt both singers sang with a great level of comfort, joy, and command. Spectacular is the word that comes to mind.

This is an excited, yet humble attempt that Deblina and I made. I want to thank her for finishing this really fun project with me. I would appreciate your feedback very much.

PS: A much better quality of this song exists on my Facebook page (please see the link on the right side). Also, for more feedback and comments please visit Deblina's Muziboo page

Song: Zoobi Doobi
Movie: 3 Idiots (2009)
Lyricist: Swanand Kirkire
Music Director: Shantanu Moitra
Original Singer: Sonu & Shreya
Picturised On: Amir Khan, Kareena Kapoor

Download "Zoobi Doobi"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Romanticism unleashed ...

This is one of the most romantic songs I have ever heard! The soothing, warming effect of this terrific song lasts for a long time. I had heard it in my teenage years and it has stayed with me since.

To make it even more unforgettable, it is originally sung by three best singers of our time, Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, and Mohammed Rafi. The song begins with the deep and dreamy voice of Kishore Da who captivates your attention right from the start. Lata ji soon joins with her mesmerizing, honey-dripping delivery that is her and only her propensity. The intoxicating effect reaches its climax with the fervent, adoring, and unparalleled entry of Rafi sahab. And there is no way except surrendering to getting under an everlasting spell of this trio.

The song is from movie "Doosra Aadmi" starring Rishi Kapoor, Rakhee Gulzaar, Shashi Kapoor, and Neetu Singh. The movie also hosts a couple of other chart busters like "Aankhon Mein Kajal Hai" and "Nazron Se Keh Do" both of which are unforgettable Kishore-Lata duets.

I have sung Kishore Da's part with a certain disinclination since the original plan was to have another wonderful voice for that part. However, for now, you will have to bear with me throughout the song. Deblina has lent her beautiful voice for the female part that she has sung excellently. I thank her for helping me finish this song.

Song: Kya Mausam Hai
Movie: Doosra Aadmi (1977)
Lyricist: Majrooh Sultanpuri
Music Director: Rajesh Roshan
Original Singer: Kishore, Lata, Rafi
Picturised On: Shashi Kapoor, Rakhee, Rishi Kapoor

FYI: My Facebook page had been blocked previously for visitors outside the US. It now has been updated and should be functional without any restrictions. Sorry for any inconveniences! Some of the MP3s there are of a better quality!

Monday, March 08, 2010

Lets meet Sarada Bhagavatula!

I first met Sarada through our local Portland band, Tarana! Tarana needed female singers and Sarada was right there in the neighborhood to join for our 2009 Diwali show. Sarada is often quiet and a bit shy, however, she makes up for all of her silence as soon as she starts singing. Good, clean pronunciation of words that are emoted well! Before the show, she won everyone's heart by singing some of the most peppy, romantic, and difficult numbers such as Jaiyye Aap Kahan, Dil Cheez Kya Hai, and Aao Huzoor Tumko!

Sarada started learning Carnatic classical music from an early age. She also started singing on stage at an early age and participated in numerous concerts/shows including a few on All India Radio. She developed interest in light and film music later on and was an active and popular singer during college.

Her favorite artists are Mohd. Rafi , Asha Bhosle, Yesudas, Hariharan, Chitra, Shreya Ghoshal, Sonu Nigam, Udit Narayan to name just a few. Ilayaraja and AR Rahman are amongst her favorite composers.

Sarada has been living in Portland for almost 15 years with her husband Anil and two wonderful kids.

Coming to the song at hand, while "Tumhain Jo Maine Dekha" from the movie, Main Hun Na is not a show of Sarada's full vocal potential, it is a nice, upbeat, and relatively new song that easily grabs listener's attention. Sarada finished the song in a short time while providing excellent feedback for improvements. And now, here it is for your listening pleasure! Please do tell us about your thoughts on this effort.

Last but not least! Expressions of Heart & Soul is now also on Facebook! The ease of maintenance and convenience of interaction with family and friends helped me make the decision. "Become a Fan" button is an imposition I have been hesitant about but creating a fan page seemed to be the only way that allowed using music players (I could not add a music player to a Facebook Group).

Song: Tumhain Jo Maine Dekha
Movie: Main Hun Na (2004)
Original Singer: Abhijeet & Shreya
Music Director: Anu Malik
Lyricist: Javed Akhtar

Friday, February 26, 2010

Dono Ne Kiya Tha Pyaar - Mahua (1969)

Song: Dono Ne Kiya Tha Pyaar
Movie: Mahua (1969)
Original Singer: Mohammed Rafi
Music Director: Sonik Omi
Lyricist: Qamar Jalalabadi

One of the reasons that masses still listen to Rafi sahab, Lata Ji and likes is their ability to transport the listener to a new state of mind - a state free from the limitations of time and space. I have had first-hand experiences of getting into trance by some of the songs. The feelings get so powerful that for a while you forget everything that makes up your surroundings and you get transported to a mystical place, which for a short time becomes reality (luckily I had not been driving during one of those experiences :D).

This is one such song! Listening to Rafi sahab's most amazing voice, I am not ashamed to admit that this song has made me cry. Simply and truly, out of this world!!!

The story of "Mahua" is about reincarnation. While playing his flute one day in the countryside, Brahmdesh, comes across a beautiful young woman. He is attracted to her and is told that her name is Mahua. When he is about to introduce himself, she stops him and calls him "Palash". When he clarifies that his name is Brahmdesh, Mahua tells him that they are lovers who were separated in a past life.

PS: During one of the online discussions, I boasted that if I had a chance to redo all of my songs I would. And while I have not cleaned up all of my old recordings, I have been doing whatever I could. This is also one such attempt. I recorded this song in 2006 (#3 in the multi-player list to your right) without using a sound editor and felt that I needed to redo it again in 2010!

Please lend an ear and let me know of your thoughts on this effort!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Tumse Milke - Main Hun Na (2004)

Sonu Nigam has sung this song beautifully. I heard him perform this song live and he did an equally amazing job! While the original song featured Aftab and Hashim Sabri, sons of ustad Ghulam Ali Khan, Sonu's live performance included Amjad Sabri who is the son of very famous Qawwal Ghulam Fareed Sabri.

I am slightly hesitant to call this song a Qawwali since many elements of a qawwali are missing and the final product is more of a fusion of Western music, Qawwali and traditional Hindi film music. some may call it a modern Qawwali! Irrespective of what we decide to name this rendition, the fact is that it is an engaging one with Sonu's superb voice control and I have always loved it.

While recording, I had to act three voices for this song and I must admit it was a lot of fun. I also have taken the liberty to add some funky effects for the voice with English words.

I hope you will enjoy it. Please do leave your valuable feedback if time permits.

Song: Tum Se Mil Ke Dil Ka
Movie: Main Hun Na (2004)
Original Singer: Sonu Nigam
Music Director: Anu Malik
Lyricist: Javed Akhtar

Monday, December 07, 2009

Main Kahin Kavi - Pyar Hi Pyar (1969)

I originally recorded this on April 20, 2006 - about three and a half years ago! It was a late night recording. Send it to a few friends. A few days ago, another friend in Portland asked me if I had recorded this. I admitted that I had and after sending him the mp3 I heard it myself. I thought I could improve it a little bit. So, I recorded it again.

This song has a particular soothing affect to it. To be honest with you, there were times during recording when I started to lag behind due to being under that ecstatic, trancing effect. Anyway, needless to say, I love the song.

I hope you will lend an ear when you have some free time.

Thanks in advance!

Song: Main Kahin Kavi
Movie: Pyar hi Pyar (1969)
Original Singer: Mohammed Rafi
Music Director: Shankar Jaikishan
Lyricist: Hasrat Jaipuri

Download "Main Kahin Kavi"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mann Ki Lagan - Paap (2004)

Rahat Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan (b. 1974) is a Pakistani musician, primarily a singer of Qawwali, the devotional music of the Sufis. He is the nephew of the late Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. In addition to Qawwali, he also performs ghazals and other light music. He has toured extensively and performed for Indian and Pakistani audiences around the world.

Traditionally, Qawwali has been a family business. Rahat's family has an unbroken tradition of performing Qawwali for more than 600 years. Rahat took over the family Qawwali party after Nusrat's death in 1997. (Nusrat had formally nominated Rahat as his successor during his lifetime).

Song: Mann Ki Lagan
Movie : Paap (2004)
Singer : Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
Music Director : Shahi
Lyrics : Amjad Islam Amjad

Download "Mann Ki Lagan"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Tribute to Madan Mohan

When it comes down to the most symphonic ghazals, Madan Mohan’s name always comes to mind. Madan Mohan Kohli (June 25, 1924 - July 14, 1975), better known as Madan Mohan, was a famed Bollywood film music director of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. He is particularly remembered for the ghazals he composed for the film industry, mainly using the voice of India's Melody Queen, Lata Mangeshkar and 'King Of Ghazals' Talat Mahmood.

Besides ghazals, Madan Mohan also composed tremendously mesmerizing tunes for the films. Who can ever forget the haunting melodies, such as:

  • Tum jo mil gaye ho
  • Aye dil mujhe bata de
  • Zaroorat hai zaroorat hai
  • Naina barse
  • Charagh dil ka jalao
  • Main ye soch kar
The list is too long for this post, and even for this blog for that matter. Today is the anniversary of the great composer and I would like to dedicate this post to him and his excellent contribution to the music industry.

Download "Ek Haseen Shaam Ko"