|ARTS TRIBUNE||Friday, November 9, 2001, Chandigarh, India|
dream comes true
Al Jazeera all the
Adnan’s dream comes true
AT the age of 10, he presented the legendary Asha Bhonsle with a tape of his recording... and several years down the line he went on to record an album with the accomplished singer herself.
"It was a dream-come-true for me and it happened only due to God’s grace", gushes Adnan Sami, the child prodigy of his times.
"I am a great fan of Ashaji and wanted to sing and compose with her and ‘Kabhi to Nazar Milao’ presented me that opportunity", Adnan told PTI recently after releasing "Always Yours Adnan", a remix of his "Lift Karade" album.
Adnan, who started playing piano at the age of five and began composing four years later, said, "I don’t know how I got drawn to music, since nobody in the family is into it, though everybody loves music".
Probably the fastest keyboard player in the world’ Canada-based Adnan says he received his formal training in music at a school called Rugby in Canada.
The accomplished pianist and composer who wields a special command on all Western and Indian classical and semi-classical notes, is presently working on two albums, lyrics for which are being penned by Gulzar and Anand Bakshi.
Adnan, who has received training in Indian classical music from Pt Shiv Kumar Sharma, has sung for Hindi films "Yeh Tera Ghar Yeh Mera Ghar, "Deewanapan", "Ajnabee" and also wants to compose music for Bollywood movies in future.
Asked whether he found any difference between pop and playback singing, Adnan says though it took the same effort in both, in playback singing, the character, situation and actor one was singing for, had to be kept in mind.
Replying the query on his decision to come out with a remix album, the popular singer said, "When I create something, I have two-three different versions in my mind. And this remix featuring Bollywood look-alikes is pure fun".
On his newly acquired stardom as a playback singer, he said playback singing was an integral part of Hindi cinema and an actor was backed up by a playback singer. He also cited examples of Raj Kapoor-Mukesh and Rajesh Khanna-Kishore Kumar in support of his claim.
To a query whether he plans to stay on in India, Adnan, who has applied for Indian citizenship says, "wherever my music finds place, it is my home".
It was Asha Bhonsle, whom he met in the USA while she was there to record an album, who was instrumental in bringing him to the metropolis.
Adnan, whose first instrumental album was titled "the One and Only" with tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, says he is still unsure of his future plans. "I have not planned my life", says the optimistic singer.
KABHI KHUSHI KABHIE GHAM (Sony): This is the age of multi-starrers. Two heroes are the minimum. Three are merrier. If you can have the lead stars aplenty, why not music directors as well? That is what this film with a long name manages (incidentally, it is not fashionable to call it "Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham." The name has been shortened to "K3G." Even the website has the abbreviated name).
As everyone knows, the heroes are Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan. The three music directors are Jatin-Lalit, Sandesh Shandilya and Aadesh Shrivastava. Actually, Aadesh is only mentioned as a guest composer because he has contributed just one song. The three some bring variety to the album, without causing any discontinuity.
The album revolves round the title song, which has been featured in three versions (ah, the number three!). The regular version has been sung by Lata Mangeshkar in her own inimitable style. It makes a novel use of chorus voices to bolster Sameer’s lyrics. Then Lata does a sad version of the same song. In fact, this is perhaps the best of the three. A similar sad version is also rendered by Sonu Nigam.
As far as popularity stakes are concerned, the number to watch is Bole chudiyan… which was the first song to be recorded and picturised. The dance number has the whole clan dancing. The colour and rhythm should spin it all the way to the top.
Equally peppy is the Aadesh contribution, Say shava shava… which too is a dance number. From the voice of Sudesh Bhonsle and the style of singing, it can be surmised that it has been picturised on Amitabh Bachchan besides others. Also, keep your ears open for the voice of the superstar who croons along with Alka Yagnik, Sunidhi Chauhan, Udit Narayan and Aadesh Shrivastava.
Sandesh Shandliya has been used to lend oomph to the proceedings with youthful songs like You are my Soniya … (Alka Yagnik, Sonu Nigam). He also chips in with the theme music and another well-crafted song, Deewana hai dekho… sung by Alka Yagnik, Kareena Kapoor and Sonu Nigam.
Overall, it is a frilly album, just like the Karan Johar film perhaps!
ALWAYS YOURS (Magnasound): Before somebody else remixes his popular numbers, Adnan Sami has done so himself, and in style. There are three remixes and four instrumentals. Plus, there is also the romantic Bheega mausam…, another promising song. The hilarious Lift karadey … has been presented in two forms. In one, the so-called "filmi mix", there is a parody of the voices of several actors like Dilip Kumar, Ashok Kumar and Om Prakash. The other one is a blast too. Aao na … has been remixed for the dance floor.
The real gems are the instrumentals. Barsaat … on the saxophone by Raj Sodha, Pyar bina … on the flute by Rakesh Chaurasia and Mehndi masala …. again on the saxophone are all superb. Adnan pokes fun at his portly figure, but he does have an exceptional voice. One hopes he does not get stereotyped and continues to sing serious numbers as well.
HAIYA HO (Tips): In this age of Punjabi pop, veteran Sardool Sikander has done well to strike a fine balance between the traditional and the modern. He is faithful to his Punjabi roots in this album. His singing has substance; so have the lyrics.
The album is a medley of cheerful romantic and dance numbers and a few nostalgic and sad ones. Jaidev Kumar’s music changes gears many a time.
The title song sees Sanjeev Anand’s
lyrics taking wings through some imaginative singing. On the other
hand, Narinder Nindi’s Chandra jahaz … speaks of the sorrow
of a mother whose son has not returned from abroad. Other writers
whose songs have been included are Dalbir, Rajdeep, Babu Singh Maan
and Mohad Sadiq.
MANY bravos and pats on the back to Barkha Dutt for her gripping programme "Al Jazeera the Inside Story", filmed in Doha itself. It displayed enterprise, news sense and first-rate interviewing. This is the Arabic channel which has swept the world. Colin Powell called it: "The most vitriolic and irresponsible channel in the world" although not being able to lick them, the American government has now joined them by seeking space for all its spokespersons on the channel, after warning its own channels to edit the footage it gets from Al Jazeera. Barkha got details, while it celebrated its fifth birthday, on its whole set-up such as the fact that it operates from a modest one-storey compound with only 350 employees. And its clever scoop of talent, picking up the entire unit when a BBC Arabic channel closed down, so that people who were Western-educated, highly trained and had worked in London were able to gauge the sort of audience to target. When recently it was criticised for "doing propaganda for Bin Laden" it retorted that the Laden interview had been offered to every Arabic channel and Pakistan, but none had dared to accept it. So livid have some countries been about its criticism of Arab lifestyles and governments, that the Algerian government once shut off all electricity during transmission, Saudi Arabia issued a fatwa against it and most shamefully, the prestigious Arab Broadcasting Union refused to make it a member. Al Jazeera has allowed Israelis to participate in its panel discussions, invited wrath from Saddam Hussain and some Arab countries have withdrawn their ambassadors in protest from time to time. And all this from Qatar, one of the smallest countries in the world and with an initial backing of $ 150 million from its enlightened Emir, who gave it full freedom and never interferes. Its popularity was evident from the people interviewed by Barkha, from highly educated people to vegetable sellers and dhaba owners. The usual answer: "It tells the truth". No wonder it has 35 million viewers. Its reach can be guessed from the query from a viewer in Argentina. "Can you give me the telephone number of Osama bin Laden?". It is now planning an English channel.
So now, even the Arabs have beaten us to it. There has been a viable scheme floating around for 10 years for an independent but government-supported (as with Al Jazeera) Indian satellite channel. Funds had been promised by NRIs in the Silicon valley, some Indian business houses and the scheme was shown to several ministers, including Jaswant Sinha who is all for it. It has remained stalled largely due to babudom. Transponders are not all that expensive and DD could even lease out its largely useless international channel to an independent group.
India does not exactly lack talent of
international calibre. But Doordarshan either hounded out or allowed
to leave Prannoy Roy, Siddhartha Basu, Raghav Bahl, Ronnie Screwvala,
the Alva brothers and others, snapped up by the BBC and other foreign
channels. Then there is the Lone Ranger, Saeed Naqvi. His "World
Report" has ploughed a lonely furrow, India TV’s only
independent international coverage for 20 years. It is even now
downplayed by Doordarshan at odd hours instead of prime-time billing.