Archive | January, 2007

Mohd. Rafi-Legend Beyond Compare

24 Jan
In the 1950’s Hindi music was fortunate to be served by a voice which was sheer magic-the voice of Mohd. Rafi saab. There were many factors which made Rafi saab a legend.

Firstly, he had a voice which was so melodious, which was purely God’s gift to him. Secondly, he was also fortunate to be born in a family which was into music. He was trained by his father or uncle (I am not sure of it) in Hindustani classical music. Owing to this he had a very versatile voice. Whether it was a classical song, a fast song, a romantic song or a sad song, Rafi saab would do absolute justice to it. When he sang, you could feel the emotion so clearly, such was his involvement in the song.

Rafi saab once held the record for the most number of songs sung in Indian Cinema by a male singer (about 25,000!!! ). The greatest quality of Rafi saab which is spoken about even today by his contemporaries like Lataji, Ashaji was his remarkable humility. It seems he has sung many songs even free for producers, who did not have the money to pay him. Such was the magnanimity of the man. The music dirs who utilised his voice brilliantly were Naushad, Roshan, Madan Mohan, O.P. Nayyar and Shankar-Jaikishan. To pick out the best songs of Rafi saab is an impossible exercise because there were too many.

Today’s legendary singers like S.P.Balasubramanian, Yesudas, Sonu Nigam look up to Rafi saab as their eternal inspiration. They have openly declared their respect and love for his voice and songs. Rafi saab passed away in July 1980 but his voice is heard even today if you switch on the radio-it was the golden voice and his time was one of the golden times of Hindi Music. May Rafi saab live in our hearts forever.

Evolution of Tamil Music-Part 2

10 Jan
I am blogging again after a month owing to continuous travel. But its great to be back. Here I would like to speak about more music directors who have created memorable melodies in Tamil music.
1. A.R.Rahman-He is the obvious choice after the legendary Ilaiyaraja. Rahman burst into the Tamil music scene in 1992, composing for “Roja.” Man what an explosive debut it was!! He took the nation by storm. Until then, we had not heard such a sound that Rahman created for Roja. After that till today, Rahman has clearly shown that he is another maestro. When people compare Rahman & Ilaiyaraja, I just say Raja is like Bradman and Rahman is like Sachin. Both have their unique class. Besides being a fan of Raja, I am a fan of Rahman too. Some say that Rahman has lost his touch but I beg to disagree. He is much better than some 2nd rung composers who keep composing fast songs all the time, delivering nothing but trash. Rahman has created so many magical melodies that, we need another blog to discuss them. Besides his music, what I admire about him is his remarkable humility. If you go to www.rahmantimes.com, you can read his life story, which is so poignant and touching. He has faced so many difficulties to become what he is today. He definitely deserves this and more. I just pray that he keeps giving us great music all throughout his career.
2. Vidyasagar-I feel he is one of the most low-profile and underrated composers of today. His music is a wonderful combination of the orchestration of Ilaiyaraja and the techno-melody of Rahman. Vidyasagar has given amazing music not only in Tamil but also in Malayalam and Telugu. What I like about him is that his fast songs too are quite catchy and melodious unlike theother noisy ones. His melody songs are a class apart. I saw an interview of Vidyasagar in Asianet during Onam and was impressed with his simplicity. Many of his melodies are classical and they still appeal to the common man. Like Ilaiyaraja, he has also taken classical music to the masses. His Malayalam melodies are quite different from the Tamil ones and they show the other side of this great composer. He has the unique skill of having Carnatic keerthanas with wonderful orchestration in many of his movies. I still wait for every music release of Vidyasagar, as I feel he is another genius.