Dubai Coming from the self-proclaimed Disco King — check out his official website — it’s easy to see why Bappi Lahiri comes up with statements like: “Most of today’s Bollywood tunes are a rehash of my style” or “A.R. Rahman was the second composer to use electronic music in India.”
No prizes for guessing which composer used it first.
But then, what possibly takes the cake is the utter nonchalance with which the renowned — and by his own admission “immensely popular” — composer/singer first reminds us how Dr Dre copied one of his songs: “I slapped a case against him for lifting my tune [a part of his composition Thoda Resham Lagta Hai sung by Lata Mangeshkar]” and then in the same breath adds: “I only used to lift maybe six of the 50 tunes that I composed, but today’s composers lift almost all of them! Where’s the originality?”
That basically sums up the contradiction that is Bappida, as he is known among the Indian film fraternity. It’s hard to imagine that the man who is also known as the Bling King for the amount of gold he wears most of the time, hasn’t bought a single ounce of the yellow metal from Dubai, the City of Gold despite having visited and performed in the city for 28 years.
The 60-year-old, last in the spotlight for his inimitable rendition of the song Ooh La La in the critically acclaimed Dirty Picture, has also completed 40 years in the music industry, having given hits like Chalte Chalte, Raat Baki and I am a Disco Dancer.
“So many composers have come and gone, but I am here to stay. My style is for the masses. Fans love it even when I sing and I have had to sing Ooh La La four times in concerts,” said Lahiri, currently in Dubai and enjoying a well-earned break with his family after a world tour