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Last Updated 21.02.2024 | 3:34 PM IST



Trivia Tunes: How young Shaswat Singh became Dharmendra’s voice in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani

en Bollywood News Trivia Tunes: How young Shaswat Singh became Dharmendra’s voice in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani

Melody returns to the fold

Trivia Tunes: How young Shaswat Singh became Dharmendra’s voice in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani

Trivia Tunes: How young Shaswat Singh became Dharmendra’s voice in Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani

The recent Bolo Na’ composed by Shantanu Moitra and penned by Swanand Kirkire for 12th Fail highlights how basic commitment to melody, polished vocals and poetic lyrics never fail to connect with listeners. Shreya Ghoshal and Shaan sink their accomplished creative musical teeth into a song that gives us a déjà vu of the best work Shantanu and Swanand have done in the past for filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra in movies like Parineeta, Lage Raho Munna Bhai, Eklavya, 3 Idiots and PK. And it is great when a tried-and-tested musical combo comes back, especially if a filmmaker’s music in the interim with others has disappointed. After all, Chopra’s track-record has musical aces like Parinda, 1942—A Love Story, Kareeb, Mission Kashmir and Munna Bhai MBBS before the composer and lyricist entered his domain.

When a composer is also a lyricist—and vice-versa
Shantanu Moitra had also written the English portions of ‘Give me some sunshine’ in 3 Idiots. Music composers who are adroit lyricists as well have been quite rare in cinema, though here and there composers like Kishore Kumar, Rajesh Roshan, Anu Malik, Lalit Pandit, Sajid-Wajid and some others have dabbled in penning songs. The only successful lyricist-composers in Hindi cinema have been Prem Dhawan (Shaheed, Pavitra Papi et al), Ravi (who wrote lyrics in several films of his, beginning with his debut film, Vachan), Ravindra Jain (billed by his regular filmmaker Rajkumar Barjatya as an even better lyricist than a composer!) and Anand Raaj Anand. Of these, Prem Dhawan was more successful as a songwriter than composer, while Ravindra Jain occasionally penned lyrics for other music directors too, beginning with two songs in Kalicharan composed by Kalyanji-Anandji.

The ‘Retro’ Voices of Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahani
The secret was out over a month ago—the retro songs of Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahani have been sung by Shashwat Singh and Jonita Gandhi. While Jonita has made her own place in cinema by now, Pritam discovered Shashwat, a A.R. Rahman protégé hailing from Allahabad, with Love Aaj Kal 2 in 2020 in the song ‘Haan Main Galat’ alongside Arijit Singh. The young voice went on to fit veteran Dharmendra in the old songs that were originally composed by Jaidev, Laxmikant-Pyarelal and R.D. Burman, emulating hits originally sung by Mohammed Rafi, Mukesh, Kishore Kumar and Shailendra Singh. Meanwhile, the seasoned Jonita sat pat on a veteran actress like Shabana Azmi, who began to act in movies 15 years before the singer was born!

Incongruous vocals
Today, composers prefer trendy voices rather than the old convention of a suitable voice for the artiste on whom a lip-synched song is filmed. And so, very often, one gets the feeling that the person on screen is merely moving the lips while someone else is singing around him—defeating the very purpose of playback singing! But to put the record straight, this would happen, though in exceptional cases, even earlier. Watch Mahendra Kapoor sing for Dev Anand in the song ‘Kahaan jaate hain’ in Roop Ki Rani Choron Ka Raja way back in 1962, Anup Jalota belt out ‘Kisi ka dil jo todega’ for Ashok Kumar in Qatl in 1986 and Bappi Lahiri voicing ‘Ek lo ek muft’ for Abhishek Bachchan in Guru (2007) and you will know what I mean!

When music became a ‘Sadhana’ in a different sense!
Studio baron and one-time big-name producer S. Mukerji (grandfather to Ayan Mukerji) for some reason had assumed that his protégé, actress Sadhana, had a sense of music and would often call her to give an opinion on his musical discovery Usha Khanna’s tunes. And he was not far wrong! Director Raj Khosla once asked the top actress to rank all the songs from their first film, Ek Musafir Ek Hasina, in order of how she thought they would prove popular. And Sadhana’s ranking came almost perfectly correct! “One of his top favourites among O.P. Nayyar’s compositions was ranked last by me, and it was the least popular in the score!” the actress had told me.

When a non-film cult song gave a hero his character’s name
The song ‘Preetam aan milo’ was a major non-film hit as composed by O.P. Nayyar. When Guru Dutt decided to make Mr & Mrs 55 with Nayyar’s music, he decided to incorporate the song, originally sung by C.H. Atma in 1945, in his film, and Geeta Dutt sang it. However, Dutt loved the song so much that he also decided to name his own character (of a struggling cartoonist) as Preetam!

The perils of ensemble songs!
When multiple singers come together in a song, composers usually attribute one voice to one artiste. But filming the song, which has already been recorded, often leads to a different kind of a problem. In the famous Mother India hit, ‘Dukh bhare din beete re bhaiyya’, Mohammed Rafi, Manna Dey, Asha Bhosle and Shamshad Begum were the singers for different artistes. However, in one case, in a single line, ‘Chhed le gori man ki beena, rimjhim rut chhaai’ the voices of both Rafi and Manna went on Raaj Kumar! Music director Naushad went to filmmaker Mehboob Khan in a panic, but there was no question of reshooting the portions. Khan assured his composer that no one would notice the slip—and that is what happened! Due to the lacunae between recording and filming a song, such slips have been known even later—like Kishore Kumar and R.D, Burman both singing for both Vijay Arora and Tariq in the Yaadon Ki Baraat hit, ‘Aapke kamre mein koi rehta hai’!

Also Read: Trivia Tunes: From Dharmendra’s specific musical demand for Yamla Pagla Deewana to Shabbir Kumar’s connection with Sunny Deol’s Betaab and Gadar 2

More Pages: Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani Box Office Collection , Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani Movie Review


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