It would be hard, nearly impossible, to find an Indian film fan who hasn’t heard or doesn’t love hits like “Yaad Aa Raha Hai,” “Tamma Tamma Loge” and “Ooh La La.” Five decades and thousands of songs later, the Indian music industry’s most prolific singer-composer Bappi Lahiri is still a force to reckon with.
But even after acquiring a large repertoire of old classics and new chartbusters and mesmerizing audiences worldwide, the musician, fondly referred to as ‘Bappi da,’ told India-West that he is realizing his lifelong passion project only now.
“I’ve almost completed 660 films. My last film was ‘Daddy’, before that I did ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhaniya’ and ‘Indu Sarkar’,” Lahiri told India-West, adding, “I’ve given so many hits in my career but I’ve derived satisfaction only from ‘Divine Power.’”
“Divine Power” is a new devotional album that Lahiri released Sept. 28 at the Gibson Guitar center in Beverly Hills, Calif. The album, according to Lahiri, is a tribute to Krishna, the Hindu god of compassion, tenderness and love.
“I have been wanting to do something for Lord Krishna for a long time,” said Lahiri. “‘Divine Power’ is my dream project. It’s a new age album and I have sung all the songs in the album.”
The album, which is produced by Lahiri and his music composer son Bappa Lahiri, also features Indian singer and wife of Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Amruta Fadnavis.
The acclaimed musician, who is set to perform at a charity concert for the Hare Krishna Cultural Society Nov. 5 in Los Angeles, Calif., professed his lifelong love for Lord Krishna, adding that he has been wearing a gold Hare Krishna pendant that his mother gave him ever since he delivered the music in the super hit film, “Zakhmi.”
In “Divine Power,” with his sonorous voice, Lahiri soothes and uplifts music aficionados. His beautifully sung devotional chants have the power to transport listeners’ minds into a state of inner peace. The titles of the album include “Krishna Awareness,” “Shri Krishna Chant,” Gopal Govinda” and “Divine Power.”
“Everybody will love it,” said Lahiri.
And the veteran singer, who introduced Indian audiences to disco, has made his presence felt not just in India but in Hollywood, too, with as many as five of his yesteryear dance hits making their way into Hollywood movies or albums.
While his 1982’s smash hit, “Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja Aaja,” from the Mithun Chakraborty starrer “Disco Dancer” was used in the Adam Sandler film, “Don’t Mess With Zohan,” his ‘84 hit, “Jhoom Jhoom Jhoom Baba,” found place in “Guardians Of The Galaxy 2.”
The Nicole Kidman and Dev Patel starrer “Lion” incorporated the singer’s “Come Closer,” and his hit number, “Kaliyon Ka Chaman,” was used in the album, “Addictive.”
Lahiri also collaborated on a song, “I Got the Music,” with American rapper M C Hammer.
Along with singing the song, “Shona,” for the Disney animated film, “Moana,” recently, the music director also dubbed for Elton John’s part in the Hindi version of the Hollywood film, “The Kingsman: The Golden Circle.”
“It’s my privilege,” Lahiri told India-West. “I’ve been a big fan of Elton John so it was amazing.”
Lahiri noted that his remixes always strike a chord with the listeners, whether it’s in Bollywood or regional industries, adding that a re-fashioned version of one of his songs was used in the 2017 Bengali film, “Cockpit.”
“By the grace of God every song of mine which is a remix today has gone on to become a super hit,” Lahiri told India-West. “Old is gold. People still love my old compositions, something that I created 25 years ago. The song, ‘Dilli Ki Raat’ in ‘Indu Sarkar,’ was loved by the audiences. Public loves Bappi da’s voice and music and for which I’m grateful to them.”
“Public is my God. As long as audiences will continue to love me I’ll be around,” Lahiri added.
“Divine Power” is available for purchase on iTunes and at Planet LA Records.