CHANDIGARH — Come September and a young man from Punjab could well be on his way to literally singing the American Dream. A song, composed, written and sung by the Punjab-born Rahul Lakhanpal, will feature in a Hollywood movie scheduled to be released next month.
“My song, ‘Chicago Land’ has been selected for the Hollywood movie, ‘The Tiger Hunter,’ which is scheduled to release worldwide on Sept. 22. The song aptly represents the theme of the movie — an Indian boy chasing the love of his life in Chicago of the ‘70s. The song’s genre is influenced by legendary Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame inductees and Chicago Blues artists such as Buddy Guy and Muddy Waters,” Lakhanpal told IANS.
Born in Jagraon, a small town around 40 kms from Punjab’s Ludhiana industrial hub, Lakhanpal started learning music at the age of 10. He trained in Punjabi folk music, Indian classical and Sufi music.
“My parents and teachers always taught me to chase my dreams without losing my focus on studies. I pursued a bachelor of architecture degree from GNDU (Guru Nanak Dev University), Amritsar, and master of science degree in Texas. In Texas, while studying and focusing on my career, I silently nurtured my dream to sing,” he explained.
“I was the lead vocalist of a band called ‘Dhwani,’ where I met my friend, and later my musical partner, Vineet Bailur. Along with my band, I performed across many universities in the U.S. and received numerous accolades. It was a big boost to my confidence,” he said.
Lakhanpal, who is the composer and lyricist of “Chicago Land’ along with Bailur, is also its vocalist.
Having participated in “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa’s” 2008 USA edition and ending up in the Top 5 category, Lakhanpal said that his music style is Sufi rock, Bollywood, Bollywood rock, and urban Punjabi.
“My all-time favorite artists are Nusrat Fateh Khan, Kailash Kher, Ustad Salamat Ali Khan, Mohammad Rafi, my guru Sukhdev Sahil, and poets Gulzaar and Bulleh Shah. I am deeply moved and inspired by live Sufi rock music,” he added.
While studying in the field of science and architecture, Lakhanpal’s journey took a musical turn in the U.S., with performances at various places. It was at one such performance in Los Angeles in 2012 that he met Hollywood producer Nazia “Naz” Khan, who has worked on films such as “Ocean’s 13,” “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” “World War Z,” “The Revenant,” “Moonlight” and many more.
“Nazia was promoting her Hollywood film, ‘The Tiger Hunter,’ when she introduced me to the director Lena Khan, who gave me and my mate Vineet an opportunity to showcase our talent to the world. It appeared like a dream come true, and together we composed and produced three tracks, out of which one was selected by ‘The Tiger Hunter’ team as the Main Credits Track,” Lakhanpal said.
For the moment, Lakhanpal is keeping his fingers crossed – waiting for his American Dream to become a musical reality.