Music directors today help each other with their special talents. A report
In the golden era of music there would be fierce professional competition between composers but close personal friendships too. This led to the music stalwarts even helping out each other when they got stuck, like Roshan who is said to have completed C.Ramachandra's Yeh zindagi usski hai (Anarkali) and R.D.Burman's on-record admission that his father, Kalyanji-Anandji, Laxmikant-Pyarelal and he would sit and help each other as a regular routine. Similarly composers with special voices like Usha Khanna, C.Ramachandra himself and Hemant Kumar would frequently sing for other composers. It is well known that Laxmikant-Pyarelal wanted R.D.Burman to sing Aankhon ka salaam lo from Samraat in 1982 with Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi but somehow it never happened and Manna Dey came in - as the voice of Jeetendra!
It was from the late '70s and '80s that music directors first began looking at each other as rivals who could not even face each other in public. The atmosphere got further vitiated with the arrival of the music companies and music directors even began to attack each other in the media and formed camps with lyricists, singers and even mediapersons.
Happily, things are coming full circle now with the younger generation. Not only are composers developing friendships with colleagues who are fellow judges on television talent shows but they are also 'pitching in' to help when needed.
Himesh Reshammiya was recently quoted as wanting A.R.Rahman to sing for him. But Himesh points out, “Trust the media to get it wrong nine times out of ten. It was I who said a year ago that I would not sing for anyone other than Rahmansaab. It will be an honour to sing for him.”
Rahman himself delivered the hit Ek lo ek muft for Guru, making Bappi sing for Abhishek Bachchan 22 years after he sang playback for his father. Earlier Bappi's Boombai nagariya from Taxi No 9-2-11 was a huge hit and was composed by Vishal-Shekhar.
Vishal Dadlani of the Vishal-Shekhar duo has not only a distinctively robust voice but also is a hugely gifted lyricist. And in the last one year alone he has sung the title-track of Dhoom:2 for Hrithik Roshan - under Pritam. Vishal has also written the lyrically-finest song in Hattrick, I am coming home today. The male singer here is Roopokumar Rathod, incidentally a composer on his own.
And while Pritam has also employed Anand Raaj Anand's vocals in the song Billo rani in the recent Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal, Vishal Dadlani has also sung twice already for Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.
Kiss of love with Vasundhara Das, the first song Vishal recorded for them from Jhoom Barabar Jhoom , was popular while Taare Zameen Par has him singing Jame raho for the trio.