Toronto whiz kid adds North American flavour to Bollywood

missionistanbul.jpg

Toronto, Aug 3 (IANS) Vikas Kohli, who is the latest Indian-Canadian to enter Bollywood with his hit song "Apun Ke Saath" in the recently released thriller "Mission Istaanbul", says he wants to make it big in Indian showbiz.

"Now that I have done this wonderful song, I would love to bring my music - across a variety of genres, including punk, rock, hip hop, jazz, metal and classical - to Bollywood," Kohli told IANS in an interview.

A former investment banker who now owns FatLabs music studio here, Kohli said he was approached by Mika Singh to do the song for "Mission Istaanbul".

"No, I was not looking for a break in Bollywood. But it happened when Mika Singh came to see me here. He wanted me to do a song that will inject the North American flavour into 'Mission Istaanbul'," Kohli said.

The song "Apun Ke Saath", he said, was already in the film as part of its script.

"So, they just asked me to impart a new flavour to it. I achieved this by combining the talents of Canadian artists such as (FatLabs-developed) pop singer Priya, (hip-hop artist) GQ number One and (session musician) James MacGregor. I am very happy with what I did."

According to Kohli, "Mission Istaanbul" was "a wonderful, action-packed thriller, with my song as one of its signature songs. That feels great."

The second-generation Indian-Canadian said other Bollywood filmmakers have now approached him to bring his kind of music into their films.

"I love Bollywood films for their beautiful songs and dance numbers. I enjoyed working on this song and am looking forward to more such roles in Bollywood. Of course, the bulk of my business remains in North America," said Kohli, who has already produced six albums.

"I do most of the composition myself. And the six albums are in different genres, and for different bands and markets. Eight more albums are in the pipeline. So we have a pretty hectic life here," he maintained.

Kohli said his unique musical style was the product of his work with some "amazing musicians" early in his career.

"Composing, recording and performing with various punk and rock bands was my passion - I worked with the most creative people - the ones who create their own music and style."

He said after a brief stint in Toronto as an investment banker (1999-2000), he decided to pursue his passion for music.

"In 2003, I established my own FatLabs music studio where we produce all sorts of music across different genres and provide a creative atmosphere for artists, Kohli said.

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