My music transcends time and genres: Bappi Lahiri

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Mumbai, June 20 -- As veteran music composer Bappi Lahiri prepares himself to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at the San Francisco Global Movie Fest, he, over a phone conversation from Los Angeles, USA, talks to us about his glorious run of over four decades in Bollywood.

The composer, who made the world dance to his tunes of 'I am a disco dancer' (Disco Dancer; 1982), 'Yaar bina chain kahan re' (Saaheb; 1985) and even 'Ooh la la' (The Dirty Picture; 2011) feels "as a musician, you flow with the times."

Though other senior musicians criticise the current state of Bollywood music, Bappi is optimistic about the transition.

"Change is the only constant. From 'Chalte chalte' (Chalte Chalte; 1976) to 'Ooh la la', it is this movement that I have been part of. Music has evolved just like everything else. I may be the Disco King, but my music transcends time and genres," he says.

While he acknowledges that the process of making songs has changed, Bappi reminisces the olden days when he used to record with singers like Kishore Kumar (his maternal uncle), Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle, among others.

"I have so many memories of those days. I remember, the last song Kishore Kumar sang was for Waqt Ki Awaaz (1988); it was composed by me. That day, we recorded the song, Kishore mama was in a great mood. He was cracking jokes and making everyone in the studio laugh, including Ashaji," he says, adding, "That day, after finishing the recording around 6pm, he said, 'Aaj maine tum logon ko bahut hasaya na... jab main nahi rahoonga tab tumhe meri bahut yaad aayegi (I made you all laugh so much today... when I'm no more, you all will miss me).' I don't know why he said those lines on that day. Next day, around 11am, he called me to say that he wanted to rest at home and he asked me to finish my recording well. Around 2pm, I got to know that he was no more. I can never forget that day, and his last words to me," reminisces Bappi.