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He will rock you!..........

Dale Bhgwagar

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Daler Mehndi It was an outdoor video shoot this week. And it was raining cats and dogs. The city was witnessing its worst and longest-ever rains in recent times. God was dancing his own dance from above the clouds. On mother earth (read Filmcity Studios, Mumbai), defiant Daler Mehndi decided to go ahead with his planned shoot for the title track of his forthcoming album ‘Shaa Ra Ra Ra’. In fact, he opined, “God must have wished it this way. He throws such challenges to make us stronger.”

“You might not find one like him ever again,” someone remarked, while this Mr Unstoppable swayed everyone around, of course, including his sensuous video co-star Rashmi Nigam (the girl who is soon to debut in Bollywood with ‘Popcorn Khao… Mast Ho Jaao’) with his trademark energetic bhangra. By the end of it all, the Sardar smiled and quipped, “All is well that ends well”.

Dressed in the heavily ornamented fuchsia colored Choga, following intently the instructions from ace-choreographer Ahmed Khan, director the video, Daler said, “Hun Rab Di Mehr Naal Waqt Badal Gya Hai, Ab Mujhe Koi Rok Nahi Sakta” (“By the grace of God, time has changed for the better and nothing’s gonna stop me now!”).

This new album which will be released by his own music company DM Music in the first week of September, has been recorded at Sound City, Empire Studio, Mumbai, with nine songs written, composed and performed by Daler Mehndi. It showcases traditional music, fused with western instruments. For the videos, maverick Mehndi has redesigned his signature Maharaja robes combined with a ‘remix dhoti’ (a concoction of the traditional dhoti, Patiala salwar and trousers).

Says Ahmed Khan, “The USP of Dalerbhai’s music is that it is ‘happy music’. It is the energy in his voice combined with the powerful rhythm that is infectious. Watch out for our video. He will rock you!”

Daler Mehndi The “Shaa Ra Ra Ra” song has been written and composed by Daler where he uses words such as guddi (in Punjabi) and patang (in Hindi) metaphorically to describe his ladylove. Bass guitar has been effectively used in the otherwise simple composition. Another high point of the song is the intro, where Daler has sung a couplet at a very high octave, showcasing his effortless switch from classical to pop. Immaculate use of difficult notes of Raag Jog packaged with a clear timber, is hard to ignore.

Prior to shooting this video, Daler also shot for a video of another song in this album “Humne Pakad Li Hai” last week. This song too, was directed by Ahmed Khan, who, since his stint with the film ‘Lakeer’, is shooting music-videos after a gap of three years.

On the sets of this shoot at NSE Grounds in Mumbai, one witnessed similar energy bursts in Daler Mehndi, to Ahmed Khan, to the 300 dancers including 10 foreign ones, to 24 make-up dadas, to the spot boys, to any and everyone present on the sets. The colossal production, resounding with electrifying Mahrashtrian beats with the Sardar’s charged-up vocals, was no less than a celebration.

The “Humne Pakad Li Hai” video has another USP – it has been shot in High Definition (HD) format, making it the first music video of its kind in India. So, apart from an elephant (yes, this is there too), there is technology debuting with this Daler video.

Others who are a part of this promising nine-track album, are recordists Shakeel and Amir, Ravi Pawar who has co-directed few tracks with Daler Mehndi, Raju Lalwani who has arranged the music, ace-drummer Shivamani who has given rhythm to the song “Hauli Hauli”, veteran Nida Fazli who has helped Daler in finishing the ballad track “Shaam Se Maine Puchha”, and last but not the least, power-pitched Suzanne who has penned and rendered melodious vocals for a few tracks and the dance floor stomper “No.1 Papa” featuring Bobby on backing vocals.

So get ready for the King of Bhangra before he invades your senses and TV screens all over again!!


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