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It's raining offers for 'Ya Ali' singer
By Zafri Mudasser Nofil, Indo-Asian News Service
New Delhi, June 11 (IANS) He shot into fame with the foot-tapping Bollywood chartbuster "Ya Ali". And now, Zubeen Garg, the singer-composer from Assam, is flooded with offers, including Feroz Khan's remake of his 1980s action-thriller "Qurbani".
"I have just finished singing two songs for 'Qurbani II'," says Zubeen.
"I am excited at the success of 'Ya Ali'. It was a wonderful song by Pritam (the music director)," Zubeen told IANS over phone from his adopted home Mumbai, where he owns a studio, Sound & Silence.
Zubeen's foray into Bollywood is, however, not new. He has lent his mellifluous voice for songs in "Fiza", "Kaante", "Mudda" and "Brides Wanted".
"I was somehow not noticed in my earlier songs - 'Mere Vatan' from 'Fiza' and 'Jaane Kya Hoga Rama Re' from 'Kaante' - though the two films were big hits," he says.
Zubeen is now busy with two important projects - his own Hindi movie "Chakra" and a new Hindi music album. Other films in which he will be heard include "Pyar Ke Side Effects", "Woh Lamhe" and "Dekho Mil Gaya".
"I am working out the perfect cast for Chakra. It will be surely an offbeat film," says the 33-year-old singer.
He has just finished his maiden Hindi film score in Sanjay Jha's "Strings", which stars Adam Bedi, (Kabir Bedi's son) Sandhya Mridul and Tannishtha Chatterjee and is set for a July release.
"The music in 'Strings' is a mixture of tradition and modernity. The six songs are of different breeds - there's one inspired by a centuries-old Assamese prayer and one redone from a revolutionary poem," Zubeen says.
"I have also reworked on the famous song by eminent music composer and director, late Pankaj Mallick - 'Piya Milan Ko Jana'. The lyrics (by Deepak Sneh) are different but I have retained the tune.
"It was great to be part of the 'Strings' team. Sanjay (Jha) is a friend. And the whole idea about making the movie was conceived by him at my home," he claims.
"Strings" is a crossover film about a guy from Britain falling in love with a priest's daughter during his visit to the Kumbh Mela at Nasik.
Three other Assamese singers - Saswati Phukan (of "Kaliyon ka chaman' and "Kaanta laga" fame), Angarang Mahanta, Brishti Saikia - have also lent their voices in the film.
Zubeen broke into the professional music scene in 1992 with his first Assamese album - "Anamika" that sold like hot cakes. Since then, he has nearly 40 albums to his name. He has also composed music for over 20 Assamese and a couple of Bengali movies.
Apart from playing the guitar, mandolin and percussions, Zubeen is an accomplished keyboard player. He has sung in various regional languages including Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Oriya, Marathi and Nepali, besides Assamese and Bengali.
He acted, co-produced and scored the music in the Assamese film "Dinabandhu", which won the national award in 2005 for its score.
Zubeen has now set his eyes overseas. He is leaving for the US where he is slated to perform this month and then in August he will fly to the Gulf for a performance in Dubai.