Disco with the desi twist


Taal 2.0 explored Bollywood and Kollywood music of the 80s and 90s. Yes, the evening did rock, says Poornima Koonath

Arun Nanda, Rushi Dave and the Heart & Soul team did it yet again! The second instalment of ‘Taal Se Taal Mila’ did not disappoint the 700+ people who had come together at the Roselea Community Centre on 1 April with great expectations.

The talent of the artistes and their musical prowess was evident from the way they presented songs from the 80s and 90s—an era when melody had taken the back seat and the lyrics had an abundance of onomatopoeia with the ‘humma hummas’, the ‘chaiyya chaiyyas’ and the ‘tip tips’. The 1980s is considered the dark period of Hindi film industry for not only did films have a weak story, the music had hit abysmally lows. However, some of the films made during the time did leave an indelible mark on the viewers’ minds.

This era for instance, saw the rise of Bappi Lahri who popularised the use of synthesised disco music with an Indianised twist. The music of Disco Dancer (1982) took everyone by storm and was a rage not just in India but abroad too. The 1990s brought to the fore a very a very talented A R Rahman who introduced the audience to a very a very different kind of music. He integrated Indian classical music with electronic music and shook the listeners to the core—they were left with asking for more. Another person who made a mark in the 1990s was Viju Shah. His music composition for ‘Vishwatma’ and the song Saat Samundar Paar were super hits and continue to remain a favourite with some listeners, as do Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast and Tip Tip Barsa Pani.

Arun Nanda and Rushi Dave

At the second edition of Taal, Jaspreet Arora and Jasmine Gill started by wooing the audience with Intihaa Ho Gayi Intezar Ki from the movie Sharabi. Jaspreet has great stage presence and is a complete entertainment package. He knows how to draw the audience in and make them a part of his performance. Jasmine is a gifted singer who can manoeuvre high pitches with ease. Ek Dhuje Ke Liye tugged at the heartstrings like very few movies have and ‘Bombay’created waves with its bold storyline. The song Sola baras ke bali umar to salaam from the former and Kehna Hai Kya from the latter left the listeners with a hauntingly yearning feeling, a feeling that was well recreated by Jasmine.

Priya Das brought the Viju Shah number Saat Samundar Paar to life. While she got groovy with Jaspreet Grover in the Chaiyya Chaiyya number, she crooned Aise Deewannagi with Arun Nanda. Arun Nanda’s melodious rendition of Dilbar Mere Kab Tak Mujhe was a feast to the ears. Shailja Chandra, whose impeccable compering tied all the concepts of the evening together delighted the audience with Jadoo kar raha hain from the movie ‘Pardes’ and Gul Hora brought in the Rock to the musical extravaganza.

Srijani Dan

But the pick of the evening, the one person who had everyone enthralled was Srijani Dan. She touched the souls with Kesariya Balama and then had everyone foot-tapping with Morni Baga ma Nache. Her voice modulation and the ease with which she shifted between the parts sung by Lata Mangeshwar and Ila Arun was absolutely captivating! The musical evening was punctuated by some beautiful dance numbers by the dancers from Ruchi Sanghi’s Dance Academy.

Listening to a concert with live band is always a pleasure. The musicians who accompanied the singers had a herculean task to accomplish as recreating any Rahman composition is no mean task. Rakesh Swami on the drums reminded me of Sivamani while Abhijit Dan on the table brought back memories of Zakir Hussain. The keyboard artistes Vishal Lakhia and Sanjesh Nand worked magic with their fingers, and guitarists Vinnie and Bobby strummed every tune to perfection. And while Sanjiv Raja provided the effects, it was Anuraag Kamoda on the percussion.

Shailja Chandra

Serenity Now took care of the decorations, while light and sound was provided by SNSR. Choosing to perform the songs of the 1980s and 1990s was indeed a bold move by Heart & Soul Productions. These songs are not for the seasonal lovers of music, but for those who love music for music’s sake. The talented team delivered the goods well and a satisfied audience was left looking forward to yet another instalment of ‘Taal Se Taal Mila’ in 2018.

The concert had a humanitarian purpose too as all the proceeds from the show is being donated to Sharda Medical Centre in Nadi that is managed by the Ramkrishna Mission in Fiji.


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