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Remembering the Disco King; Bappi Lahiri

Aparesh Lahiri, his father, was a well-known Bengali vocalist, and Bansari Lahiri, his mother, was a musician and singer who was well-versed in classical music and Shyama Sangeet. His parents instilled love of music in him. He was the only child. He aspired to be renowned from a young age, not just in his home country, but also across the world. At the age of three, he began playing the tabla.

He loved wearing jewellery and had a symbolic importance in his life. Bappi’s signature gold earrings and sunglasses are well-known throughout India. His favourite quote was ‘Gold is my God.’

Bappi Lahiri, India’s pioneer of disco rhythms, had the entire country dancing for decades with his invigorating, lively, and rhythmic music. Bappi Lahiri is usually credited as being the single inventor of the disco rhythm in India. Even now, he is recognised in India as the “Disco King.”

Daadu (1972), his first Bengali film, and Nanha Shikari, his first Hindi film, gave him his first opportunity to create music (1973). Tahir Husain’s Hindi film Zakhmee (1975), for which he wrote the music and acted as a playback vocalist, was the film that launched him into Bollywood.

He has performed duets with Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar in the past. He’s also collaborated with artists such as Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. Bappi introduced Vijay Benedict and Sharon Prabhakar to the Bollywood music business. Through his compositions, he also opened the way for Alisha Chinai and Usha Uthup to achieve recognition. Bappi Lahiri’s dominion over the Hindi music business lasted far into the 1990s, when he composed the soundtrack for Mithun Chakraborty’s Prakash Mehra-produced film ‘Dalal.’ The film’s song ‘Gutur Gutur’ was a great smash.

Even in the 2000s, Bappi Lahiri’s rule and popularity with the general public were as strong as ever. His album ‘Bappi Magic – The Asli Baap Mix,’ which included famous songs like ‘Gori Hai Kalaiyan’ and ‘Jimmy Jimmy,’ was published in 2004 to tremendous acclaim and a large fan base. He created the background score for the Jahnu Barua film ‘Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Maara’ the following year.

In late 2016, Lahiri voiced the character of Tamatoa in the Hindi-dubbed version of Disney’s 3D computer-animated fantasy adventure film Moana; he also composed and sang “Shona” (Gold), the Hindi version of “Shiny”.

In the Indian Premier League in 2008, Bappi Lahiri composed an exceptional musical soundtrack for the Kolkata Knight Riders squad. At the 63rd Filmfare Awards, Bappi received the Filmfare Lifetime Achievement Award.

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