[Assam] Zubeen Garg interview
chittaranjanpathak at yahoo.com
Fri Jun 15 10:24:49 EDT 2007
An interview of Zybeen Garg as it appeared on Gulf
Not a one-song wonder
By Jyoti Kalsi, Gulf News Report
Bollywood took notice of him only after his recent hit
song Ya Ali from the film Gangster. But Zubeen Garg is
already a well-known name in north eastern India .
The singer from Assam (a state in north-eastern India
), released his first album in 1992. He has since made
over 40 hit albums, sung over 7000 songs in various
Indian languages and composed music for several
Assamese and Bengali movies.
He has also tried his hand at acting, directing and
script writing with much success.
The versatile performer was in Dubai recently on a
private visit. In between dune bashing, skiing,
paragliding and making plans to open a recording
studio in Dubai , Zubeen took some time off to talk to
tabloid! about the many projects he is currently
working on and his ambitious plans for the future.
You have sung for Bollywood films before but always
went back to Assam . How is it different now?
Yes, I came to Mumbai in 1996 and have sung for films
like Fizaa, Kaante, Mudda and Pyar Ke Side Effects.
But I did not focus much on my career here because I
did not like Mumbai's fast-paced life and missed the
natural beauty of Assam . But Ya Ali has changed that.
Now, I have a home and recording studio in Mumbai and
spend 20 days every month there and 10 days in Assam
because I am getting a lot of work in Bollywood.
How did Ya Ali happen?
Pritam had tried many other singers for this song but
was not happy with the result. He called me because we
have worked together before on jingles, serials and
film songs. As soon as I heard the tune I knew it was
perfect for me and I am happy it has been appreciated
and people now know my potential. I have waited many
years for this hit because I preferred to work in
Assam than beg for work in Bollywood.
What kind of songs do you like to sing?
People have the wrong impression that I sing only Sufi
music. I started my musical career by playing drums,
keyboard and tabla and was quite Westernised before
moving to folk music and Sufism. I love to blend
western, folk and classical music. Currently, I am
doing songs for Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, Kaise Kahein,
Mauj, Jimmy and the remakes of Victoria 203 and Bombay
to Goa and every song is different.
And what about the music in your albums?
I am currently working on four Hindi albums and each
one is different. Rasiya Sajan to be released soon has
a heavily classical title track. My next album is a
lounge album featuring my version of songs sung by
What are your other Bollywood projects?
I am composing music for Strings directed by Sanjay
Jha and also working on three scripts. The first one
is called Chakra. It is a serious film with an unusual
subject and perspective.
And what projects keep you going back to Assam ?
I own two studios in Assam and record about 600 songs
every year there. I have recently taken a 100-year
lease on two old ships and plan to convert them into a
five star hotel. I run a chain of beauty salons called
Zubin's Veda and I also plan to open a resort in
Kaziranga National Park .
Did you know?
Zubeen Garg has sung over 7,000 songs in Hindi,
Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, Punjabi, Oriya, Marathi,
Kannada and other Indian languages, apart from his
mother tongue Assamese. Also in Nepali.
He acted, co-produced and scored music in the Assamese
film Dinabandhu, which got the national award in 2005.
His recent Bollywood songs include Jag Lal Lal from
Big Brother, Zindagi Hosh Mein from Bas Ek Pal and
Dilruba from Namastey London.
On what inspires him, "Sting is my idol and I have
been deeply influenced by S.D. Burman, Madanmohan,
Kishore Kumar and A.R. Rehman. But my strongest
inspiration is Assamese folk music."
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