Bappi Lahiri

Date of Birth: November 27, 1952
Music Director, Singer
Filmfare Best Music Director Award
Years Active:
Bappi Lahiri
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Bappi Lahiri
Birth name Alokesh Lahiri
Born 27 November 1952 (1952-11-27) (age 58)
Origin Calcutta, West Bengal, India
Genres Film score, Theatre
Occupations music director & singer
Years active 1972–present

Bappi Lahiri or Alokesh Lahiri (Bengali: বাপ্পী লাহিড়ী), born 27 November in 1952, is a music director in the Hindi (or Bollywood) film industry. He pioneered the use of disco music in Indian cinema and sang some of his own compositions. He was popular in the 1980s with films like Disco Dancer, Namak Halaal and Sharaabi among others.

Early years

Bappi. D. Lahiri was born in Calcutta, West Bengal into a family with a rich tradition in classical music. His father, Aparesh Lahiri, was a famous Bengali singer and his mother, Bansari Lahiri, was a musician and a singer who was well-versed in classical music and Shyama Sangeet. He was their only child.

At a very early age, he had the ambition to become internationally famous. He began to play the tabla at the tender age of three. His relatives from his mother's family include Kishore Kumar and the S. Mukherjee clan. Initially he was trained by his parents, after which he received his first opportunity in a Bengali film, Daadu (1972) at the age of 19.

Hindi films

He moved to Mumbai when he was 19. The first Hindi film for which he composed music was Nanha Shikari (1973). The turning point of his career was Tahir Husain's Hindi film, Zakhmee (1975), for which he composed music and doubled as a playback singer. He sang a duet with Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar called "Nothing Is Impossible" for the same film. The songs of his next film, Chalte Chalte, became hits. With Ravikant Nagaich's Surakksha his singing and music became even more popular.

He was the fittest musician for Mithun Chakraborty's disco dance-based films. Mithun Chakraborty and Bappi Lahiri became synonyms of Indian disco culture since late 1970s to early 90s. He also scored music for many Hindi films produced from South India. He is called 'Disco King' around India.

Style of music

Bappi Lahiri pioneered the use of disco music in Indian cinema with an Indian flavour. Most of his songs would be rendered by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle. He launched Vijay Benedict and Sharon Prabhakar into the music industry. He also used Alisha Chinoy and Usha Uthup extensively for his compositions.

Allegations of plagiarism

Throughout his career Lahiri has been accused of plagiarizing music produced by other composers without giving them any credit or royalties.1

Conversely, in one instance, portions of his song "Thoda Resham Lagta Hai" were included in a 2002 single "Addictive" by American R&B singer Truth Hurts. Copyright holders Saregama India, Ltd. sued Interscope Records and its parent company, Universal Music Group to the tune of more than $500 million. A Los Angeles federal judge subsequently barred further sales of the CD unless and until Lahiri was listed on the song's credits.2
Career history

Lahiri disappeared from the Indian film industry in the 1990s. He made a brief comeback in the Prakash Mehra produced Dalal starring Mithun Chakraborty. The song "Gutur Gutur" from the film was a big hit, though it had its share of controversies due to its suggestive lyrics.

In 2004, he brought out his album Bappi Magic - The Asli Baap Mix, featuring popular numbers such as "Gori Hai Kalaiyan" and "Jimmy Jimmy." It attained great popularity. In 2005, he composed the background score for the Jahnu Barua film, Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Maara, thus reaffirming his identity as a very versatile composer. In 2006, he lent his voice to another composer for the first time with the song "Boombai Nagariya" which he sang for Vishal-Shekhar for the movie Taxi Number 9211. Of late, he has once again lent his voice to the title track of the Mani Ratnam film Guru, in which the music has been composed by A.R.Rahman. He has recorded songs for the movie Level Crossing produced by actor Jayaprada. In 2006, he appeared on the popular television show Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs on Zee TV as co-judge with singers Alka Yagnik and Abhijeet. He was a judge for the 2007 edition of Zee TV's Sa Re Ga Ma Pa and Sony Entertainment Television's K For Kishore reality show that aims to find the 'heir apparent' to Kishore Kumar.

In 2010 Lahiri was back with "i am a disco dancer" in Golmaal 3 in his own voice. The track was from his previous film Disco Dancer.

Personal life

Bappi Lahiri is married and has two children. His wife is Chitrani, daughter Rema and son Bappa. He is very fond of jewelry and is usually found wearing gold ornaments and black glasses with a tracksuit.