On Bappi Lahiri singing the song Ek Lo Ek Muft in Guru
The tune for this song had been ready more than three months ago and I wanted Abhishek Bachchan to sing it. But he was abroad and by the time he would return to India, I was going abroad. So there was a dilemma. I felt it was a special song and wanted it to sound fresh.
Just then, I happened to watch some award function on television, and there was Bappida singing a song and getting a lot of applause. I contacted him in Kolkata the next day, and he was in Chennai in a day or two.
It is amazing that he could record the entire song, which is quite wordy and long, in less than two hours and then he went back to Kolkata. The song has been picturised very well on Abhishek and Aishwarya Rai. It is going to be even more popular after the film's release.
On singers Chinmayee, Shreya Ghoshal and Madhushree
Chinmayee sang a beautiful song for me in another Mani Ratnam film, Kannathil Muthamittal, called Deiva Tande Poove. It became very popular. She has won many awards in Tamil Nadu including state awards. I was surprised to see how she could change her voice for this film (She joins Rahman in Tere Bina, one of the most haunting numbers in Guru). There is more strength in her voice than I had thought and it is huskier too. I love singers who are capable of surprising the composers.
When I first heard Shreya a few years ago, I liked her voice but I thought it was a bit shrill. Now, it is full bodied. Apart from singing Barso Re in Guru, she has also sung other numbers for me, like in the Tamil film Jillunu Oru Kathal. The music became very popular and the film did well in cities.
As for Madhushree, she is growing in strength from film to film. She is one of those few singers who are capable of taking a good composition to the next level and make a big difference.