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Biddu - Man who created triple history

By: Screen Weekly, IndiaFM
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Are you a singer looking for that breakthrough to boom time? Go to Biddu, the music composer and producer who will start a boom in your career. And we are not talking just about the late Nazia Hassan with her 'Aap jaisa koi...' (Qurbani) or 'Boom boom' (Star) mega-hits. You could check this up with Zoheb Hassan, Alisha Chinoy, Sansara, Sweta Shetty, Shaan, Sagarika and the latest Indian Idol Sandeep Shrivastava. And Biddu has so far sold 36 million albums worldwide!

Biddu began his career by playing in a pop group whose influences were the Beatles. In 1967 Biddu left for England to make his name in the international music scene, having to journey through the Middle-East, where he earned money on doles handed out for singing or playing the guitar and working in a hamburger joint by day. His luck changed when he released an album with the unknown Carl Douglas, Kung-Fu Fighting that sold 10 million. He then boosted the careers of British music stars like Tina Charles and Jimmy James.

An impressed Feroz Khan offered him a song in Qurbani, and Biddu made triple history with this film, the super-selling pop album Disco Deewane and his own production Star, also catapulting British-Pakistani singer Nazia Hassan to instant fame. His Indipop album with Alisha Chinai, Made In India made sales history, and he followed this with hits with Sweta Shetty and Sonu Nigam and introduced Shaan, even re-christening him from his original name Shantanu Mukherjee.

Since the 1970s, Biddu has been composing pop instrumental albums as Biddu Orchestra. And now, he has turned again to his Eastern roots. Combining his influences from both sides of the globe, he is back with a sizzling remix album tangily titled Shut Up And Dance. The lead song of the album 'Soota...' has been sung by Shaan.

Biddu hails from Coorg in Karnataka and divides his time today between India, his old home in London and his house on the beach in Marbella (which he says is pronounced 'Mabeyya') in Spain. Spain, weather-wise, is like India. But the infrastructure and cleanliness are way ahead. "I came here in July to see my mother, and I suddenly thought that I should do a remix, as I have only done original songs till now!"

While the lead track 'Soota...' is his hit from the film Goonj (1989), Biddu has experimented with his own Western mega-hit, 'Fire' and the Sufi song 'Allah hoo...' among others. Among the other tracks, Biddu says that 'Choli ke peeche...' (Khal-Nayak) was a song that "I just had to do".

Biddu admits that with everyone getting on the remix bandwagon the quality has deteriorated. But he has tried to be innovative all the same. "For me, it's just a break from my original work, which continues as I have worked on the albums of new singers Abhijeet Sawant and Debojit and composed the atypical Diamond Sutra some months ago."The music business has shrivelled, as no music company can survive on sales of a few thousand."

An admirer in the current scenario of Himesh Reshammiya, Sonu Nigam, Shaan and Shreya Ghoshal, Biddu still believes that melody sells, but feels that music today has advanced tremendously. And what will come next?

"An original album, of course!" he replies.

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