From nowhere to Ya Ali
Ya Ali, from Gangster – A Love Story, which has become a cult song of sorts, has made Zubeen Garg one of the most popular contemporary Bollywood playback singers. This song has made him popular on the international level too. The singer composer, who hails from Assam, is flying high.
Zubeen Garg is not new to Bollywood. He earlier lent his voice to Fiza, Mudda, Kaante and Brides Wanted – all good films but surprisingly, he was not noticed. Until Ya Ali happened in Gangster – A Love Story. The song topped the charts in India and is now becoming very popular internationally as well. For Zubeen, things could not be better. Offers have been pouring in and he is spoilt for choice. He has just made his debut as a composer with Sanjay Jha’s Strings, a film with the Kumbh Mela as its setting.
Zubeen, who is a well-known singer and musician in Assam, wanted to be a music director and has been in the music industry for 12 years. He composed music for Assamese films and delivered hit albums too. His first album, Anamika, released in 1992, was a top seller in the region. Having sung in 40 languages, Zubeen also dabbled in acting in a film called Dinabandhu and won a national award. He has been trying to carve a niche for himself in the Bollywood music for more than five years now. His big break came with Kaante but fame and fortune happened with Gangster.
He speaks animatedly about Sanjay Jha’s Strings, in which he had made his debut as music director. He says he was given the space to experiment and blend folk elements with the modern in his music. There are six songs in all and the highlight is that Zubeen has converted a 600-year-old Assami prayer into Hindi. The poem composed by Baba Nagarjun, is a satire on democracy. The response in Assam and Bengal, where the music has been released, has been positive and he hopes that his music will be appreciated in other areas of the country as well.
Currently, offers are pouring in and Zubeen is singing for PNC productions’ Pyar Ke Side Effects which has music by Pritam. He is still considering the zillions of offers that are pouring in.
Zubeen wonders why he was not noticed in his earlier films but that is hardly surprising considering how fickle Bollywood can be. Especially when one considers that Zubeen plays the guitar, mandolin, percussions and the keyboard as well. He need not wonder any more, though. Bollywood has finally given him his due.
Awards & Recognition
He received many awards for his contribution to the field of music. Some of his achievements include –
The Best Music Award in 2005 for Bengali film ‘Shudhu Tumi’,
Global Indian Film Awards (GIFA) in 2006 for the song ‘Ya Ali’ in the film ‘Gangster’,
Max Stardust Awards (2007) for being the new Musical Sensation.
He was also nominated for the Film Fare award for the category of best playback singer.
Zubeen believes that he has just started and there is a lot more for him to contribute to the industry. He wants to reach for the sky with his dedication towards his work.