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'Music is my mother-tongue': S P Balasubrahmanyam

Saturday, June 01, 2019
By Chaitanya Padukone

Eight days before his 74th birthday (June 4th), veteran multi-linguist-playback and performer, prolific virtuoso singer-composer S P Balasubrahmanyam gave a melodious ‘return birthday-gift’ to local retro-Bollywood music-lovers and his loyal fans.

In other words, SPB performed ‘live’ at the prestigious Shamukhananda Hall recently, presenting sparkling trance-gems from his vast repertoire.

Unknowingly, the legendary ‘Balu’ and his talented singer-son Charan as also winsome singer Divya, paid rich tributes to the memory of maestro-singer R D Burman (whose 80th birth anniversary falls on June 27th) when songs like ‘Sach Mere Yaar Hai’, ‘O Maria’, ‘Rang Rangeeli (a cool reprisal of the Latin American RDB ‘Pantera’ instrumental theme) and ‘Aaja Meri Jaan’ were performed.

As a tribute to Mumbai city, SPB also sang his popular foot –tapping retro-gaana ‘Tumse Jo Dekhte Hi Pyar’ which has locality-lyrics which go ‘Kabhi Linking Road, kabhi Warden Rd, kabhi Peddar Rd, kabhi Cadell Rd’.

Also doubling up as the emcee-compere of that unique event convened by Hemant Kumar and Omkar Entertainment, the exuberant, jovial ‘Balu asked the proactive audience to figure out ‘his actual mother-tongue’. When there were public-responses mentioning various South Indian lingos, the witty ‘SPB’ countered with ‘music is my mother-tongue’ which was followed by a thunderous applause.

Although not formally trained in classical music, ‘Balu’ beautifully sang the dulcet duet raga-based ‘O O Milan, Maujon Ka’ (‘Tohfa’). As a resonant repartee, SPB declared on stage that “there is no such thing as ‘retro-songs’, either it’s a good song or a bad song.”

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