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'Melody has to be catchy for recall-value': rhythm-king Babla

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
By Chaitanya Padukone

If you were to hear the name ‘Laxmichand Virji Shah’, you would possibly presume it to be the name of a stockbroker or a businessman. But if you were also told that this Laxmichand actually has a popular nickname ‘Babla’, you would instantly figure out that he is the same rhythm-maestro, internationally hailed as the pioneer of fusion-dance-music ‘disco-dandiya’, for assisting and arranging in Bollywood film-music with the legendary Kalyanji-Anandji duo, who are his elder siblings and also playing awesome rhythm for live concerts.

With his wizardry at innovative rhythm and composing he has been highly ‘instrumental’ in dozens of landmark film songs including ‘Main Hoon Don’, ‘Tum Mile Pyar Se’, ‘Khaike Paan Banaraswala’, ‘Pyar Zindagi Hai’ and the seductive pulsating numbers ‘Yeh Mera Dil’, ‘Dil Jalon Ka, Dil Jalake’ and ‘Laila O Laila’.  

If rhythm runs in the blood of self-trained Babla, then his talented son Vaibhav Shah is also a rhythm-savvy ace musician- composer-singer who plays a variety of musical rhythm instruments including the roto-toms, tumba and djembe. Currently the father-son duo are collaborating on an upcoming innovative musical concert in Ahmedabad which has patriotic and nature-centric inspiring songs as its theme.

Not one to cash in on his father’s legendary name, Vaibhav prefers to get work on his own individual merit. Although Babla is known for his staunch passion for rhythm, he considers ‘melody as the supreme factor’. “However lively the rhythm maybe, it’s the melody-dhun which has to be catchy, for  evergreen recall-value,” he insisted.

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