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Omer Inayat goes to Bollywood

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It almost seems like another century when Junoon's 'Sayonee' invaded MTV India, making us rejoice at our artists finally being appreciated by youngsters across the border. Even back then, our music had more soul than the thousand shrilly love duets churned out by Bollywood every week. But due to sour relations between the two countries, India couldn't really use that soul to their advantage.

Now, it's a whole different ball game. It is our music that has successfully marketed India's most mediocre movies, giving some of them an over amplified status. Well, as long as our singers are making good money, increasing their fan base and making Pakistan proud, the underserved hype of Indian films, and the nauseously techno-fied versions of our music that keeps those Indian discotheques noisy and stuffy, can be put up with- just for now. With time, however, it would be nice if we realize our worth enough to start dictating some of the terms as well.

Sometimes, however, one has also noticed that even if our music is not that creative, by Pakistani standards - and we are starting to develop some pretty high standards - it still sells in India. Is it because the alternative is the ubiquitous Himesh Reshammiya- the guru of extremely catchy, extremely disposable music? You listen to his song once, your body insists on dancing, and by the fourth time, you just want to throw the CD out.

But repetitive listening is definitely no problem for Omer Inayat's music. The apple-cheeked singer from Islamabad really did prove that he has something different to offer. Omer released his album back in April 2006 and took the country by storm with 'You've Got Something (Tenu Ley Kay Jaana)'.

The song was phenomenally successful, not only because Omer pendulum-ed playfully between English and Punjabi, since that had been done before, but because the mixture of pop and trance over a very appealing melody made the bilingual song original, toe-tapping and addictive. Two more videos came out after that song, proving that he was a consistent hard worker and no one-hit wonder.

So after many of our hit bands and singers having crossed to the other side of the Wagah border, it was only a matter of time till Omer's vocals and composing skills were utilized by the money making machine that is Bollywood.

Consequently, Omer Inayat has signed up with a film based company in India and will be singing three songs for their upcoming film. The film stars Fardeen Khan and Diya Mirza, with music direction by Bappa Lahiri (no spelling mistake there; he's the son of Bappi Lahiri). The three songs include 'You've Got Something', 'Kya Ye Pyar Hai', which have been composed and written by Omer, and 'Dhun Lagi', composed by Bappa Lahiri and written by lyricist Sameer. The name of the film hasn't been revealed so far but the music is expected to be out by March '08.

The reason Omer gives for going the Bollywood way is giving more exposure to his music, while keeping his options open. Signing contracts with labels can bind an artist, but through a film, Omer can test whether the market is receptive to his music or not and simultaneously increase his fan base. Also, one has to admit, soundtracks almost always work, having an old school charm and adding layers of sentimentality to the lyrics of a song.

But just because Omer is now working with Bollywood music directors doesn't mean he will just take it easy and ride that wave. Currently, he is busy working on two new tracks for his next album, which is being recorded in London.

Keeping his previous track record in mind, it is safe to say He's Got Something cracking in store for us in his upcoming album. And that something has Bollywood listening in, very carefully. For now, we just wait and see how the collaboration between Omer Inayat and Bappa Lahiri works out.


From: The News international

Posted on Jan 01, 08 | 9:01 pm