Introduced by AR Rahman he started his career exactly ten years ago, for a Tamil film called Sivaji and has gone on to sing songs in several other languages, including for the Hindi film industry more popularly known as Bollywood.
His songs such as Ude Dil Befikre, Badtameez Dil, and Tu Meri Dost Hai have gone on to be smash hits with millions of listeners worldwide. After obtaining a Masters in journalism, disappointed with career options in music, Benny nearly gave up on his dream by taking on a job, until music maestro AR Rahman came calling…and the rest as they say is history.
We caught up with the new generation, versatile Indian singer, Benny Dayal ahead of his UK tour with music legend AR Rahman to chat about everything music.
By FATIMA PATEL
Fatima: Lovely to be speaking to you. So, my first question to you is, AR Rahman introduced you as playback singer in films how did the introduction actually happen?
Benny: Actually, even I don’t know, it’s been a miracle, actually to be very honest. I was actually looking for work when I did start like exactly 11 years ago and I used to be like asking and approaching a lot of composers in Chennai when I was in Chennai and no one had any work for me or taken an interest in my voice. Nothing was working out for me so then I took this job and was wondering if my journey in music will ever happen. Then three days into my job I got a call from his (AR Rahman’s) studio which was extremely ironic but I think it was to happen the way it was meant to happen.
A dream came true for you then?
So how important do you think his (AR Rahman) role has been in the shaping of your musical career?
Oh, definitely what can I say sometimes I feel I am not worthy of talking about him, what he has achieved, in this time and space, taken his music globally and made a mark for the industry. At a time in an Indian society when nobody believed music could be a lifelong career, there was a time in India where parents used to tell us to keep music as a hobby and get a job. So, when he came into the industry in 1992 with Roja, he started to introduce a lot of new singers who weren’t there in the industry besides, SP Bala Subramaniam and Hariharan. Even Hariharan sir was introduced at that time. And so, it was incredible to see that he (AR Rahman) had brought out a lot of new singers that gave us youngsters in India to have the hope of taking music up as a career. And so not just musically, but technically and sound wise, in terms of composition, in terms of tune, in terms of musical arrangements. It’s everything that he has showed us, the simplicity and intensity, you know so many things. So, there is so much and you can keep going and talk for 48 hours on him and it still wouldn’t be enough on Rahman Sir.
You’ve definitely left your mark as well, I mean your background is from an Indian Indie scene you’ve bought a lot of soul RNB and Jazz in your music that wasn’t seen before in Bollywood but now has been accepted
I could probably say I was one of them first singers who started singing a lot of RNB and Soul. I could see there were singers like Shaan and KK, you know they was also there. I should say thank you to composers like AR Rehman for giving me the opportunity to take that genre forward and bring new flavour to and give it the flavour of Indian music
It’s fantastic to see that these new genres of music are being explored in Bollywood but more that it has been accepted. Where do you think the Bollywood industry is heading now with all these new genres coming forth and the fact that people are experimenting with music?
Every musical industry, or every musical society would have to evolve. Because that’s exactly how we go ahead it’s important to progress. I meet a lot of journalists who say music is not like how it was and I am sat at a press conference and I’m saying hey your shooting pictures from a digital camera and why aren’t you using a still camera, so you like shooting from a digital camera now. So, you see what I am saying? So, it’s same with music. Music can’t stay analogue and it’s not just for radio, but digital platforms too. There are so many social media platforms nowadays. So, you have to evolve and that’s exactly how life should be. There are many platforms, many ways to listen to music according to people’s affordability.
So, which Indian musician apart from AR Rahman sir has inspired you over the years?
From Indian definitely, everyone has played a vital role in my career. I have worked with Vishal & Shekar and they have definitely helped in my career giving me the right songs.
You’ve recently celebrated your first wedding anniversary so congratulations on that….
Thank you thank you so much.
Does your wife have any influence on the kind of songs you sing. For example, does she prefer you to sing more romantic songs or maybe the songs like Badtameez dil?
(Laughs) She loves all my songs. She doesn’t mind, she never says you should sing songs like that. Whatever comes.
You’re coming to the UK for the 25 years AR Rahman concert. How are you feeling about performing live at the concert?
Extremely incredible I can’t tell you we’re celebrating 25 years of AR Rahman music, as I have been such a hard-core fan of his and to be a part of his celebration and to be on tour performing with him I just can’t explain how I feel. He’s the reason why I got into this industry. To be a part of his twenty-fifth year anniversary nothing can get better than that for me
Thank you so much for speaking to us and we wish you all the best with your tour in the UK
Thank you very much FatimaRead more
The musical comedy starring Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif that will leave you splitting at the sides as we join Jagga in his quest to find his long-lost father – in cinemas on 14 July 2017
When was the last time you embarked on a mystery-solving adventure whilst riding the back of an ostrich? Join the bumbling duo, Jagga (Ranbir Kapoor) and Shruti (Katrina Kaif), as they look to uncover the mysterious disappearance of Jagga’s father, taking them across some of the most unfamiliar terrain.
Disney and Pictureshuru Productions are set to release the musical adventure of the year, JAGGA JASOOS, in cinemas worldwide on 14 July 2017. Directed by Anurag Basu (Barfi!, Life in a… Metro) the film stars two of India’s leading stars Ranbir Kapoor (Barfi!, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani) and Katrina Kaif (Rajneeti). Featuring as many as 29 songs, this Broadway style musical will have audiences around the globe laughing, crying and singing along as they join the suited pair to uncover the truth in amongst a safari of exotic creatures, mystery and uncertainty.
The film, which marks the return of the Barfi! team (Anurag Basu - UTV Motion Pictures - Ranbir Kapoor) has already generated considerable buzz with the release of its quirky, colourful musical trailer featuring the infectious Jagga portrayed by Ranbir Kapoor and his endearing, bundling companion Shruti played by Katrina Kaif. Using the magical power of song, dance and humour, we see them travelling across the planet in bright yellow aircrafts, horseback and ostriches – not your everyday modes of transport!
Three times Filmfare awardee Pritam Chakraborty scored the music for the film which marks an encore of yet another association of the successful trio - Anurag, Ranbir, and Pritam. The film also features notable actors Sayani Gupta and Saswata Chatterjee in prominent roles.
The story revolves around Jagga, a shy young boy in a quaint little town, with his accident-prone father, Bagchi (Saswata Chatterjee). As he grows up, his father sends him to boarding school – and mysteriously goes missing. Over the years, the only contact Jagga has with his father is a VHS tape that he receives via post every year on his birthday.
When Jagga’s father suddenly stops sending his son’s annual birthday tape, Jagga develops an undying curiosity to find the whereabouts of his father. This leads him to Shruti, a journalist who lands up in Jagga’s town trying to expose a high level international case. With Jagga refusing to give up hope on the wellbeing of his father, he asks for Shruti’s help to solve the case.
Jagga and Shruti are a hilarious combination embarking on a mission to uncover details about Bagchi’s life which will take them across the world.
The film’s soundtrack has already been lauded by fans and critics alike. It features acclaimed singer Arjit Singh bringing the lyrics of Amitabh Bhattacharya and Neelesh Misra to life, accompanied with music by Pritam, the songs and visuals have further contributed to the buzz surrounding the film.
Filmed widely in South Africa, Thailand and India, Jagga Jasoos promises to offer the complete Disney package – a curious and surreal story yet offering quirky and magical captivity, a complete sensory experience of breath-taking visuals.
Produced by Siddharth Roy Kapur, Anurag Basu and Ranbir Kapoor, and Directed by Anurag Basu, Jagga Jasoos releases worldwide in cinemas on 14 July 2017.
After releasing a series of Mini Trails as an unconventional introduction to the audience to the film's characters, Harry and Sejal, the makers of Jab Harry met Sejal are continuing to treat its audiences with innovated ways of presenting the film and its songs.
The leading duo will be grooving at nightclubs tonight and are scheduled to visit clubs from South Mumbai to the suburbs of the city. Beech Beech Mein will showcase Shah Rukh and Anushka grooving to the lively tunes of Pritam amidst a club set up.
The Imtiaz Ali directorial is currently garnering tremendous love from the audience across for its timely released content, leaving the audience hooked and in anticipation for the film's release.
Jab Harry met Sejal will showcase Anushka essaying for the first time the role of a Gujarati girl name Sejal Jhaveri, while Shah Rukh plays a Punjabi guy named Harinder Singh Nehra. The film is all set to release in cinemas on 4 August 2017.
Here is the trailer to the song:Read more
The makers of Tubelight released a powerful track Main Agar sung by the rockstar Atif Aslam. Composed by Pritam, this song sure leaves you reeling with strong heart-felt emotions of friendship. Atif Aslam’s deep voice coupled with Pritam’s melodious composition spell magic onscreen leaving you extremely emotional.
The song video finally introduces the audience to Chinese actress Zhu Zhu and Matin Rey Tangu who are making their Bollywood debut with this film. Amitabh Bhattacharya's beautiful words bring forth with the two. The visuals of Salman Khan with Zhu Zhu and Matin go on to show their strong yet beautiful camaraderie.
Tubelight starring Salman Khan is directed by Kabir Khan and produced by Salma Khan and Salman Khan. The film is slated to release worldwide this Eid on 23 June 2017.
Watch the song to Main Agar here:
Salman Khan has released the third track from Tubelight called Tinka Tinka Dil Mera, beautifully sung by Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. Composed by Pritam and with soulful lyrics penned by Kausar Munir, Tinka Tinka Dil Mera invokes love and the sense of loss.
This isn’t the first-time Salman Khan and music legend Rahat Fateh Ali Khan have come together and created magic. They have created several chartbusters including Jag Ghoomeya, Tere Mast Mast Do Nain and Dagabazz Re, songs that audiences have fallen in love with over and over again. Fans are now overjoyed with their reunion in Tubelight.
In fact, when the makers released the audio of the song first, fans went crazy and flooded social media platforms demanding to see the video Tinka Tinka Dil Mera. The makers released the video just an hour later as a special treat.
The song opens with Salman Khan saying goodbye to his brother Sohail Khan, who is leaving to join the army. A grief-stricken Salman is seen pining for his brother in the hope that he will return safe and sound.
The visuals combined with soulful music and the beautiful words will definitely tug at your heartstrings.
Tubelight starring Salman Khan is directed by Kabir Khan and produced by Salma Khan and Salman Khan. The film is slated to release worldwide this Eid on 23 of June 2017.
Watch the song to Tinka Tinka here:
With music being the soul of Suneel Darshan’s Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha, the challenging task for the director of his forthcoming romantic mystery was to create an album justifying the movie theme.
While it took the veteran filmmaker almost five months to finalise the songs of his film, it’s the journey and his association with the music maestro Nadeem (of Nadeem-Shravan fame) that has been a memorable journey.
Suneel Darshan recollects, “When I decided to make EHTEDT and collaborate with Nadeem on the project, I wanted to lock the film’s music and songs before going into the stage of pre-production. After sending him the script and situations, I set up an appointment with Nadeem in Dubai and when I was there, he was ready with his plethora of compositions. He had a variety of songs for each situation. He sang the songs to me and I selected the ones I liked.”
Suneel has previously worked with Nadeem in several musical hits including Ek Rishtaa: The Bond of Love, Haan…Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya, Andaaz, Barsaat, Dosti, Mere Jeevan Sathi and Ek Haseena Thi Ek Dewaana Tha mark their seventh project together.
Hanste Hanste is sung by Palak Muchhal and Yaseer Desai with music and lyrics penned by Nadeem.
Watch the song video to Hanste Hanste here:
German-based music company Caldera Records has acquired the rights to the sound track for THE BLACK PRINCE, the historical drama about the last king of Punjab starring popular Sufi singer/poet Satinder Sartaaj in the title role, and written and directed by Los Angeles-based filmmaker Kavi Raz.
Written by composer George Kallis, the film’s colorful score was recorded live by the Hungarian State Orchestra earlier this year and has since attracted the attention of appreciative film festival audiences around the world. With THE BLACK PRINCE, Kallis, who has composed scores for more than 20 motion pictures in addition to Emmy and BAFTA award-winning television programs, delivers one of his most memorable efforts to date. The Caldera Records CD release, which was produced by Stephan Eicke and John Elborg, also features a detailed booklet of text by Gergely Hubai, with elegant artwork by Luis Miguel Rojas. The film also features five original Punjabi songs acquired by India’s Saga Music, with lyrics written by headliner Sartaaj and music by Prem Hardeep.
The very first English-language film about the poignant life story of the last King of Punjab, Maharajah Duleep Singh—also known as THE BLACK PRINCE—will be released in cinemas on 21 July 2017. Produced by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and filmed widely across the U.K. and India, THE BLACK PRINCE carefully captures the tragic yet fascinating true story and legacy of the revered maharajah, providing a visual narrative of one of India’s noblest kings and his fragile relationship with Queen Victoria, the godmother to his children. The film, which traces a pivotal piece of Sikh history, was also made with additional financing from the U.K., India and Canada.
Satinder Sartaaj marks his acting debut in THE BLACK PRINCE, playing the role of Maharajah Duleep Singh with quiet strength. He is joined by an esteemed cast of acting stalwarts including Jason Flemyng (Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch) as Dr. Login, the foster parent for the Maharajah; English stage, screen actress Amanda Root (The Iron Lady), who boldly portrays the role of Queen Victoria; and veteran actress Shabana Azmi (City of Joy) as Rani Jindan, the exiled King’s mother. The film also features Keith Duffy, David Essex OBE, Canadian actor Rup Magon and Sophie Stevens in supporting roles.
In anticipation of its worldwide release, THE BLACK PRINCE has won several awards, including the award for Best Drama Feature at the L.A. Film Awards; the Special Jury Remi Award at the 50th Annual WorldFest International Film Festival in Houston, and the Best Male Debut Award for Satinder Sartaaj at the London Independent Film Festival. In recognition of the exciting response and interest the film has received from various festivals, THE BLACK PRINCE has garnered interest from a range of new territories including Germany, Singapore, Kenya, and the U.A.E., in addition to the UK, Australia, India, and the United States.
As the last King of Punjab, THE BLACK PRINCE chronicles Maharajah Duleep Singh's lifelong struggle and daring journey of self-discovery in order to reclaim his identity, his faith, and the Kingdom that was rightfully his. This ultimately leads him to meeting his mother, long herself in exile, after 13 years. THE BLACK PRINCE spotlights Queen Victoria’s warm relationship with Maharajah Duleep Singh as he begins adjusting to and ultimately embracing the English culture into which he was drawn at the age of 15. The film also sheds light into his upbringing as an aristocrat in the UK who converts to Christianity under the influence of his foster parents, but later longs to return to his Kingdom, mother and roots. His character, as it evolves is torn between two contrasting cultures – his royal ancestry from the Kingdom of Punjab as its last King, set against his upbringing in the UK as he embarks on a new journey of exile, away from his mother.
THE BLACK PRINCE is also poised to create a wave of intrigue in India and the UK as the story touches upon the historically significant and priceless Koh-I-Noor diamond, which was purportedly gifted by a young 13-year-old Maharajah Duleep Singh to Queen Victoria at a ceremony held in 1850 at Buckingham Palace in London.
The Black Prince releases internationally in cinemas on 21 July 2017.Read more
While music has always been an integral part of all his films, director Suneel Darshan has ensured that the music of Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha too has an enduring value. The veteran filmmaker has released the second song, Hue Bechain from his forthcoming romantic mystery.
The song features Natasha Fernandez, Upen Patel and Shiv Darshan. Hue Bechain is sung by Palak Muchhal and Yaseer Desai with music and lyrics penned by Nadeem (of the Nadeem-Shravan fame).
Watch the song video of Hue Bechain here:
Salman Khan released the second track from the film, Naach Meri Jaan today. The song beautifully captures the loving relationship between the Bisht Brothers - Laxman and Bharat. Watching the bond between the real-life brothers Salman Khan and Sohail Khan will definitely get you to naach (dance) along with them.
Music director Pritam casts his magic again in this highly energetic number shot in Manali. From playing cricket, exercising to doing everything that brothers do, director Kabir Khan has captured the love and affection between the brothers. The actors look absolutely adorable as they dance about in the valley and jump in the air in their knitted sweaters. The cutest scene in the song has got to be when Sohail playfully chides Salman Khan and pulls his zip up playing the role of the perfect brother.
The song has been sung by Kamaal Khan, Nakash Aziz, Dev Negi and Tushar Joshi. The lyrics penned by Amitabh Bhattacharya with music composed by Pritam.
And once you watch it, Naach Meri Jaan encourages you to just go out there and a give a tight hug to your sibling.
Celebrate Bhaihood with Bandhu and Captaan!
Watch the joyous Naach Meri Jaan song video here:
After launching the motion poster and musical teaser of Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha, filmmaker Suneel Darshan has launched the title track of his forthcoming musical thriller starring British Asian actor Upen Patel, Shiv Darshan and introducing new find Natasha Fernandez.
While music has always been the USP of all Darshan’s films like Lootere, Ek Rishtaa: The Bond of Love, Andaaz and Haan Maine Bhi Pyaar Kiya, as well as besides the brilliant narrative and superlative performances by the actors, Darshan has ensured that the music of Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha too has an enduring value. Accordingly the director got on board music maestro Nadeem (of Nadeem-Shravan fame) to compose the music for his film.
The melodious track Tum Kaha The, captures the affable chemistry between actor Shiv and actress Natasha in the song video.
Director Suneel Darshan says, “Nadeem is one composer with the most enviable track record of having entire generations live with his songs and even T-Series recently released a remix video of his classic 'Dheere Dheere Se', which counted record hits on YouTube and reaffirmed my faith in having his compositions for this film.”
Produced and directed by Suneel Darshan, Ek Haseena Thi Ek Deewana Tha is slated to release in cinemas on Friday 30 June 2017.
Watch the title track song video here:Read more