Legendary composer, Bappi Lahiri took his last breath on February 15, at the age of 69 due to a lung condition called Obstructive Sleep Apnea. For composer Nikhil Kamath, who is known for his tunes in films like ‘Tum Bin’ (2001) and ‘Hum Tumhare Hain Sanam’ (2002), it has been a personal loss. Apart from recording Bappi Lahiri’s songs, Nikhil had spent many memorable moments with him.
Reminiscing about the time he worked with the late composer-singer, Nikhil says, “I had composed a folk-based songs called “Chatni Chatni” for the film ‘Dunno Y2 Life Is A Moment’ (2015). When producer and lead actor Kapil Kaustubh Sharma heard the track, he told me Bappi Da would be the best person to sing it. I reached out to Bappi Da and he immediately agreed to sing the song. He was in America at that time and he recorded his vocals from there and sent it to me. His rendition was pitch-perfect! We used the portions sung by him in another single called “Kulfi Kulfi” which was co-sung by Rekha Rao.”
Like any other composer of his generation, Nikhil was hugely inspired by Bappi Lahiri. He started studying the late composer’s music when he was in college and distinctively remembers buying an EP of the film ‘Chalte Chalte’ (1976), which had the iconic Kishore Kumar sung track “Chalte Chalte Mere Yeh Geet” composed by Lahiri.
“Bappi da was one of the most kind-hearted human beings I had come across. One of my favourite songs by him is “Pyaar Maanga Hai Tumhi Se”. He was one of the most versatile composers. Though the media often described him as the ‘Disco King’, he had delivered great songs in every possible genre. “Saiyaan Bina Ghar Soona”, sung by Lata Mangeshkar Ji and Bhupinder Singh Ji, was a semi-classical number and one of his finest compositions.”
According to Nikhil, Bappi Lahiri had left behind a rich legacy of songs that will continue to inspire many generations for decades to come.