|Apache Indian (right) with Bappi Lahiri
At a time (early 90s) when being an Indian meant being absolutely uncool, there was this man who actually named himself after his nationality. And that, too, in a profession where the stamp of being LS would make sure he was out of work! Yes, we are talking about the very hip Apache Indian who actually proved to the entire world that being an Indian is nothing to be ashamed of. For the uninitiated, Apache aka Steve Kapoor, who shot to fame with his first smash hit song, Boom shakalaka, is the first British Asian artiste to break into the UK charts successfully with over ĎTop 40í hits. And after almost a decade, the same Indian is back to his calling (India). And this time around, he is not only singing but also playing the title role in the forthcoming Hindi feature film, Blackmailer. We caught up with him at the recording of the filmís music where he was singing to the tune of Bappi Lahiri, matching voice with co-singer Alisha Chinai.
Q: What is that one thing which brings you back to India and Bollywood'
In one word ' roots. I am an Indian first and my roots are in India, which brings me back here. I have always been attracted to Bollywood music. It has a huge market abroad and I want to be a part of it.
Q: So, finally your dream of singing for a Bollywood film has come true! How is it singing for a Hindi film for the first time'
Actually, this is the third time I am singing for a Hindi film. To start with, it was A.R. Rahman who had made me sing. I donít remember the name of the film but it starred Prabhudeva. The second was Bappi Lahiriís home production titled Deewana Hu Main Tera directed by Inayat Sheikh. It starred Siddharth Dhawan in the lead role. Boy George also sang a song in it and acted in it, too. Then there was this film called Cabaret in which I had Alisha [Chinai] giving me company.
Q: You are playing the lead role in Blackmailer. What is it that made Apache Indian leave the mike and turn to grease and paint'
Well, actually it was Bappi [Lahiri] daís idea. He wanted me to perform both as a singer as well as an actor. I always believed in Bappidaís potential, his exhilarating exuberance and brimming energy that fascinates music lovers worldwide. Hence, I couldnít resist.
Q: What are your expectations from this second coming to the Indian film industry'
This effort has the ability to rejuvenate my career in my motherland and I opted to work in this project as I wished to bless them with my experiences. Today, being in Bollywood is like a dream come true. This happened without planning. I am happy about this opportunity of association with Bappida who is always known for introducing people to something new. He believes in giving a chance to newcomers by showcasing their lurking potentials and bringing them into the limelight.
Q: But, then, there are so many newcomers trying their luck in the field of acting. Which is that one factor which will separate you from rest of the crowd'
Hmmm. Thatís an interesting question. The key thing that separates me from the rest is the combination of my physical persona and unique singing style. As an actor, I wish, at least once, if not again and again, audiences would like to watch me both sing and perform.
Q: Tell us something about the song that is being recorded today'
Todayís song, Ho ho blackmailer, has such lively music, it will be liked by all and sundry. This song is being recorded in three voices ' mine, Alishaís and a new singer Aushimís. It has all the good ingredients ' itís peppy, sexy, foot-tapping and it brings thrill. The innovative music of Bappida has always been chartbusting and an effort from my end will be miraculous and thatís what we all are hoping for.
Q: What do you think of the current scenario of Indian music on the Western arena'
There was a period when Indian melodies couldnít find a place in the world of Western music, but today the West is craving for Indian culture and the rich heritage of our music that every Indian region has. Therefore, I want to promote this culture and its heritage worldwide. And my second innings is going to be dedicated to my motherland, India.
Q: That means your next album is on its way'
Yes, I am coming out with my next music album soon and it will be called Belly Dancing. It is based on the youth culture of the UK ' on drugs and racism, etc.
Q: What do you think is the impact of Indian music on the young Asians living abroad'
They love it. I think it has better market compared to India. Asians living abroad just love to listen and dance to Indian beats. In fact, they identify with it totally.
Q: What about your own son! We heard he has already cut his own album by the name of The Story Teller!
Yeah! My son Kayew has already ventured into the world of music as a singer. His album was released recently. It has sort of made a mark in history as it has testified that children do better than their parents. I have educated my son to channelise his potential in the right direction which would be beneficial for his future. Now itís entirely his responsibility. After all, he is 21 now.
Q: What are you saying! You have a son who is actually 21! Tell us the secret of your youth. How do you manage to look so youthful after all these years'
(Laughs) I am a follower of sports. I keep myself fit by playing soccer. Itís an enchanting game. I eat sufficient and on time. I travel all over the world for my work, meet people and thatís what keeps me going.