What brings you to Calcutta this time?
I’ve got so many works… I am touring all over the world. I just came from Vietnam, Bangkok…. Then, I record for Sa Re Ga Ma… the Bengali one. Then after the shooting, Soumitra Kundu (music director of …Ebong Bhalobashar Golpo) approach me. I never sing in Calcutta but I liked the tune. It’s like Bappi style… I felt very much nostalgica. Just like Bappi-Mithun style… all disco. I gave disco word to India with the Mithun Chakraborty. He also became Mithun because of Disco Dancer… sorry, not Disco Dancer but Suraksha… (hums Mausam hai gaane ka).
What I have given 30 years back still going on now. Rowdy Rathore songs like Bappi. Even Yash Chopra film Jab Tak Hai Jaan guitar pattern like Bappi. Every song in Bollywood, I am there. But I feel happy… I don’t mind for that.
You composed for Bikram Singha and have now sung for … Ebong Bhalobashar Golpo. Will we see more of you in Tollywood?
Bengali, very rare. Bikram Singha… chartbuster. Loafer is coming and then this one... dot dot dot Ebong Bhalobashar Golpo, wah, kya naam hai! (Laughs out loud)
Your album Walking on Love Street has been long-listed for the Grammys…
Dekho, abhi toh mera cross-finger tension hai. NBC TV… American channel, you know, will show shortlist list of candidate. Who is the lucky best of top 5? One of my beautiful album Walking on Love Street with Jeff Lorber… big jazz musician. I composed, I sang, I played tabla… so many things. In pop, America is number one but they still like Bappi album. Abhi dekho, in America FM station it is number one. To compete with America is big for Bappi… huge thing. But my gaana on top. Let’s try. I will go for award if I get nominate.
How hopeful are you of a shortlist?
Mera aisa lag raha mil jaayega. Itna negative nahin hoon... achha feeling aa raha hai. I already got one award… Big Apple Music Award. But in Grammy, without lobby is very difficult. Because of Danny Boyle, A.R. Rahman has got Grammy and….
What are the international projects you are working on?
Very big, very big. I have done song with Snoop Dogg. It will be next number one… can win Grammy also. It’s called Rupaiya… I have sang in Hindi and Snoop has done rap. Then Britney Spears cousin she sang for me… song called Jhoom. You know like Jhoom jhoom jhoom baba (Kasam Paida Karnewale Ki). Very beautiful.
How do these frequent international collaborations happen?
I am very much now in Hollywood. My song Jimmy Jimmy already there (in You Don’t Mess With The Zohan). Adam Sandlia (Sandler) is hero there. One singer from Sri Lanka MIA also I am working. So everybody knows Bappi Lahiri… famous my face and gold jewellery global (laughs out loud). Russian go mad when they listen Goro ki na kaalo ki, duniya hai dilwalon ki. In international, Bappi is India and India is Bappi. I collaborate with Gerald Albright… great saxophone player.
Indians are mad for my Ooh la la (from The Dirty Picture) all over the world. Total America coast to coast love my songs. Ekhon toh Asiander kachhe ektai gaan… Ooh la la.
You also made your acting debut with Dard-e-Disco recently…
Very nice… excellent movie. Same role in film also… as Bappi Disco King. Rituparna (Sengupta)... amader Calcutta-r meye is in the film. Very clean film… nice comedy, like Kishore Kumar film. I dedicate my performance to Kishore Kumar. Then is coming Himmatwala with Ajay Devgn… shei gaan, you remember? (Starts singing) Taaki taaki. I also gave my Nainon mein sapna to the film. I also sing fresh song in the film.
You completed 40 years in Bollywood this year....
Oh my god! Chaalis saal kaisa beet gaya. Nanha Shikari first film… 1973. So much seva of Bollywood done by Bappi.
You also turned 60 on November 27. How did you celebrate?
Iss saal no big bash because hamara respected Bal Thackerayji went. Bombay mein kuch celebrate nahin kiya. But in January, I will do party in big way… my wife Mrs Chitrani Lahiri is planning.
Did you add to your gold collection on your birthday?
Oh, no no…. all old. No new gold. Old is gold! (Laughs)
Your son Bappa got married this year. Do you give him any relationship advice?
I married 24 years. He married 29 years. So he older when he get married (laughs). Shaadi toh karna hi hai. Very good daughter-in-law Tanisha. Very nice son-in-law also, Govind Bansal married to daughter Rema Lahiri. I got good family, touchwood.
One hears that you like Gangnam Style…
Oh, yes. Very nice… very popular. Dance step catchy. The artiste (PSY) look lot like me… only thin than me!