Sunday, August 30, 2009

Alka Yagnik

Indian music industry is blessed with several amazing musical talents. Different eras have given us numerous gems that have made public cry and laugh with them. The old generation still can’t think of any other singers than the likes of Mohammad Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar or Mukesh etc. current generation has its own choices. But one singer who has continued to hold sway with her extremely melodious voice is Alka Yagnik. She is present in the industry for more than two decades and continues to enchant us with her wonderful voice.

Who can forget songs like Saanwariya Saanwariya, Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna, Tumhi Dekho Na, Kuch to Hua Hai, Salaam, Pooch Rahe Hain, Mere Mehboob Mera Sanam, Ek Do Teen, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Hum Tum, Laal Dupatta, Oodhni, Tauba, Kitni Bechain Hoke, Jaana Kyon, Badi Mushkil, Dil Ne Yeh Kaha Dil Se, Mehndi Hai Rachnewali, Chand Chupa and Taal Se etc.

Alka Yagnik belongs to a family of musicians. She showed her talents at an early age and even sang Bhajans for the Calcutta Radio at a tender age of six years. She got her first break in the movie Payal Ki Jhankaar in 1979. But her real moment of truth came with blockbuster song ‘Ek Do Teen’ from the film Tezaab 1988. Since then she never looked back and kept giving one hit after another. She has also sung in several other languages like Marathi, Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, and Punjabi. Alka Yagnik has won several Filmfare Awards, National Film Awards, Zee Cine Awards, Star Screen Awards, International Indian Film Academy and MTV Asia Viewers Choice Award.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Ustad Ali Akbar Khan

Born on April 14, 1922, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan is known as the one of the most accomplished Indian classical musicians. His fame was not restricted to India. He was a famous personality in western music world as well who helped in popularizing Indian classical music in the region. A Sarode wizard, Ustad Ali Akbar Khan had a knack of producing brilliant compositions. Many people termed him the "Indian Johann Sebastian Bach."

Ustad Ali Akbar Khan was bron in East Bengal, the modern day Bangladesh. He belonged to a family of great musicians. His father was a legend in North Indian music he learnt basics of music from his father and uncle. Usatd learned several instruments but finally decided to focus on sarode and vocal. At the age of thirteen, he gave his first public performance. Ustad also worked as a court musician to the Maharaja of Jodhpur. Ustad has several performances to his credit in USA and UK. He also started Ali Akbar College of Music In Marin County, California.

Not many people know but Ustad Ali Akbar Khan also produced music in several films like Aandhiyan, Devi, House Holder, Little Buddha and Khudita Pashan. These movies were acclaimed on international level and made by legends like Satyajit Ray and Bernardo Bertolucci. Ustad Ali Akbar Khan also won Asian Paints Shiromani Award. After a prolonged illness, Ustad finally left us on June 19, 2009, in San Francisco (USA). He is survived by his wife Mary and eleven children.