Wednesday January 17, 2018

Mikey McCleary: Kiwi musician recreating Indian rhythms

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New Delhi: Mikey McCleary comes from New Zealand, but his passion for music transcends boundaries. He has recreated some evergreen Bollywood tracks and infused youthfulness in them.

He says that the Indian rhythms tug at his heartstrings and have now become a part of him.

Now settled in Mumbai, McCleary has brought to the table “Khoya khoya chand”, “Hawa hawai”, “Dhak Dhak” or the recent “Fifi- Jata kahan hai deewane”, making him quite a master at serving old wine in a new bottle.

“Old recordings are beautiful and I love them. But a lot of people, especially the young generation, terms old recordings as old and passes them off as something not from their generation. So redoing the old melodies is a way to make people listen to them. It is a way to appreciate how wonderful old composers were,” McCleary told IANS.

It was a brief rendezvous with India during his professional trips that urged him to settle down in Mumbai, which, to many creative minds, is the City of Dreams in India.

“Gradually I became a part of India and Indian music became a part of me,” he said.

McCleary landed in India with a bag full of several musical influences. Born in Chennai, McCleary did a course at Wellington Conservatorium of Music and Victoria University of Wellington. He then moved to London to work as a music producer at the Trident Studios.

It was a ‘lucky’ coincidence of stumbling upon singer Lucky Ali in London, and that opened doors for McCleary, who was engrossed in Western music, to try his skills in Hindi music. The collaboration gave hits like “Sunoh” and “O Sanam”.

“He (Lucky) came to London to record for some music director, but that didn’t work out. So he introduced himself to me. As his recordings could not happen, I told him to come back and make music with me. We did two songs and then we also did some albums.

“After that I started coming to India for concerts. It is because of Lucky that I got to know more about Indian music and started working with other music directors like A.R. Rahman,” he said.

He is the man behind catchy advertisement jingles for brands like Vodafone, Titan, Lakme and Levi’s.

Bollywood also got a taste of McCleary’s music as he started his voyage in the tinsel town by composing the background score for Dibakar Banerjee’s “Shanghai”, continuing his journey with films like “Shaitan” and “Kahaani”. He also doled out two promotional songs for Anurag Kashyap’s “Bombay Velvet” — “Fifi” and “Mohabbat buri bimari”.

The music producer asserts that he likes to incorporate live instruments to the old melodies to give them a new lease of life.

“I feel that the beauty of old songs is enhanced by live instruments. I try to keep it as live as possible. I feel it is important to try to enhance the beauty of the original songs,” he said.

He may be making music for Bollywood, but McCleary points out that he doesn’t take influence from any Hindi films. Instead, he soaks in vibes from the environment.

“I don’t like to stick with one style. I don’t think my music is influenced by Bollywood. I get influenced by music all around me,” he said.

What about folk music?

“It is very important in Bollywood to have some kind of connection to folk music. I have done some sort of traditional and folk influenced songs like ‘Gannu rocks’, which is a mixture of folk and rock music.

“I want to learn more about Indian folk music to capture the essence of it. It is nice to understand it and give the flavour into your composition,” added McCleary, who won the Best Composer Award at the 9th Asian Film Award ceremony for “Margarita With A Straw”. (IANS)

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Top 10 movies of Shruti Haasan you must watch

Shruti Haasan has been a recipient of great pressure due to her father, Kamal Haasan, who is the mega star of South Indian Film Industry.

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Shruti Haasan is a multi talented beauty who is skilled in acting, dancing and singing, Wikimedia Commons.
Shruti Haasan is a multi talented beauty who is skilled in acting, dancing and singing, Wikimedia Commons.
  • Shruti Haasan is a multi-talented entertainer who has been winning audience’s heart since her debut in the film industry.
  • She works in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu language films mainly.
  • She has won many awards and accolades for her performances in various movies.

Shruti Haasan is a well-known name in both the Bollywood and the South Indian film Industry. She is not only beautiful but also multi-talented. She is an actor, dancer and singer, and has proved her mettle in all the three fields of entertainment.

Shruti Haasan has been a recipient of great pressure due to her father, Kamal Haasan, who is the megastar of South Indian Film Industry. However, despite that, she has established herself as one of the most talented actresses in India. Her talent and beauty are unmatched.

Here is the list of 10 of her movies you must watch:

Gabbar is Back 

This movie starred Akshay Kumar and Shruti Haasan and revolves around the issue of corruption. Despite Akshay Kumar’s dominating presence in the film, Shruti Haasan managed to steal the spotlight. She played the role of a strong-willed woman who is strictly against crime. Her character is not very major but she still managed to make it shine throughout the film.

Luck

Luck was Shruti Haasan’s Bollywood debut. And she made a lasting impact by delivering an amazing performance. She proved herself a competent and talented actress. She also displayed her singing skills in the movie as she sang the title track of the movie.

D-Day

Through this movie, Shruti established herself as a bold and versatile actress. She played a prostitute in this spy-thriller film and won hearts of the audience with her exquisite performance. This one can easily be counted as a milestone in her career. Despite this movie being a multi-starer, Shruti gained the spotlight with her outstanding performance.

7th Sense

7th Sense or ‘7aum Arivu’ is Shruti Hasan’s Tamil debut. It is a science fiction movie, which also featured Suriya, and was directed by A R Murugadoss. This one can easily be called the biggest hit of her career. It is a fascinating movie filled with science and history. Shruti Haasan through this movie made an effective entry in the Tamil cinema.

Gabbar Singh

A remake of  Salman Khan’s ‘Dabangg’, this movie also stars superstar Pawan Kalyan. In ‘Gabbar Singh,’ Shruti portrayed a village girl who falls in love with the hero. The role was rather a cliche but Shruti made it stand out by her excellent acting, screen presence and confidence. This hit film paved way for more success in Tollywood for her.

Race Gurram

This comedy movie saw Shruti Haasan play the role of a woman who doesn’t show her emotions easily. When she falls in love, she goes through a transformation. Shruti portrayed this transformation beautifully. This can easily be counted as one of her best performances. She also won the Filmfare award for best actress for this film.

Srimanthudu 

‘Srimanthudu’ is an excellent movie. Although this film is mostly focused on Mahesh Babu’s character, Shruti Haasan made her mark by portraying her character excellently. As the film goes on, her character gains importance and Shruti definitely did justice to it.

Anaganaga O Dheerudu

‘Anaganaga O Dheerudu’ was Shruti Haasan’s debut in the Telugu film industry. It was one of her most impressive performances, she took a difficult role and aced it with perfection. She won the Best female debut Filmfare award (Telugu) for this film.

3

Who can forget the infamous ‘Kolaveri Di’ song? It was from the movie, ‘3’ which is a romantic-psychological thriller. Shruti Haasan stars along with Dhanush as his wife in the movie. Her acting is outstanding and her expressions are on fleek in every scene. Her chemistry with Dhanush is also one of the main USPs of the film.

Ramaiya Vastavaiya 

In this Bollywood movie, Shruti Haasan played a simple, village girl who sees good in everything and everyone. This film was a sweet love story. It has sweet dialogues and the cute scene which makes it worth a watch.