Babul's gatecrash!

BABUL SUPRIYO, the popular Hindi film singer, made a humble beginning by rendering cover versions of popular Kishore Kumar songs for T-Series. He was noticed by the music director duo, Kalyanji-Anandji, and got a few chances to perform abroad in live shows.

For a time Babul remained a one-off singer. He got his break with "Aati Hai To Chal" from Saat Rang Ke Sapne, and later with "Hata Saawan Ki Ghata" from Hello Brother and "Dil Ne Dil Ko" from Kaho Naa Pyaar Hai. Today, Babul is known as the Kumar Sanu clone, and very rightly so.

Born in Kolkata, his real name is Supriyo Baral. His musical roots can be traced back to his grandfather, Manikant Baral, who was a famous Bengali vocalist and composer — and further to Rai Chand Boral, who is considered one of the most acclaimed composers, the Bengali music scene has ever produced.

Sochta Hun.... is the title of his debut solo album (Universal Music, Rs.50). It is, in short, one of those orthodox Indi-pop albums — no jazzy gimmicks, no Hinglish vocals — just good music — mostly slow, but occasionally fast. Music is by a relatively new duo of Sami-Maroof, and lyrics by Faaiz Anwar. The title track is the pick of the album, with its hummable tune. "Pyar Mein Dil Tod Ke" is one of those sad, judaai numbers, but features a very impressive melody. "Kyu Chahe Yeh Dil" falls along the same lines, while "Meri Jaan" and "Kahin Kangna Khanke Hai" (music by Salif) are energetic numbers. "Kahin Kangna" is the final track — an infectious song with rock guitar accomplishments thrown in.

Maybe he is regarded as the Kumar sanu-clone, but he does have a distinctive, unique touch in his vocals — typically an Indi-Pop ishtyle sound. Where have you been, all these years, dude?