He lends his voice for all occasions

Hitesh Mehta

Hitesh Mehta  

HITESH MEHTA is probably no stranger to Bangaloreans. He sings Hindi, Kannada, Tamil, and Telugu songs, ghazals, performs for dandiya raas, charity shows, weddings, product launches, theme-based parties... well almost everything that has anything to do with music.

But what most people do not know about Hitesh or his team is that they also have an enviable collection of photographs that capture the golden voices of Hindi filmdom — Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Shailendra, Vasant Desai, and Shakeel Badayuni.

These were people associated with an era of Hindi film music that bears absolutely no relation to the remixed "songs" that bombard our television screens now.

Hitesh reckons that his team has quite a priceless audiovisual collection of the great masters. The material is used as a backdrop for his show Lo Aagayi Unki Yaad.

``If I am singing a Mohammed Rafi song (he is my favourite), there will be rare photographs of the man rehearsing with R.D. Burman, Kishore Kumar, or Lata Mangeshkar, his cinematic profile, and other details,'' he says.

Interestingly, a fifth semester engineering student from Rajarajeshwarinagar helped Hitesh and his team with the audiovisual show. Manoj, the young man in question, does not perform with the singer, but is responsible for all the PowerPoint presentations.

Hitesh's team celebrated its 10th anniversary this April. He finds that tastes have changed. "I find myself singing, while belly dancers dance in the background and models display various products elsewhere.'' Audiences here demand hip and happening numbers, he says. "At cocktail parties, no one is in the mood for old songs,'' is how he puts it.

But when he goes for Navarathri programmes every year to Africa, Singapore, and Hong Kong, "...people want old songs, they do not even mind if it is 5 a.m.'' He takes both attitudes in his stride. "After all, people who live abroad do not get to hear their old favourites often, while those here do,'' he points out.

And moreover, though he can sing in any playback singer's voice, he has a personal style too and albums and songs to his credit.

Hitesh and his team of 11 co-artists are leaving for Africa this Tuesday and will be back after a month or so.

For details, dial 332 1365/98450 24772.

By Divya Sreedharan

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