Tuesday, February 3, 2009

BAPPI DA'S SLUM STARS


"I think in every child there is the hidden real star," says music director Bappi Lahiri, who is coming out with an album SLUM STARS with children from the Dharavi Slums. In association with DJ Paul Devro who will be remixing the tracks, the album will be receiving a world release with the international label Mad Decent in Los Angeles. This album has been possible, thanks to the effort of dharavi.org, an organization striving for the betterment of the residents of Dharavi.

Bappi Lahiri, who has already recorded two songs, Slum Stars and We Are one, feels that after being the judge on Little Champs, this is one way to take that movement forward. "Look at the kids and their energy! They are shining stars waiting to be discovered. And I feel that they should be given the platform. I am able to do that only for a few kids. But I wanted to make a beginning. We have stars in India and they should be showcased on a global platform. I want to take the attention away from the tattered clothes and hutments, draw attention to the talent waiting to be discovered."

The kids, who seemed nervous on their first visit to a recording studio, were soon at ease with Bappi Da who is now in the process of recording five more songs for the album. Besides the little ones, the Sout Dandy Squad, a set of rappers who have taken shape in Dharavi presented their music to Bappi Da and the kids and the audiences. The entire Dharavi Main road seemed to resonate to the music as the kids sang Bombay Se Aaya Mera Dost for Bappi Da with grace and energy.

Mathias Echnowe, one of the forces behind Dharavi.org was very vocal about his feelings on how films leave mark in the minds of people. "Slumdog Millionaire has left a lot of hurt in the minds of the people here. More than the word dog, the word slum hurts them. It is a tag that you give a person putting it above all this talent when you term him a slumdweller. And it is just not right. This movement with Bappi da and Paul Devro will make a difference globally. We want people to see the talent in these youngsters. This is just one step in that direction."