Only Bappi Lahiri could deliver a disco song: singer Vijay Benedict
Veteran singer Vijay Benedict, the voice behind Bappi Lahiri's classic song "I'm a Disco Dancer", says the singer-composer played an instrumental role in getting him his first break in Hindi cinema.
Remembering Lahiri, who passed away at a city hospital here at the age of 69 on Tuesday night, Benedict said the late musician was the "king of disco".
"He was a pioneer in disco and that's why he was called the disco king... He did it very well. He was the only one who could deliver a disco song. Every song was a hit, his other songs were also well-received," Benedict told PTI.
The 70-year-old singer, who made his singing debut with Disco Dancer song, said Lahiri was the one to introduce him to films.
The two first met in London during a concert, where the music composer asked Benedict to come to Mumbai to try his luck in singing.
"After coming here, I met him and he made me meet B Subhash (director). In those days, it was difficult for newcomers (to get) in the industry as there were great singers around. But he encouraged me. Subhash had all the big singers with him for Disco Dancer' but he gave me an opportunity to sing the title track."
The song, which was picturised on Mithun Chakraborty, was already created before Benedict went to record it at HMV Studios at Cuffe Parade in South Mumbai, where there were 80 to 100 different kinds of musicians, chorus singers.
"Mithun da told me to sing the song with gusto, it is a powerful song. I remember I was overwhelmed. I got a little scared looking at so many people. I had to do my best and we kept recording from morning to evening and we finished it in the night, Benedict said.
The success of the song, led to more collaborations between Lahiri, Benedict and Subhash as they worked on about 10 to 12 films such as Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki , Aandhi-Toofan , Maa Kasam and Commando .
"The maximum I worked with anyone is Bappi da. He told me he got 20 films because of 'Disco Dancer' and even I got work. We did many shows together across India. We had a personal relationship. I could go to his home anytime, talk to him or his parents, about films, he said.
Besides Lahiri, Benedict lent his voice for music compositions by Anu Malik, Nadeem Shravan, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, among others.