Filmmaker Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s Mirzya is a full-blown musical with composers Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy pulling out all stops to make the legendary love tale of Mirza and Sahibaan as epic in proportion as possible.
The title song alone involved the blended talents of Sufi singers from India, Pakistan, and Balochistan.
While Daler Mehndi and the upcoming young Sufi singers The Nooran Sisters — Jyoti and Sultan from Jalandhar — comprise the Indian contingent of singers for the title track, from Pakistan, came the legendary Sufi singer Sain Zahoor who sings predominantly at religious shrines.
The internationally celebrated Balochi folk singer Akhtar Chanal Zahri also flew in to pitch in for the title song giving a kind of epic heft to Gulzar’s lyrics.
“Sain Zahoor is an interesting character. His look itself is so amazing. He is so innocent and truly immersed in his own music and world. Until 2006, he never put his voice into a recording studio. The unique thing is when you teach him the lyrics of the song, he draws pictures instead of writing syllables… Amazing! And that’s how he remembers the words… Truly a delight to work with,” Mahadevan said.
He is equally amazed by the Baloch singer Akhtar Chanal Zahri.
“Akhtar bhai also is so much fun to work with and had an amazing voice texture… We had to compose the pieces around these two exquisite singers’ voices so that their presence doesn’t look forced into the song,” he said.
Approximately 300 hours of music has been recorded by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy for Mirzya. Out of this, a large chunk has been used in the film.