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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara turns 10: How Hrithik Roshan, ‘nervous’ Abhay Deol were made to sing Senorita

As Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, starring Abhay Deol, Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif and Kalki Koechlin, completes 10 years, here's remembering what made it so iconic.

By: Entertainment Desk | New Delhi |
July 15, 2021 8:09:17 am
Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Hrithik RoshanAbhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Hrithik Roshan in Senorita. (Photo:YouTube)

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, starring Abhay Deol, Hrithik Roshan, Farhan Akhtar, Naseeruddin Shah, Katrina Kaif and Kalki Koechlin, remains etched in our memories as an ode to friendship, and the exotic Spanish locales. As the film completes 10 years, here’s remembering why it was so iconic.

The film revolved around the adventures, realisation or rather epiphanies that take place during Kabir’s (Abhay) bachelorette. The film received glowing praise for the charismatic leads and the Spanglish soundtrack. One of the most popular songs in the ZNMD album was Senorita. Apart from its catchy tunes and Spanish flavour, it was also sung by Farhan, Abhay and Hrithik. While Farhan had already established himself as a singer with Rock On! It came as quite a surprise to hear Hrithik and Abhay sing.

Three completely different voices, Spanish tunes and a Flamingo dance, seem to be the ingredients for the perfect dance number. There was a lot of excitement that went on behind the scenes. In an old BTS video, the production designers recalled how every garment for the song was made in Mumbai itself, before being shipped to Spain. It took the team 45 days to decorate the sets with flowers, lights and other decorations.

Speaking about the song, director Zoya Akhtar said, “There’s only one lip-sync song in the film. I felt it would be fun to have it in their voices. I wanted it to be a bit local too.”

Abhay Deol, however was rather nervous about singing. Speaking about this, composer Shankar Mahadevan remembered, “He has a very peculiar voice that just sticks out. That’s what adds to the character of the song. He came in and he was very nervous and was like ‘I’ve never sung before’. So I said, ‘Let’s do a rough take for our reference’. So he came in and did the rough take, which was actually the final take, I didn’t tell him that.” In the video, Abhay can be seen laughing after recording and said, “No, I hate it, my voice breaks!” Shankar can be heard telling him, “You’re just getting freaked.”

Remembering this, Abhay later said, “They said you’re not that bad, we can tweak it and make you sound wonderful. So I said okay.”

It was similar to what happened with Hrithik as well. They told Hrithik to come to the studio, and said, “Aa jao bas, gaane ko sun lo.” Recalling this memory, Hrithik said, “Toh main gaya (I went). Mere haath mein mike de diya. (They gave me a mike). They said ‘Ab gaa ke dekh (Now you sing). I was like ‘Arre, I just came to hear the song’. So I sang. Unko accha lag gaya, toh chaap diya. (They liked it so they went with it).”

Shankar Mahadevan cut in, “Hrithik is a fabulous singer.” To which Hrithik quipped, “Arre but I have not trained, not done rehearsals, aisa thodi hota hai (It doesn’t work like that!).” He said that they gave him a mic, and a room and it was done in five minutes.

There were several challenges that the team faced during the filming of the song, such as learning the Flamingo form of dancing, and dealing with rain. Yet, they managed to overcome each hurdle and created this iconic song.

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