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Gaga meets the dholak

Music composers Salim-Sulaiman have added tabla and dhol beats in the pop icon’s latest single Born this way.

Written by Pooja Pillai |
April 29, 2011 12:47:17 pm

When two cultural juggernauts collide,sometimes they make music. That’s what happened when the global phenomenon that is Lady Gaga,decided to inject some Bollywood panache in her hit single Born this way,from her latest album of the same name. The task for doing this went to music director duo Salim and Sulaiman Merchant. “We have great connections with desihits.com,the website that Gaga teamed up with for this venture,and they contacted us with the offer. We were eager to do it because an opportunity like this doesn’t come along often,” explains Salim,“Indian musicians have collaborated with international artistes before,but that was mostly in the realm of classical or fusion music. In pop music,such collaborations rarely happen.” The move was apparently initiated by Gaga because she wants to make more of an impact in South Asia.

By adding a sitar riff and tabla and dhol beats,the duo has Indianised the sound of the track. Salim has also added a vocal melody to it. “It comes straight from the heart,” he says. Not much planning went into the remix,Salim explains,it came together spontaneously. The final result is something with which not just Gaga but listeners from across the world are happy. The singer has already tweeted her approval to her ‘little Indian monsters’. “We’ve got emails and text messages and tweets telling us how much people love the song. In fact,we’re already in talks to remix another song of Gaga,” Salim informs,jubilantly. What would really be news,however,is the music directors being equal partners with Gaga in composing a song. After all,a remix is only a remix.

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