”˜Aapke Pyaar Mein’ with Lalitha Chellappan

By Neena Badhwar

We speak to Lalitha Chellappan, a songstress, beautiful Sydney girl, who is ready to go an extra mile for her love of Bollywood. I remember listening to her at Natraj Academy’s musical evening where she sang ”˜Hawa Hawai’. She fully worked on the execution of it with fellow actors for memorable stage antics and the song was a hit that night. Her voice has this beautiful tonal silky quality to it. Well this time she has moved from stage to a video shoot having chosen a song ”˜Aapke Pyaar Mein’, a popular number that was on every young girl and boy’s lips when it came out. Lalitha not only has sung it but has gone ahead to shoot a video clip with her in it. She can be seen in the video with amazing scenery of the Blue Mountains as its backdrop. The video is playing currently on Youtube, it is as if Bollywood has revisited us through her during Covid when everything from overseas is at a standstill. It depicts how we live in a dreamworld of our own created and inspired by our films. Do read our interaction with Lalitha to find out how her idea of the song materialised into a concept with beautiful local feel to it filmed on our own girl:

You chose this song filmed on Dino Morea and Malini Sharma the so called evil spirit in the plot of the movie ”˜Raaz’ with Bipasha Bashu in it, what made you choose this particular song for the video that you have shot on yourself?

Ha before you brand me as the Bhootni in Blue at the Blue Mountains, please allow me to clarify that the song choice had nothing to do with the movie it’s from, who it was filmed on, nor any evil spirits. I am drawn to the metaphysical though, so I have left some scope for ambiguity in the video; when it ends one is left wondering if I still exist. But that element aside, I like singing romantic songs in general and it just happened to be this one. It actually came as a flash in my mind and I said to myself that this was it. The Aapke Pyar Mein Hum Sanwarne Lage song, originally sung by Alka Yagnik, is a very sweet number and my cover version of it blended perfectly well with the locales it was shot at.

The original song in the film was shot in Ooty Hills of India, what was your reason to chose locations here in the Blue Mountains..?

This is news to me, I hadn’t looked this up, though I have seen the film a few times in the past. When I chose this song, this was the location that came to mind as I have always been drawn to mountains, valleys and heights. I love the Blue Mountains area, it fascinates me. Being there is a spiritual experience of sorts as you realise you are a mere drop in the large ocean called the Universe.

Q. The song is quite romantic, did you imagine that the evil spirit and the location would suit the track”¦and thus your fantasy, if you had one, to reshoot the song with you in it, in place of Malini?

You have a very imaginative mind! It did occur to me that given the mysterious and haunted feel the original song and its picturization conveys, the locations I choose were sure to lend themselves very well to the feel of the song. I must confess though that I wasn’t trying to be Malini, who was amazing in her character. The role she played is just not for me; I wasn’t trying to be Alka Yagnik who is one of my idols either, I was just being myself.

Q. So now since the video shoot is done and the final post-production work having been completed, how was the experience? Has it turned out the way you imagined it? Has the film maker been able to justify your thought process, based on your explanations of how it should be executed”¦

Yes absolutely. Pankaj Upadhayay from Euphony Films as the DOP was a pleasure to work with. He worked with me through and through to ensure the film turns out exactly how I visualised it. Even though I had chalked out every little detail and had shared the entire concept with him, he captured my ideas accordingly and the end result reflected my vision to a tee.

What feels great is how this has turned out to be quite an international project. The song was recorded at Studios 301, a Sydney based state-of-the-art studio, which is often deemed to be the best in the Southern Hemisphere. The engineer who recorded me is Simon Cohen, who has recorded likes of Justin Bieber (Love Yourself). I was nervous at start wondering how this would turn out but he was so down to earth, friendly and witty that I was at ease in no time and we were cracking jokes. This was the first time he was recording a Hindi song, indeed music knows no barrier. It was a very enriching experience for me.

The track for the song was created by Karachi based Suleman Raheemani of SR Media Group, while the audio was mixed and mastered by Goutam Basu of Studio Vibrations in Kolkata. The rest of the crew, including yours truly are all Sydney based. What an amalgamation.

Lalitha with Simon Cohen

Q. What kind of hurdles did you come across while shooting the video?

On the day of the shoot we had rains off and on through the day, and it was definitely not the best weather to shoot in. Thankfully we had some shots from the previous night that worked out very well as we had a lot of footage to choose from. On the D-day, we did everything we could to get the shots I had envisaged. And then there were some that we couldn’t. For instance, I was told I had to climb a few rocks to get to a spot I wanted to shoot in. How does one do so without being aware in advance nor prepared! So I ended up wearing thongs over a formal gown and had people push me up the rocks, literally, with a rope to hold on to. If rain hadn’t necessitated coming down, this would have been quite a feat but what an experience that was, quite funny actually.

The crew, my co-star Munish, Matt who was the drone pilot and my two friends Dharsha and Tasneem were absolutely amazing and had a solution for everything, so we made it happen, together!

Film Crew

Q. Did you modify the track or is it still the original version of it?

I did not use the original music, as I was looking for a fresh touch to the song that I could sing in my own style. I felt that a new track would give this song a new feel. So I requested Pakistan based artist Suleman Raheemani of SR Media Group to make a track for me. I absolutely loved what he created. If you hear the track by itself, it is mind blowing. You would have no idea which song it’s meant for till you start singing and then it all falls in place. This is the first time I have sung to a track specially created for me and I’ll cherish the experience.

Q. Tell us about yourself and why you took so much trouble? Was it Covid, or long working hours in isolation or any other reason, Lalitha?

They say if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. I wouldn’t call this trouble. Music is a passion for me. One of my favourite quotes is one by JFK: “the greater your knowledge increases the more your ignorance unfolds”. This is so apt. There is so much to learn, I could spend my entire life learning and getting better, and I am committed to doing so. Art needs to be respected though, so I wouldn’t make a mockery of it. At the same time, I feel that following one’s passion is not quite complete till one gets to share the joys, learnings and experiences with the others as long as we are making sincere efforts.

Thus, this project was born. I have been wanting to make a music video for the last 2-3 years but couldn’t get to it. I guess the pandemic further resolved the thought that we should live like there is no tomorrow and I decided to give my dream project shape.

The experience made it all worthwhile, despite any glitches faced from planning to implementation stage.

With Munish

Q. In one word how was the whole experience?


Q. Any tips for those wanting to shoot music videos?

If you are getting hired to sing or act in one then I would say pay attention to the director’s expectations, it’s their project. Do whatever you can to give shape to their vision. Put your heart and soul into the project to make sure they are happy with the outcome. Their success is your success.

If you choose to make a music video for yourself, swap the above roles. Collaborate with those who understand your vision, who’ll work with you to make it happen and see your project through, regardless of any hurdles.

Q. How and where do we get to see your video?

It’s now available on Youtube, here is the link: https://youtu.be/2Ps1LBjHrK4

Short URL: https://indiandownunder.com.au/?p=16244