Mumbai, Sep 25 (PTI) A decade on, Salil Kulkarni still remembers the simplicity of S P Balasubrahmanyam (SPB) as the legend recorded his first Marathi song in a Mumbai studio.
'We were recording songs for Marathi film Bandya Ani Baby in 2008 and somebody suggested that I should check if SPB was available to sing one of the songs,' Kulkarni told PTI.
The music composer said he then recorded a tune and sent it to SPB to check if he liked it. 'He liked it and came to Mumbai for the recording,' Kulkarni (48) added.
'He told me I was among those few music directors who asked him if it was his 'comfortable scale'. It was something he appreciated,' said Kulkarni, paying tributes to the versatile singer, who died on Friday at 74.
'It is rare to come across such a sincere and committed person despite his tall stature. You could see his humility in his eyes. He looked like a sage, a rishi,' Kulkarni said.
When Subrahmanyam began recording the Marathi song 'Marg don jagnyache disata paul he adkhalate...', his voice was as fresh as if it was his first ever song, he said.
'Anyone watching him put his heart and soul into that recording would have scarcely guessed that he had sung over 30,000 songs by then,' Kulkarni said.
'When there was a pronunciation issue over a typical Marathi word, he graciously asked all of us to have lunch and leave him alone to practice the pronunciation,' he said.
'This level of dedication is rare from any other singer,' Kulkarni said. Subrahmanyam left for Chennai the same day after finishing the recording, he added.
'He told me: Sir, if I make any mistake, do not hesitate to correct me till I get all the nuances right. I have no issues,' Kulkarni said.
The song was recorded in singer Suresh Wadekar's music studio in suburban Santacruz.
'SPB told me that his desire of singing in Marathi was fulfilled with this song and he was happy about this,' he said. He said Subrahmanyam had agreed to sing the song immediately after listening to the tune composed by him.
'He asked me the meaning of every word of the song.
After getting the proper pronunciations of every word, he got them recorded on his recorder, sought half an hour to prepare and started practicing.
'Exactly after half-an-hour later, he came out for recording and told me that if he made a mistake, I was to make him do it (record) again,' Kulkarni said.
Sometimes, even if he okayed the 'take', SPB would point out that for a particular Marathi word, his vocals weren't proper, and asked for an additional take, Kulkarni said. 'They don't make them like him any more,' he added. PTI VT VT VT