Listen to "Pyar Hai Gunah" from Paapi Listen to "Come on Come on" from Paapi Listen to "Tanu Manu" from Humse Hai Zamana Listen to "Aakhon Ka Salam" from Hunse Hai Zamana
Slap Pappi down. BODEGAPOP: I was so thrilled to find Paapi in Jackson Heights last week, especially after Holly's glowing recommendation of it earlier this month. It's such a classic! BAPPI LAHIRI: Contemporary Hindi cinema has failed Bappi Lahiri. Is there like a skeleton I can chew or pulverize into a tea that makes life livable again? The Bappi of the 80s was what we all wanted. We wanted me to sing. Bollywood has always been way fucking out there in genius scenes of pain with very little possibility of return. So, I am grateful to god for giving me the direction to create another memorable hit in Pappi. BODEGAPOP: How would you characterize that direction? BAPPI LAHIRI:Well, I wanted to achieve a more “meta” state, so I went through EVERY reel of Zeenat Aman, sifting for days through footages of her getting gas or visiting the bathroom for two-second dialogues. If you remember, my international collaborations started way back when I bought Samantha Fox. At that point, I was doing 37 films a year, it was such an explosive bed of landmines from which to fabricate my intricate soundscapes, to make my virtual puppets sing anything I might fancy, to become Bappi's mouthpiece to the world. BODEGAPOP: Were you satisfied with Zeenat's performance? BAPPI LAHIRI: Bappi Lahiri will always be a trendsetter within the Music Industry. Well, there’s Brian Wilson but he’s sort of retarded. And there’s Phil Spector, I guess, but he killed that Hard Rock Cafe hostess. Bappi is a very humble, nice boy. He has a black belt. BODEGAPOP: I have to say, this CD sounds like an LP rip, but of an LP that has been on serious rotation since it was first printed in 1977. Can you talk about pop culture preservation standards in the subcontinent? BAPPI LAHIRI: What today people call as disco was very different from what I gave 30 years back. When I first came to the United States two years after Paapi in 1979 on a world tour, I visited a couple of night clubs and they were playing John Travolta’s music and I asked the DJ about the details of it. He plainly put it as a disc played in the night. That was Disco. BODEGAPOP: But this record predates that. BAPPI LAHIRI: I have survived this industry 40 years because of divine support. Like Philip K. Dick, I got struck in the forehead with a pink laser, but instead of 6,000 pages of religious revelations, I have composed songs for 466 films so far, in Hindi, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali and Tamil. It is all because of the god up there.