Wayne Sharpe first American to do 'Vande Mataram' version

Mar 20, 2010 Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, March 19 (IANS) New York-based Wayne Sharpe, who is composing a new version of "Vande Mataram" for "Raajneeti", says he is the first American to work on the Indian national song.

"I specialise in background scores. Now I'm doing my first Bollywood song for 'Raajneeti'. It's a re-arrangement of 'Vande Mataram' with my version of the tune. I think I'm the first American to do this," Sharpe told IANS in an interview.

The original "Vande Mataram" for the 1952 film was recorded by Lata Mangeshkar and composed by Hemant Kumar. A.R. Rahman later did another version of the song with Lata.

But Sharpe's version of the track for "Raajneeti" would be entirely different.

"It'd be huge production with a big orchestra. We'd have a bit of the old melody along with some of the new melody that I'm writing. There would be a whole cross-section of singers," said the composer who will rope in an array of playback singers from Bollywood for the song.

While Sharpe, known for his award-winning background scores in Prakash Jha's "GangaaJal" and "Apaharan", will compose the song, Gulzar will pen lyrics for it.

Sharpe credits Jha with his Bollywood connection.

"I met Prakash through a mutual friend in New York. He invited me to India to do the background music in 'GangaaJal'. Now I'm doing a third film for him," he said.

He is trained in western classical music and and that's the sound we'll in hear his version of "Vande Mataram".

"My speciality is working on western sounds and combining it with Indian sounds. That's the radar I'd like to stay within," said Sharpe, a big fan of Rahman.

"Rahman's score in 'Taal' just changed my life. It was a major pinnacle for my career as a musician."

Wayne has also completed the background music in just released "Lahore".

"I see Mumbai as a second home," said the New Yorker before flying out.

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