Bappi Lahiri felt he deserved Padma Bhushan more than many recent winners, son Bappa reveals


Bappi Lahiri passed away on February 15, 2022. His loss created a huge void in the music industry. It’s been over a month since the legendary singer and his family passed away, and fans are still processing his demise. Affectionately called Bappi Da by many, the veteran singer’s son, Bappa Lahiri has taken his time to come to terms with the tragic loss. Still grieving and reliving the memories of his father, Bappa spoke to and shared his thoughts on preserving his father’s legacy. He also said he plans to do a biopic about his life.

Excerpts from the conversation.

It’s been a month since Bappi Da passed away, how do you plan to carry forward your father’s legacy?

In fact, it is very early to comment on it. But obviously his music has a huge legacy and we have a lot of plans to take it forward. The love people still give him now and the way his life is still celebrated, we’re just overwhelmed with the love his fans give him. We always wanted to do a biopic about him. So, probably in a year, we’ll get things done. But as I said, it’s too early for me to comment. We have a lot of plans, planning to open a music academy. His music is even being recreated now and we expect it to continue. With its unreleased music, we are planning to release all the songs including the Bengali ones. He has recorded a lot of songs in his bank, so we are planning to do something about that as well.

Bappi Da projects that were incomplete? And do you plan to work on them?

He was working on a few projects in December. Only recordings were left, tunes were made. He was working on a Bengali film. One that he already finished recording with many singers in September. Then he had a really big song with an international artist that was supposed to be released soon, but now we are planning to release that song this year. The song is ready, it only remains to make the video. All of these things we plan to release slowly one after another.

I will complete all of his remaining missions that he was working on. He was working on some Hindi movies which I will now make and finish. A single my father made with singer Anuradha Palakurthi will also be released this year. There’s a lot of other stuff, but since it’s only been a month since he died, I’m just trying to figure it all out.

There was a wave of love for Bappi Da, what do you think?

The best thing about Dad as a human being was that he was a very down to earth and loving person. From journalists to small producers to anyone, his relationship was the same. He never changed for anyone. He was a composer who never hesitated to make small films. Dad has always been known for his music. Most people spoke and remembered the songs, not the movies. His way of working was completely different. He was a childish person. Many people don’t know him personally, but they still feel the same way. People called us from all over the world and sent us their love. A friend of mine sent me a video of Beverly Hills, top chef Wolfgang Puck, his restaurant was playing dad’s songs. So he went everywhere, his music makes people so happy.

People who were in college in the 80s and 90s have so many stories associated with his songs. For them, it’s like memories and we are so proud of it. For a person, making their mark with music is awesome. He spread so much love and happiness that we are very proud of. It’s a proud moment for the country, its music is heard all over the world. It’s a very big loss for us as a family, he was our foundation. We feel the void and we feel lost without its presence. His aura was something else. But seeing so much love definitely gives our family a lot of strength and moving forward we want to honor his legacy. We want to bring him to life through his music.

What is the thing about your father that you miss the most?

It’s a very difficult question. His childish behavior, you never get bored with him. If you were sitting in the room doing nothing, there was that spark in him. He always kept doing something. I would leave him, dad it’s Sunday, let’s kick back and relax, but the way he was working even in Covid times, his brain was still working. That’s what I miss, the way he inspired us all and kept going, even though I was far away, he was sending me tracks and asking me to work on them. He was like a scientist. I always told him ‘you always think. We miss it, it was a big loss for us. We still think it’s a dream and he’ll just walk out of the room singing a song and smiling. He left like a king, he kept a very smiling image of him, it was too early but he entertained us all.

What was his last wish, if any?

He kept making music all the time, every day was a new day for him. He experiments with music. He wanted to do a few songs of himself with an orchestra in America or London. He decided to do that in December or January, he spoke to my mother about it. He wanted to recreate some songs of his own with a symphony orchestra which was one of his wishes. I don’t know if I’m saying this but for dad, his rewards were his people. But after saying he was a bit upset with the way the Indian awards were, he was not recognized by any of the major awards in India, especially the Padma Bhushan awards. Not that we wanted to, I’m just saying it was something he never said, but he felt that as an artist he deserved it more than anyone who has recently gotten it.

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