Zubeen: The new age voice of Bollywood

On September 16, Zubeen moved the Assamesse students of Delhi to a state of ecstasy with his songs, which are rooted in Assamese culture and yet are very modern in their approach. Among the numbers he sang was Jaane Kya Hoga Rama re from the upcoming Kaante.

A quick tête-à-tête with the singer reveals that this young lad is just one song old in the Mumbai industry but is slowly but steadily moving up the rungs of success.

After initial hiccups in big, bad Bollywood, Zubeen has finally got his due with his rendition of Jane Kya Hoga … "Anand Raj Anand is an old friend of mine and he was looking out for a good number for me and thus came the songs from Kaante… I really enjoyed working with him" says Zubeen.

Zubeen has also worked with Anu Malik in Fiza, where he lent his voice to the number Mere Wattan, but before Fiza happened he was asked by A R Raheman to do a few scores for Taal and Doli Saje Ke Rakh Na but things did not work out when Shubash Ghai intervened and gave away the songs to Hariharan.

Last year, Zubeen shifted base to Mumbai from Assam and now composes music for Assamese films, and his private albums, which are huge hits in the Northeastern region of the country, while concentrating on Hindi playback singing.

Zubeen has had many feathers in his cap but the best till date was to have shared an album with none other than Bhupen Hazarika. "I always wanted to do an album with Bhupen Hazarika but dates were always a problem with him so it took me some time to get the album done," he says.

Zubeen currently has a couple of singing assignments for Hindi films and his private album under the Sony Music label, is due for release shortly.

If the success of the Kaante number is a pointer, Zubeen is a crooner we will hear much of in the years ahead.

By Shivajee Ashim Das on Hindustan Times
New Delhi, September 17