Harnessing the fanboys in them, the highly feted multilingual singer Benny Dayal and Bollywood playback singing sensation Shaan are stepping up to the challenge of reinterpreting their heroes’ works on December 19 and December 26 respectively.
Benny is a singer, song-writer, and performer like no other whose incredible success story began with a song he sang for a Rajinikanth film, no less! A regular on tour with maestro AR Rahman, Benny is renowned for his versatility and the ease with which he sings in Hindi, English, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Gujarati, Bengali, Assamese, Marathi and Arabic! His ability to straddle languages, genres and music cultures makes him an endearing choice for Paytm Insider’s Jim Beam Originals.
His pick for Bruno Mars stems from his love for the Grammy-winning artist. Given that when Benny isn’t doing film music work, he’s jamming with his indie band, Funktuation, it’s no surprise that the works of one of contemporary funk’s biggest names—Bruno Mars—inspires him greatly. Says Benny, “He has been my current inspiration for the last four years. I have always been listening to him, however, his last song 24K Magic, his personality and virtuosity got me head over heels. I’m glad to have this opportunity by Paytm Insider’s Jim Beam Originals to recreate his music. It’s an honour to be a part of this list with such amazing artists.”
The winner of 11 Grammy awards and four Guinness World Records, Mars has sold over 130 million records worldwide, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He has released seven No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot 100 since the start of his career only ten years ago. Benny adds, “Bruno Mars is one of the most relatable musicians for 80’s and 90’s music. Approaching his particular set is going to be hard as his fans are used to listening to his originals. However, recreating his songs is a dream-come-true for every musician and a challenge simultaneously. Some elements we will recreate, however, we plan to keep some elements just like the originals.”
Speaking of originals, one of the most recognisable voices in the Indian scene will be reimagining the works of one of the most recognisable voices in the world when Shaan gives Bryan Adams’ discography a shot. Adams, a multi-platinum singer, composer, guitarist and record producer, is renowned for his love ballads, receiving a Grammy for his 1991 hit (Everything I Do) I Do It For You. His songs frequently feature in the rock anthem compilations of the past three decades and until the lockdown brought things to a standstill, Adams was a frequently touring legend.
Taking on that legacy cannot possibly be easy. India’s own singer with a golden voice Shaan though is ripe for the picking. He says, “Choosing Bryan Adams songs to reimagine was a no-brainer for me because I have grown up listening to a lot of his albums, particularly Reckless. I’ve also watched him perform so many times, especially when he came down to Mumbai. I will be performing a day after Christmas, and I feel it’s the perfect time to sing along to some of his hits. So many of his songs I know at the back of my mind, therefore the process of choosing what to perform is very exciting!”
Shaan is an award-winning playback singer and musician, whose voice is among the most instantly recognisable ones in the scene today. He has sung for some of the biggest hits of the past two decades while achieving much fame in his solo career as well. While it’ll be a first full-English set for him, he isn’t unfamiliar with international collaborations. In his 2006 album Tishnagi, he has sung Take Me To Your Heart with Danish soft rock band Michael Learns to Rock. Shaan is aware of how unique his situation is with his committed audience. “The audiences have never heard me sing in English so it’s going to be an altogether different experience for them. We’re looking to switch up the production of the songs from how you originally hear them without losing the essence of the man and the musician that is Bryan Adams. Merlin D’souza, a brilliant pianist, will be joining me so we will try and mix things up a bit and make the set a lot of fun,” he adds.