Lisbeth Scott on Lahore Movie
International singer Lisbeth Scott has sung the opening alaap in the Warner Brothers-Sai Om Films’ forthcoming film Lahore. She says, when it comes to Bollywood, Lagaan remains her favourite movie of all times. Excerpts:
What made you decide to sing for a Hindi movie?
The composer, Wayne Sharpe, liked my work in several films he had seen, and he contacted me about singing on his score for Lahore. When I heard about the film and its compelling subject matter, I knew I would love to sing on it.
How was your experience working for the film Lahore?
It was a wonderful and intense experience working with Wayne on his beautiful score to Lahore. It was cold in New York when I arrived and I was working on another project in the city during my visit as well. We had all been working long hours and were a bit bleary eyed. When Wayne and I first got together, he decided to start by giving me an idea of the film and showed me the first fight scene. I was mesmerized and realized what an important and special film this was. We worked steadily after that for several days and had a very easy and organic creative interaction. I am very excited to see and hear the final results!
Did you have to sing any kind of Hindi or Indian melody or raga?
I have sung in Hindi before also and I have used Indian based styles for the film and not the raga. There was a very big movement in USA and I sang in yoga vocals in Sanskrit and Hindi words and in some instances I have sung those with the Indian artist.
What you have sung is quite similar of what you have done in Hollywood projects as it is a part of background and not a song situation for actors and actress?
It is quite interesting and it is not exactly the background score because there is sometime the voice and the score are secret and sounds of the film drafts away all you see is visual then you hear my voice and music. And yes, it’s not a song situation for the cast. It’s the opening soundtrack of the film.
If given a chance to work with Indian singer whom would you prefer?
Personally I would choose A.R Rahman who did the score for Slumdog Millionaire. I love Indian sound and I have always been drawn to classical music.
When you were singing for Lahore, was there something new you did which you haven’t done before in Hollywood projects?
Nice thing about Wayne Sharpe’s score is that he manages to blend the styles and sounds differently and he also has sense of world music. I used my voice differently as there was an Indian flavor to it and the wonderful part of this movie is that it has a universal message about cultural borders and healing conflicts.
Did you find any similarities between your singing in avatar and Lahore?
Yes there were similarities in the approaches. There were several scenes in avatar which I watched and listened to the music which was written by the composer and created certain melodies and responding to the emotions and similarly I did that with Wayne Sharpe too. He allowed me to create my own melody and give my response.
Have you watched some Indian movies to understand the genre of music we play here?
My favourite movie is Lagaan. That was the first movie I saw quite a few years back. For me, it was musically a dream come true. The music which was played was fantastic and an eye opening experience. The film had intense passion that made me love Bollywood movies.
What attracted you to Indian music?
The first time I got interested in the Indian music was when I was a child. When I was 12 year old, I had a jazz music teacher and he was an Indian. One day he played Pt. Ravi Shankar’s signature music and I remember I was so fascinated and speechless as the music was fantastic and after that I had this immense love for Indian music.
As you are big fan of A.R Rahman how much you loved the music of Slumdog Millionaire and what do you like about his music?
When I heard his music in Slumdog Millionaire, I was completely blown away (laughs). One thing that I loved about his music is that he sings a song and creates a melody in such a way which takes the listener to a harmonious journey and it opens your heart. He creates a world of his own that is very powerful thing for an artist and he is a master of that.
What inspires you to work in Hollywood instead of creating your own album? And you are one of the busiest singers in Hollywood what does it take for a singer to get consistent work in Hollywood and get positive acclamation and become well known?
I have already done lot of work as a solo artist and I do have nine albums of my own. When I came first to Hollywood, one of my friends heard me singing and that friend knew a film composer and he asked me to sing for a Hollywood movie that is how I entered Hollywood. Certainly then I started singing in Hollywood. I love being a part of musical world. I think that the passion for your work makes you successful and I love whatever I do. I love the intensity of expression, languages and I just love singing and listening to music. I love to take all the challenges which I come across.