The fusion of Bollywood and Canadian music is set to create a new genre of music, according to famous Indo-Canadian music producer Vikas Kohli whose concert at the IIFA Awards here drew over 10,000 people.
The award-winning composer, who produced the famous song ‘Apun Ke Saath’ in Bollywood film ‘Mission Istaanbul,’ is busy experimenting on this new hybrid genre of music in his FatLabs studio in the Toronto suburb of Mississauga.
“Just like we had the ska fusion (mix of reggae and punk) 50 years ago, and the bhangra fusion 20 years ago that resulted from the interaction of different cultures, I am working with Bollywood and Canadian music to create something new,” Kohli told IANS.
“I am not sure what shape this new music will take,” said the composer, who has worked with international musicians of punk, jazz, hip-hop, country music, metal and Bollywood pop.
“It is an interesting time for a music producer as different cultures interact today. I am reaching out to Indian artists… we want to create something that is new, exciting. It is a new trend.”
This new trend has made its way into several new films that Kohli has composed for.
A qualified MBA and CFA who chucked a lucrative career in the financial world for music, Kohli said the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards in Toronto have opened the eyes of the mainstream society to Bollywood and Indian culture.
“The IIFA has changed the tone. As a culture, we are entering the mainstream, and the IIFA show was an extra boost,” he said.
“People here have realised that something different is going on (in Bollywood). Because of the IIFA impact, lots of organisations here want to do something with me as there is a market for Bollywood and unique western takes on it,” he added.
He rated Kalyanji-Anandji and R.D. Burman as some of his favourite music producers from Bollywood.
“They were good at absorbing different styles and creating music which is for the masses. I have been very impressed by them,” he said, adding that he is equally influenced by North American music producers such as Rick Ruben and Timbaland.
Said Kohli, who has worked with Mika: “I find (that) the pop singer is a bigger talent than people realise. Sonu Nigam has a great voice, and I think Monali Thakur is a promising female singer.”
Asked whether he would ever move to Bollywood, the music producer said: “There would not be many advantages as I work with international artists here. What I do is not only for Bollywood but for others also.”
However, he said he was not averse to spending more time in the Indian entertainment capital.