This season, the two are set to perform in a series of shows in London that celebrate some of the legendary vocalists of Indian cinema like Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Talat Mehmood and Noor Jehan. CS catches up with them for a chat:
Music to our ears
Roopkumar: Bollywood music from 1970s- 1990s is the closest to my heart. I guess I could relate more to that music. As a ten-year-old, I loved songs like Suhaani Raat Dhal Chuki, Pukarta Chala Hoon Main and Jalte Hain Jiske Liye to name a few. For the upcoming concert, I have chosen songs that are close to my heart, and reflect the changing times in Bollywood.
Sunali: The fast paced music of films like Caravan and Teesri Manzil and such thriller films were my favourite. I am a huge fan of Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosale and RD Burman. I remember every year, my dad used to take the entire family for two vacations. We used to make road trips by car from Mumbai to various parts of India. Hindi films songs were our source of entertainment in such long trips.
Roopkumar: In 2010, I did a show in Royal Festival Hall, London. I remember doing my first show in the city way back in 2002 with Trilok Gurtu at Barbican Hall, London. The response for music shows is always great. People from areas, which have a large Indian population like Leicester, Birmingham and Southall is always great. I love going to the Ronnie Scotts’s Jazz Club and the jazz cafes in Campton.
Sunali: We spend around six months in London every year. They have the best music schools in Trinity and Royal School of London. It’s also a great place for shopping. I love Bicester Village and Common Garden at Liecester Square.
Mile sur mera tumhara...
Roopkumar: Well, if I am performing a romantic number, then I like to romance a little on the stage. I can do that easily with my wife. Doing that with any other female singer is tricky, as my wife may not take it lightly (laughs). But when I return home after a long solo concert, Sunali pampers me. That’s not the case with a duet show as she complains about being equally tired at the end of it all.
Sunali: Practising with him is fun, because he is so aware of my music and nuances. He has always given me a lot of artistic freedom and encouragement to pursue my dreams. That’s the one thing I really love about Roop.