x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Dubai swings to sound of Bollywood

The popular singer Mohit Chauhan said he was excited about performing with other Indian artists at a four-hour concert as part of the emirate's Eid celebrations.

DUBAI // A popular Indian singer will regale Bollywood music lovers with a selection of hits from well-known movies during the Dhoom Dubai concert tonight.

Mohit Chauhan said he was excited about performing with other Indian artists at a four-hour concert in the Madinat Arena. The concert is part of the Eid in Dubai celebrations to mark the Eid al Adha holiday.

A professional musician for the past 14 years, Chauhan has sung in more than 30 Hindi-language Indian movies. He released two albums with the Indian group Silk Route, which has since disbanded, and came out with his first non-film album last year titled Fitoor (Madness).

"I have heard there is some demand for my songs on the radio in the UAE so it will be fun singing before a live audience," said Chauhan. "There is a crazy energy when you connect with the audience. I love it because it's pure performance. In the studio you manufacture the song, you could do a line at a time. On stage it's a one-time thing."

Chauhan, who performed in Dubai two years ago, has recently appeared in Mauritius, Nepal and Bhutan. His songs such as "Masakali" (Freedom) from the movie Delhi 6 and "Khoon Chala" (Blood Moves) from the blockbuster film Rang de Basanti are among his more popular numbers.

The concert will also feature artistes such as the Bollywood music director Pritam, who worked with the US rap star Snoop Dogg on a soundtrack for the 2008 Bollywood movie Singh is Kingg. The singer Neeraj Shridhar, whose hits include "Prem Ki Naiyya" (The Boat of Love), is also on the bill.

Chauhan said many performers enjoyed singing for Bollywood films due to the story-telling element in the films. Most have an average of five song and dance numbers.

"I love singing for films because there is a story to the song, it takes you down a new road," he said.

Organisers say they have already sold more than 80 per cent of the tickets for an event in a venue that seats more than 3,000 people and are expecting heavy walk-up sales on the day of the show, which is popular with many elements of society.

"We have tried to create a family event so everybody can enjoy Eid festivities," said Naser Hakim, the head of public relations for the festival.

"It's a multicultural thing. Many Arabs ask for tickets as well. People from all over the region come for this concert."