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BOLLYWOOD has gone global in recent years, and the second largest film-producing country in the world has garnered many new fans.
In Cape Town as well, it reigns supreme as new singers from diverse areas attempt to enter the Bollywood music market. One such singer is Shameem Shah, who has impressed Indian music connoisseurs as well as Bollywood music fans of all ages.
I was invited to attend a rehearsal for Shah’s debut Bollywood shows, to be held on Saturday and Sunday at 8pm at the new Academia Centre Auditorium in Lansdowne. Shah sounds very much like Udit Narayan and sings many of the superstar’s great hits.
The 18-year-old ran through a number of songs with the ease of a seasoned professional, enjoying every minute of his rehearsal and enthralling all who heard him. The rehearsal audience all reached the same consensus – Shah is a natural singer and a star in the making.
Hailing from Mitchells Plain, Shah had an interest in Indian music from a young age. “Although we are Cape Malays, my parents had always watched Bollywood movies on video at home. When I was about seven, I saw a film called Kuch Kuch Hota Hai with Shahrukh Khan and I really enjoyed it, especially the songs. I watched the film so many times, started singing the songs and could quickly memorise them. I downloaded film songs at an internet cafe and learnt the words.”
He was encouraged by his family who thought he had an inclination to perform Indian songs. He was always keen to develop his interest further, but didn’t know how to break into the local Bollywood music field. Enter local Indian music impresario Iqbal Mohamed: “A business associate who had heard him sing suggested he contacted me. When I heard him for the first time, I was blown away.
Also appearing on the bill are veteran local singer Dicky Parker and the talented Asmina Alekar, who hails from India.
l Call Mohamed at 083 786 2400.