Tanweer Mian: Reaching for the Stars
Tanweer Mian is no stranger to the community. His melodious vocal chords, love of music and sunny persona have made him a virtual star among the music and Bollywood aficionados in town. Having performed at several private and public events, including concerts of well-known Indian vocalists such as Shaan, Vasundhara Das, Usha Uthup, and Babul Supriyo, he has staked a place for himself in the desi music and entertainment scene in Atlanta.
Perhaps it’s the mark of a maturing community that a local artist such as Mian has now collaborated with some of the best in the business to come up with a debut album called “Sitaron Mein Kahin.”
The album is a collection of eight versatile numbers, composed and performed by Mian and inspired by events in his life. Lyrics are by Irtaza Barlas, music arrangement and recording by Rajiv Bhatt, and sound mixing by Pramod Chandorkar (sound recording engineer for Yash Chopra’s Veer-Zaara). Other prominent Atlanta musicians and sound artists such as Sandeep Savla also contributed to this original production.
“Sitaron” is the work of a local performer, but with the flair and standards of the music studios of Mumbai. Mian is all raves about Sonu Nigam, whose association he has enjoyed for over a decade and whom he credits for opening up a treasure chest of the best of the music and recording industry for Mian to tap into.
The title number lilts you into the world of harmonious strings, superimposed by a muted saxophone piece and a slow but engaging beat. Listening to Mian’s signature vocals, it’s easy to agree with playback singer Vasundhara Das, who shared the following comments for the release of the album: “I love the tone of your voice. It is very rare and soulful. I love the passion and heart coming through in all the songs.”
“Chhota Mota,” an island-beat, reggae-style ballad, is quite the tease. The second vocals in the sign of the song add to the surprise element. Salsa undertones characterize the next song, “Ooh La La.” The sound of beating metal canisters, strumming of acoustic guitars and rolling saxophone counters spruce up the song and get your feet tapping to rhythm.
“Main Tere Saath Hoon,” a love melody, has Umashankar Shukala striking heart strings with his sitar notes, greatly fused with the arpeggios from a polyphonic vibraphone and great soars of a saxophone. The jazz-influenced drumbeats make the number distinctly different.
The motivational “Naya Savera” is the next number, spiritually lifted by a good Keherva beat. Das pinpoints this as her favorite, commenting, “It is a rare combination to have your kind of vocal tonality singing a rock ballad.”
Masti is pronounced in the beats of “Paalen Bhangra.” The audacious mix of Hindi and Punjabi lyrics make it a disco-certified number.
“Ek Nanni Si Gudiya,” the most soulful rendition by far in the album, has a downpour of sentiments, both vocally and instrumentally, which accentuate this passionate song celebrating a child. Repeat syllabic punctuations in the lyrics and contrast chords in the arrangement make this a song that’s very dear to the discerning ear.
The CD concludes with the house music and bossanova beat of “Aaj Kahin Dil.”
Mian’s labor of love is evident in the album’s technical proficiency, as well as its soulful art. “Sitaron Mein Kahin” is an outstanding entry in the realm of Indian music and will be devoured by all his fans.
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