Mukesh Chand

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Mukesh Chand : biography

22 July 1923 – 27 August 1976

Mukesh Chand Mathur (22 July 1923 – 27 August 1976), better known mononymously as Mukesh, was an Indian playback singer of Hindi movies. He, alongside Mohammad Rafi, Manna Dey, and Kishore Kumar, left such an impact on the Hindi film industry that they are still remembered to date.Encyclopedia of Indian Cinema by Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Paul Willemen. Oxford University Press, 1994. ISBN 0-85170-455-7, page 169. Amongst the numerous nominations and awards he won, his song "Kai Baar Yuhi Dekha Hai" from film Rajnigandha (1973) won him the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer. Mukesh is also popular as being the voice of legendary actor Raj Kapoor.

Singing career

Mukesh’s voice was first noticed by Motilal, a distant relative, when he sang at his sister’s wedding. Motilal took him to Mumbai and arranged for singing lessons by Pandit Jagannath Prasad. During this period Mukesh was offered a role in a Hindi film, Nirdosh (1941). His first song was "Dil Hi Bujha Hua Ho To" as an actor-singer for Nirdosh. He got his break as a playback singer for actor Motilal in 1945 with the film Pehli Nazar with music composed by Anil Biswas and lyrics written by Aah Sitapuri. The first song that he sang for a Hindi film was "Dil Jalta Hai To Jalne De".

Mukesh was such a fan of singer K. L. Saigal that in his early years of playback singing he used to imitate his idol. In fact, it is said that when K. L. Saigal first heard the song "Dil Jalta Hai…", he remarked, "That’s strange, I don’t recall singing that song".

Mukesh created his own singing style with the help of music director Naushad Ali, who helped Mukesh to come out of his Saigal style and create his own style. Naushad gave him songs for the film Andaz. Initially Mukesh was the ghost voice of Dilip Kumar in this movie and Mohammed Rafi sang for Raj Kapoor. He delivered many Hits for Naushad in films like: Anokhi Ada (1948), Mela(1948), Andaz (1949). Other composers who used Mukesh voice for Dilip Kumar in Hit songs like Jeevan Sapna toot gaya were Anil Biswas in Anokha Pyar, Ye Mera Diwanapan hai, Shankar-Jaikishan in Yahudi and Suhana Safar and Dil Tadap Tadap ke, Salil Choudhary in Madhumati. However later Dilip Kumar choose Rafi as his ghost voice and Mukesh became the ghost voice of Raj Kapoor

In 1974, Mukesh received National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for the song "Kai Baar Yuhi Dekha Hai" from Rajnigandha (1974), and Filmfare Awards for the songs "Sab Kuch Seekha Humne" in the movie Anari (1959), "Sabse Bada Naadan Wahi Hai" in Pehchaan (1970), "Jai Bolo Beimaan Ki" in Beimaan (1972) and "Kabhi Kabhie Mere Dil Mein", the title song of film Kabhie Kabhie (1976). A total of around 1,200 songs were sung by him. This number is less than those sung by some of his contemporaries, but the fact is that Mukesh emphasized on quality rather than quantity. The comparatively less songs sung by him in the 70s can be attributed to both the Kishore wave and his failing health due to his worsening heart problem.

Mukesh sang many memorable songs for Kalyanji Anandji music director duo. Mukesh sang more songs with the K-A duo than any other composer. From "Naina hai jadoo bhare…" Bedard Zamana Kya Jane (1958) composed by Kalyanji alone as Kalyanji Virji Shah, and "Main hoon mast madari…" Madari (1959) as the first Kalyanji-Anandji-Mukesh combo, to "Chahe aaj mujhe napasand karo…" Darinda/ 1977, the K-A, Mukesh combination gave numerous popular songs like "Chhalia mera naam…", "Mere toote hue dil se…", "Dum dum diga diga" Chalia(1959), "Mujhko iss raat ki tanhai mein…" Dil Bhi Tera Hum Bhi Tere (1960), "Hum chhod chale hain mehfil ko…" (Ji Chahta Hai), "Humne tumko pyar kiya hai jitna…" (Dulha Dulhan), "Chal mere dil lehraake chal…" Ishara and "Dheere se chalo…" Johar Mehmood In Goa,"Main to ek khwab hoon…" and "Chand si mehbooba ho…" Himalay ki God Mein(1965),"Waqt kartaa jo wafaa…" Dil Ne Pukara,"Deewanon se yeh mat poocho…" Upkar, "Khush raho har khushi hai…" Suhaag Raat and "Humsafar ab yeh safar kat jaayega…" Juari, "Chandi ki deewaar…" and "Le chal le chal mere jeevan saathi…" Vishwas (1969), "Koi jab tumhara hriday tod de…" Purab Aur Paschim, "Darpan ko dekha…" Upaasna), "Jo tumko ho pasand…" Safar and "Mujhe nahin poochni tumse beeti baatein…" Anjaan Raahein (1970).