Mikey McCleary's creation, The Bartender, reinvents vintage iconic Hindi film songs, with a modern twist.
THE BARTENDER STORY
It all started back in 2012 when director Dibakar Banerjee asked me to create a new version of Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho for a Coke TV ad. I started listening to a lot of old Hindi film songs after that. My wife introduced me to Geeta Dutt’s voice and I was obsessed and began playing around with new surprising ways that these brilliant songs could be reworked. I was doing it just because of how much I loved the songs and could see a lot of potential in showing their beauty in a new light.
So I worked on an album which Sony Music heard and loved and subsequently released. Around the same time I met up with a director called Bejoy Nambiar who had made a film called Shaitan. He wanted a track for a gun fight sequence and my version of Khoya Khoya Chand fitted strangely well.
From there on, The Bartender has grown into a high profile live act featuring many well known singers (check our photo gallery). We now have released 3 albums and had other songs placed in feature films like Bombay Velvet, Shandaar and Nautanki Saala. There are a lot of electronic remixes of vintage songs these days but we try to do versions that are based on live band arrangements that use a lot of brass. We draw from so many different genres - jazz, reggae, soul, calypso, funk, Motown - and yet we have got our own unique sound.
I hope our versions will lead a new generation of listeners back to hear the original versions and be amazed by how timeless and beautiful these songs are.
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