RIP Mohd Aziz, Your Voice Ruled

The going was great for Mohd Aziz in the  1980s. The great Mohd Rafi and  Kishore Kumar were  no more. And the  only competition  that   Aziz, affectionately know as Munna, had was Shabbir Kumar.

Shabbir sang offkey .I openly supported  Aziz’s voice  in my  music columns that I did during those days. Got slammed for it. But I didn’t care if I was  being trolled at a  time when  trolling had  not been invented. Mohd  Aziz had a vast range . He could sing at a staggering pitch.  It was  a pleasure to hear him hold his own in his duets with the indomitable LataMangeshkar and Asha Bhosle.

 Lataji and Aziz  sang a  number  of duets in  the  1980s and early 1990s including the timeless Patjhad sawan basantbahaar(film Sindoor) and  Bali umar ne mara haal yun kiya(Awaargi).

Says Lataji, “I recall him as a very kindhearted softspoken man with a good mastery over the seven  notes. Wohsur achchalagate the(he pitched his voice well). Composing maestros  Laxmikant-Pyarelal were very  fond of Mohd Aziz’s voice. We sang the duets Patjhad sawan basant  bahaar and  Naam sare bhool jaaane lage for  Laxmi-Pyare.  These were melodious  numbers at a time when melody was on  the wane.I enjoyed singing  with him.”

Alka Yagnik who sang one of  her best songs Tu na ja mere badshah(Khuda Gawah) with Aziz  remembers him fondly. “Like me,he  was also from Kolkata, so I  kind of knew from my childhood days .Munna(Mohd Aziz) was  always  very  cheerful, sweet-spoken  and an  endearing person .And he had a powerful voice.He was  one of Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s favourite singers.I   sang many songs with him , the best one being ‘ Tu na ja mere Baadshah ‘ from Khuda Gawah.I am  deeply saddened and shocked by the news of his sudden death.”

I remind Alka  of Aziz’s meteoric rise and swift fall, and Alka shrugs, “Well… What do I say to that now…so many prolific singers vanished… but he still used to do concerts etc … had quite a repertoire of popular songs to his credit .”

 The very talented music composer  Rajesh Roshan who gave Aziz some of  his career’s best songs  including Ek andhera laakh sitare in Aakhir  KyonMain se na meena se na saqi se in Khudgarz says, “What a  beautiful singer! But above that, he was a great human being who always met you with open arms. There are  many singers  who have wonderful voices and can sing well . But there are hardly singers who could  put life into a song the way Mohd Aziz did.”

Composer Anu Malik who used Aziz as Amitabh Bachchan’s voice in Manmohan Desai’s Mard is shocked at the singer’s  premature demise. “I gave him his earliest break in Mard ….A very soft spoken tremendously hardworking singer .Always ready to learn improvise and give his best.May his soul rest in everlasting peace and may God give his family immense strength to bear this irreparable loss.A shining musical light of the 80s & early 90s has dimmed But shall never ever switch off.He shall live in the hearts and minds of music lovers forever.”

Mohd Aziz’s  Most  Popular Songs:

  1. One 2 Ka 4 My name in Lakhan: Ram Lakhan
  2. Main se ne  meena se na saqi se: Khudgarz
  3. Tu na  je mere badshah:  Khuda Gawah
  4. Duniya mein  kitna  gham hai: Avtaar
  5. Ungli mein  angoothi angoothi mein nagina: Ram Avtar

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