Unique & Unforgettable: Nadeem Shravan
They were the only composers of the 1990's & 2000's to have relied heavily on three instruments – the bansuri, sitar and shehnai – in almost all their songs
Nadeem Akhtar Saifi was born on 6th August 1954 in Bombay (Now Mumbai) in an affluent family. His childhood was spent near Mahim Dargah in Rosy Building. Nadeem had keen interest in music since his childhood. He was fond of music of Naushad, S.D.Burman and Shankar Jaikishan. He had a chance to listen to Jaikishan performing live in Jaikishan's favorite restaurant Gaylord. He was overwhelmed by the performance and made up his mind to become a music composer.
Nadeem could play a lot of instruments like drums, bongo and congo with perfection. His family moved to Central Bombay where his father had a business in construction. During his school days, he along with his friends made his own band and started playing at public functions.
Shravan Kumar Rathore was born on 13th November 1954 in Sirohi Rajasthan. His father Chaturbhuj Rathore was a well known classical vocalist. He started giving training to his sons Shravan, Roop Kumar Rathore and Vinod Rathore. Shravan also started playing sitar, harmonium and tabla. Chaturbhuj migrated to Bombay and became head of a music organisation where he used to train young talent. Kalyanji Veerji Shah of Kalyanji Anandji fame was also his student.
Nadeem and Shravan's first meeting was accidental. One of Shravan's friend invited him to a college function where he was going to sing. When Shravan entered the hall he saw Nadeem on the stage playing drums.
During the interval they were introduced by their mutual friend Harish Boppya. He told them, "That you both want to become music composer. Why don't you join hands and give music together". Thus a new music duo emerged on the Bollywood scene. They started giving music as Nadeem Shravan.
In 1973 a friend of Chaturbhuj, Bachchu Bhai, planned to produce a Bhojpuri film Dangal. Mohammad Rafi sang the only song for Nadeem Shravan in this Bhojpuri film. "Phoot gai li kismatiya bhaile gai dulhaniya". The film was released in 1977. Same year they got a Hindi film Bebasi. The 70's and 80's belonged to Shankar Jaikishan, Kalyanji Anandji and Laxmikant Pyarelal.
Nadeem Shravan started getting films but were not taken seriously. They struggled a lot for more than one and a half decade. Their music was noticed in films Ilaaka, Hisaab Khoon Ka, Lalkar and Baap Numbari Beta Dus Numbari.
They got their major break with Aashiqui. In fact Aashiqui was an album which Gulshan Kumar had planned to bring out with struggling artists Kumar Sanu, Anuradha Podwal and young lyricist Sameer who wrote lyrics for several films for Nadeem Shravan. The duo recorded six numbers.
By the time Aashiqui album was to be released, Mahesh Bhatt listened to the track and liked it so much that he told Gulshan Kumar that let's make a film and used these songs. Mahesh Bhatt wrote the story and directed Aashiqui with new comers Anu Aggarwal, Rahul Roy and Deepak Tijori. Aashiqui created a history and became a musical hit of 1990. All the six numbers were chart busters. Nadeem Shravan got their first Film Fare Trophy for Aashiqui.
Nadeem Shravan hit the jackpot with Aashiqui. They were flooded with the offers from producers to give music for their films. The duo took a wise decision that instead of doing more number of films they should concentrate on quality music. They created another record by rejecting 250 films.
They ruled the roost for the next seven years. In these years they gave several hits. Nadeem Shravan's icons were S.D.Burman, Shankar Jaikishan and Madan Mohan. Nadeem had grip over western instruments and Shravan was trained in classical music.
Aashiqui will be remembered for one thing more that it brought back the melody. They kept this in their mind and composed some of their great melodies in Saajan, Sadak, Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahi, Raja Hindustani and Deewana to mention a few.
Nadeem Shravan got a setback in August 1997. Gulshan Kumar was murdered that year. It was said that D Company had plotted to eliminate the Cassette King. Nadeem was also suspected for this crime, even though he was not in the country at that time. It was a big blow to their career. They were out of business for some time.
Nadeem fought a long legal battle in London and was finally acquitted. Nadeem had taken a British Citizenship. He kept on giving music with Shravan while composing tunes in London. Nadeem Shravan came back with great fan fare with the film Dhadkan (2000) starring Shilpa Shetty, Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty and Kadar Khan.
Dhadkan created history and once again like Aashiqui all the songs became chartbusters. They kept on giving music together till 2005 when they decided to part. It's an irony that their last film together was Dosti. Nadeem started his own business of perfume in Dubai. Shravan's son is giving music in films in these days. In 2016, Nadeem started giving music in films and made a debut as a singer.
Nadeem Shravan had a late success. They struggled very hard for fifteen odd years. In the next 15 years, they gave music in 75 films and had 50 hits to their career.
The 1990's were Nadeem Shravan's era. In 1997 Pardes came with a freshness of their music. Its prominent numbers were Ye dil deewana (Sonu Nigam/Shankar Mahadevan/Ehsaan Noorani), I love my India (Kavita Krishnamurthi/Hariharan/Aditya Narayan/Shankar Mahadevan) and Do dil mil rahe hain (Kumar Sanu).
Dhadkan in 2000 was the block buster and musical hit of that year. They made two versions of Tum dil ki dhadkan mein rahte ho (Abhijeet /Alka Yagnik) and a sad version was in the voice of Kumar Sanu. Dil ne ye kha hai dil se (Udit Narayan/Alka Yagnik/Kumar Sanu) and another version by Alka Yagnik and Sonu Nigam, and Na na karte pyar (Alka/Udit Narayan). Highlight of Dhadkan was Dulhe ka sehra sung by famous Qawwal Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan of Pakistan.
Long distance became a big hindrance. Nadeem in London and Shravan in Bombay, producers were difficult to pope up. Finally they broke the partnership in 2005 but carried their credit till 2009. Nadeem started giving music in 2016 independently. His latest films were Ishq Forever and Ek Haseena Thi. Nadeem also sang Ek haseena thi in his own voice.
Nadeem Shravan worked with all the big banners and directors from Subhash Ghai, Mahesh Bhatt, Vikram Bhatt, David Dhawan to Raj Kumar Santoshi. Nadeem Shravan were winner of Film Fare Awards four times. They won the awards consecutively for Aashiqui (1991), Saajan (1992) and Deewana (1993). They also won the accolade for Raja Hindustani. Twice they won the Star Screen Awards and once Zee Cine Award for their contribution to the music industry.