“We are actors behind the mic”

pawni-pPawni Pandey talks about the prep that went into recording the recreated song, Laila main Laila from Raees

The much talked-about song Laila main Laila, a remake of the famous Laila o Laila, has made its way to every party. Featured in Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Raees, the song’s infectious energy has every party-goer in its hypnotic embrace.

The recreated song has been rendered by 24-year-old Pawni Pandey, who says she had no idea the song was being recorded for Raees. “I got a call from Ram Sampath sir and he told me he was working on the remake of Laila o laila and wanted to dub it in my voice. He asked me if I knew the song and I said, ‘Yes of course.’ I learnt that it was for Raees two weeks later, through a newspaper. That’s when it really hit me.”

Pandey says she was nervous while re-dubbing the song since it was for Shah Rukh Khan and Sunny Leone. “I knew I had done a good job but wondered whether it was good enough for Sunny Leone. The remake is very close to the original song. The track is absolutely the same and I sang it in a way that was similar to Kanchanji, in a very innocent and romantic way,” she recalls.

“When I learnt it was for Sunny, I thought I should sing it once again because I thought it would not work for her and that I should re-dub it. I requested Ram sir and I re-dubbed the song. When I went for the re-dubbing, I was very nervous and Ram sir told me to relax and sing it like a fresh song, and not a remake. He asked me to give the song my own flavour.”

Pandey believes that a song makes sense only if the voice of the singer matches the voice of the actor. That’s why she did her homework on the original version of the song as well as on Sunny Leone. “During the re-dubbing process, I listened to the original version of the song and watched the video many times, to get the right expressions. It was very clear that I had to sing for Sunny and it had to be the way she acts, dances and expresses herself.”

For her homework, Pandey studied Leone’s videos, her songs Baby doll and Pink lips, and used these to get her expressions, movements and facial expressions right. “Basically, we are actors behind the mic as we need to enact for them in the song. If the voice doesn’t really match the actor, I don’t see any point in that song.”

The young singer says she is overwhelmed with the compliment she has received from Shah Rukh Khan, who tweeted that she is the ‘other Laila’ of the song and that she made the song very lively.  Considering Raees as her big break, Pandey says, “Raees is one of the major films of 2017 and that’s why I consider it a big break for me.”

On her upcoming films, Pandey says, “I have Anarkali Aarawali, Julie 2 and Guns Of Benaras, all of them before Raees. Let’s see what comes to me after Raees.”

Sayali Parab
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