Syed Mohammed Aziz-un-Nabi was an ardent lover of music since childhood who went on to give Bollywood’s many memorable numbers his voice
There are a plethora of melodious voices in the Indian film and music industry, but there are only a few whose songs are remembered and touch millions of hearts for decades. Mohammad Aziz, aka Munna, is one such voice.
Born in West Bengal’s Ashok Nagar as Syed Mohammed Aziz-un-Nabi in July 1954, he was an ardant lover of music and Mohammed Rafi since childhood. He started his career as a restaurant singer in Kolkata till he got a singing break in a Bengali film “Jyoti”, before he shifted to Mumbai and sang for the Hindi film “Ambar” (1984).
Later, he was spotted by the music director Anu Malik and got his first major breakthrough in Bollywood with the song “Mard Taangewala” (Mard, 1984).
Subsequently, he sang for top music directors like Naushad, O P Nayyar, Kalyanji-Anandji, Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Bappi Lahiri, R.D. Burman, Rajesh Roshan, Ravindra Jain, Raam-Laxman, Usha Khanna, Nadeem-Shravan, Jatin-Lalit, Aadesh Shrivastava and others.
Love For Rafi
Deeply inspired by the legendary singer Mohammed Rafi, at one point of time Aziz was considered the musical heir to his idol for his versatility and range of singing.
Among the popular songs sung by Aziz, ‘Mohmd Rafi Tu Bahut Yaad Aaya’ (Krodh, 1990) is one dear to the hearts of Rafi and Aziz’s fans. The song was highly appreciated by the people. In the song, one could feel Aziz’s pain on Rafi’s demise. Interestingly, the song was very close to Rafi’s signature style of singing.
Composing maestros Laxmikant-Pyarelal were very fond of Mohd Aziz’s voice. He sang ‘Patjhad Sawan Basant Bahaar’ and ‘Naam Sare Bhool Jaaane Lage’ for them. These were melodious numbers at a time when melody was on the wane. No wonder he was one of the favourite singers of the duet.
Duets With Lata Mangeshkar
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 Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle.
Lata Mangeshkar and Aziz sang a number of duets in the 1980s and early 1990s including the timeless ‘Patjhad Sawan Basant Bahaar’ of the film ‘Sindoor’ (1987) and ‘Bali Umar Ne Mera Haal Wo Kiya’ of the film Awaargi (1990).
Imli Ka Boota To Aap Ke Aa Jane Se
Aziz was among those rare few who voiced songs picturised on ‘Tragedy King’ Dilip Kumar. Aziz gave voice to Dilip Kumar’s song ‘Imali Ka Boota’ in the film ‘Saudagar’ (1991).
From Dilip Kumar to Amitabh Bachchan, Rishi Kapoor, Mithun Chakravorty, Govinda, Anil Kapoor, Sunny Deol and many other leading actors were picturised on the songs sung by Aziz.
Aziz-voiced ‘Aapke Aa Jane Se’ (Khudgarz, 1986) which was picturised on actor Govinda is a hit dance number even today. Post this song, he voiced many of Govinda’s disco songs.
Besides Hindi, he sung in Bengali, Odiya and other languages during his career spanning nearly three-and-a-half decades.
Music composer Rajesh Roshan also gave Aziz some of his career’s bests including ‘Ek Andhera Laakh Sitare’ in ‘Aakhir Kyon’ (1985), the already mentioned ‘Aap Ke Aa Jane Se’ in ‘Khudgarz’.
Some of his memorable Bollywood numbers solo and duets include ‘My Name Is Lakhan’, ‘Aap Ke Aa Jaane Se’, ‘Lal Dupatta Malmal Ka’, ‘Dil Le Gayi Teri Bindiya’, ‘Tu Kal Chala Jayege, To Main Kya Karunga’, ‘Patjhad Sawan Basant Bahar’, ‘Tu Mujhe Kubool, Main Tujhe Kubool’, ‘Dil Diya Hai, Jaan Bhi Denge, Ae Watan Tere Liye’ and ‘Behna O, Behna’.
In The Heart Of People
Not only a talented singer with a mesmerizing voice, Aziz was a great human being above all, who always met people with open arms.
One of the top singers of the early 90s, Aziz breathed his last on November 27, 2018, but his eternal voice will remain forever etched in the fans’ memories. Singers like him never die or fade away. They live through generations with their melodious songs in people’s hearts.
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