Khemchand Prakash – The Bygone Maestro
Hindi Film Music will be forever thankful to him, since greats like Lata Mangeshkar, Kishore Kumar, Naushad, Manna Dey and Bulo C Rani were mentored by him. But the mentor of these musical jewels, the creator of this guild of giants is now bygone. His timeless creations have dazzled us for more than 6 decades.
Khemchand Prakash was born to Goverdhan Das, a Dhrupad singer & Kathak dancer in the royal court of Madho Singh II and began his first lessons in music & dance under the guidance of his father. He was invited to join the Bikaner Royal court as a singer-performer, in his growing days, but he did not stay there for long and moved to the royal court of Nepal. However, he further moved on from there to Kolkata. Being a proficient singer, he worked as a radio artiste here. Later, he joined music director Timir Baran as his assistant in New Theatres. Khemchand Prakash got a chance to face the camera in a song from Street Singer (1937) because of his mastery in Kathak.
However, his contribution to the film industry was not as a singer or dancer but as a music composer. He joined Bombay’s Ranjit Studio in 1940 and found early success with films such as Diwali, Holi, and Pagal. But it was Jayant Desai’s Tansen (1943) that established him as a master tunemaker. Sung by the unmatchable K.L. Saigal and Khursheed, the film’s music remains a classic in Hindi cinema.
Further he adapted traditional music to come up with lilting numbers for Kamal Amrohi’s Mahal. This romantic thriller featured the haunting Aayega aayega, aayega aanewala sung by Lata Mangeshkar.
In his film Ghazi Salahuddin (1939), he was assisted by none other than Naushad.
Khemchand Prakash is also credited with having discovered Kishore Kumar. He gave the singer his first break with the song Marne ki duaen kyun maangoon in the film Ziddi (1948)
In the history of Hindi film music, Khemchand Prakash is one of the major pillars because he created many immortal songs, he introduced or gave songs to some singers which turned out to be very crucial for their career thus he is affiliated with some of the most important decisive moments in the history of film music. Khemchand Prakash was at the top in 1950 when his death halted his promising career so abruptly. His career thus came to an end before it could reach its zenith.
Our tributes to this Maestro!!!