One of the most delightful musical numbers in the 2011 road-trip film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (ZNMD) is the song "Señorita". The song is a joyful party song, so the atmosphere is festive and our heroes are primed to share in the fun.
The song lyrics features a mixture of Spanish and Hindi. In her film singing debut, flamenco singer Maria del Mar Fernández provides the spanish vocals. This lively song was composed by the trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy with lyrics by Javed Akhtar.
The musical number was filmed in the small town of Alájar, in the southwest spanish province of Huelva. Because the filming took place at night, the ZNMD crew warned the locals about the noise levels. But the townspeople were supportive of the party and on the third day of shooting, they came dressed up in costumes and even the mayor joined in the shoot.
Rediff.com: What made you get Hrithik, Farhan and Abhay to sing? Do you think they have good voices?
Zoya Akhtar: There is one proper lip-sync song in the movie. They are in the south of Spain and they happen to be at a village square where there is a fiesta. In Spain they have lots of fiestas and everyone dresses up in their traditional best, there is a local band, they cook food, drink, sing and party, it is very India on a lot of levels. I thought it would be fun to see that, and if my actors are going to get up there and sing, then it would look good. I didn't want to do playback for such a scene. I thought it would be more fun if this Spanish singer sang and the three boys joined in naturally, even if their voices were a bit off. I asked them whether they would like to sing and they were all okay.
Rediff.com: How did the locals react to that?
Zoya Akhtar: It was very funny. We got permission to shoot in the plaza in a little town called Alajar. They had not seen a Bollywood film and had no clue about us. It's a sleepy town and everyone hangs out at the local bar and it is very quaint. We warned them we would be shooting at night and there would be songs so it will be loud. The first day of rehearsal we played down the volume, the next day all the locals came to see the shoot and the third day they all came in costume -- the Mayor of the town was a woman and she came in a dress and she is in the song. They had a blast and they just loved it and could not get over it. It became a party day for them. Spanish people are very chilled out, they are happy, they enjoy a lot. For them it is not about how much money you have and how rich you are, they don't care. For them every day should be amazing, their attitude is very positive.
The Times of India included "Señorita" as one of the Top Ten Hindi Songs of 2011 that "have enthralled the audience and have kept them so entertained that they constantly have a song on their lips and a spring in their step."
A popular club track, Glamsham.com said the song "has set the heart of nation to dance to the care free tunes of Salsa on which the music of the film is based." The ZNMD soundtrack includes a "Señorita" remix which a bit longer than the film version and injects a healthy dose of Salsa style.