Bollywood music composer and singer, Salim Merchant seems to be mesmerized by Kashmir-both in terms of the breathtaking locales as well as the local musical talent-on his maiden visit to the valley.
The musician from the famous composer duo Salim-Sulaiman has recently shot a music video in the valley featuring Indian Idol winner Salman Ali and Mateena Rajput, a young Kashmiri actress in lead.
A statement issued by Red Kangri Productions on Sunday quoted Salim calling Kashmiris as full of talent.
"They are packed with the talent on every front but what they need is the right platform and guidance," he said.
In fact in his latest music video, the musician has given a chance to young talented Kashmiris also, he said.
"Some are acting on screen, some have organized our shoot and others are handling the production and post-production work," Salim said.
He said he wishes to hold a music concert in the valley in future.
"Though we have performed across the world but Kashmir is the only place left where I haven't performed yet. It is my wish to hold a music concert here," said Salim.
The musician is in awe of the amazing locations of the valley and termed Kashmir as the perfect location for the film shootings.
"I believe that wherever you set the camera, it makes a perfect view itself. I think more film units need to visit here and shoot so as to give a boost to the local tourism and the people involved in film shootings," he said.
The musician who is on his maiden visit to the valley called Kashmir "truly a heaven on earth". "Its food, people and hospitality, all are mind blowing. I am in love with the place," he said adding he has already relished Kashmiri Wazwan, Harrisa, Kehwa and Noon Chai.
The unit shot at locations including Pahalgam and Dal Lake in Srinagar.
Salman Ali, singer and the winner of the 10th season of Indian Idol who features in the lead role in Salim's music video, too seems to be spellbound by the local landscape saying he wanted to perform in Kashmir. "This place is so pure that I can do the concert for free of cost here," he said.
The song titled 'Tumhe Dekh Ke', has been directed by Tassaduq Hussain, a Kashmiri filmmaker.Hussain said that it was a wonderful experience of shooting with Salim and Salman.
"The shoot was not possible without my local team. They all played a pivotal role during the shoot," he said.