Franco Vaz


Franco Vaz grew up in Mumbai’s Mahim area and hails from a musical family. As was expected of a good Catholic boy, young Franco started learning music at a very young age. At the age of 7, he started taking violin lessons from instructor Michael Martins and eight years later he finished his grade 8 “Higher Local” as well as Theory grade 6 through the “Trinity College of Music London” and passed with Honors. He also learned and played piano quite proficiently through his early years.

The Early Years

It was from his father the late Francis Vaz that he would pick up his life’s love – drums. His father was a fabulous drummer and was busy and happily engaged in the live and recorded music industry in India those days. From his father, he picked up the rudiments of percussions, bongos and drums. He later learnt to play progressive drums under the tutelage of India’s greatest drummer of that era- Leslie Godinho.

The Film Industry

After finishing his education, Franco joined the music industry as a violinist and played violin for all the music directors of those times right from Laxmikant Pyarelal, Shankar Jaikishan, O P Nayyar, Salil Chowdhari, Enoch Daniel, Gaurang Vyas, Sudhir Phadke, Kalyanji Anandji and others. Around this time, he also started playing the Drums for C. Ramchandra’s music concerts in Mumbai and all over the country.
The RD Burman Association

It was in 1975, two years after Franco joined the music industry, that he received a call from the great RD Burman. Thus began a lifelong association between the two that would produce some of the greatest gems of the Indian Music Industry. Having worked with RD Burman right till the very end (1992), Franco believes that his association with the legendary music composer was the best thing that happened to him professionally as well as personally and continues to cherish memories of the heady days of the Indian film and music business of the seventies and eighties

(Photo : Franco Vaz - RD Burman - Louiz Banks  & Others)

Other Associations

During that period Franco also began working with the other great and in-demand music directors of the time like Kalyanji Anandji, Uttam Singh, Kersi Lord, Vanraj Bhatia, Vaidyanathan, Anu Malik, Louiz Banks and others. Franco believes that he was very lucky to have had a close association with Illiyaraja and worked extensively with the great maestro for many years.
Modern Times

In the year 2002, Producer Firoz Nadiadwala gave him the opportunity to score the background music for his film “Awara Pagal Diwana”. He was so pleased with the music that in 2004 he was asked to do the back ground score for his next picture “AAN” which again was successfully released. From then onwards, Franco’s journey has been a mix of Programming electronic tracks for selected music composers as well as playing live drums for Films, Music Albums & Concerts. Never satisfied with the laurels of the past, Franco continues to work with newer music directors of our times like Surender Sodhi, Daniel B George, Shantanu Moitra, Amit Trivedi and others.
The Third Innings

Looking back, Franco reminisces, “I had a Great time when I started 40 years ago and I’m having a wonderful time now playing music with the young vibrant and talented musicians of this country. God has been really good to me. What more can I ask for?!” Enthusiastic, Playful, Warm and Friendly, Affable, Young at Heart are some of the adjectives that can be used to best describe this great son of India. Having achieved whatever it he set out to do in life, Franco now wants to share his enormous knowledge and experience with students, music enthusiasts and musicians who are starting off on their musical journey and teach them how to appreciate world music as well as our very own cultural product – The Music of Bollywood!