indian cinema heritage foundation

Enoch Daniels

Music Director
  • Primary Cinema: Hindi
  • Spouse: Grace Daniels
  • Children: Ramona Borthwick, Ramaya Daniels

Enoch Daniels was born on the 16th April, 1933 in Poona to a family that was musically inclined, as all his siblings played one or the other instrument. The presence of British missionary institutions such as Convent of St Mary and Society of St John the Evengelist in the city played an important part in not only stoking his interest but also in the impartment of early musical training. He was keen on percussion, as a result of which he assembled a makeshift drumkit out of wooden boxes, metal tins, and brass plates.  

During his graduation years in Nowrosjee Wadia College in Pune, he was a regular on the stage in any opportunity he got. Danny, as he was popularly called, picked up the piano accordion for the portability factor of the instrument as there were hardly any pianos in these venues. A relatively unknown instrument at that point, he can be credited for popularising it in India. 

The 1953 All India Youth Festival in New Delhi, where he was selected to represent Pune University was a pivotal moment in his life. The Festival presented him with a wider audience, and any other ideas of joining Indian Army that he once entertained were discarded as he made up his mind to join the Bombay film industry. 

In 1955, he got his big break to perform with Van Shipley across the nation and internationally. Daniels was also a part of the various international troupes of Indian maestros such as Talat Mahmood, C H Atma, Manna Dey, Van Shipley, Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar that performed in East Africa, USA, Canada, Mauritius, and London during the 60s and 70s. 

In 1957, Columbia records signed him as an independent artist. He recorded several solo instrumental pieces, some of which have survived on audio tapes and CDs. 

He also played a crucial role in shaping Hindi film music in the capacity of a music arranger and instrumentalist. S D Burman, Shankar Jaikishan, Salil Chowdhury, Khayyam, Vasant Desai, O P Nayyar, Madan Mohan and Sudhir Phadke. Some of his noteworthy films are Pinjara (1972), Kabhie Kabhie (1976), Choti Si Baat (1976), and Trishul (1978). The stereo re-recording of V Shantaram’s Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje (1955) was a memorable project in Daniel’s career. 

He has also given music for several documentaries, and advertisements. Apart from this, he was also part of the solo album production of several artists such as Talat Mahmood, Preeti Sagar and in Shaguftagi - Fragrance Of Poetry & Melody a poetry collection of Kaifi Azmi

He is married to Grace Daniels and they have a son Ramaya Daniels who is based in Bangalore and a daughter Ramona Borthwick who lives in USA. Daniels live in Pune and occasionally dips his toe in studio work whenever the opportunity rises.