Bappi was born in Calcutta in a family with a very rich tradition in classical music. His father Aparesh Lahiri was a famous singer and mother Bansari Lahiri and musician and singer was also a famous classical and Shyama Sangeet singer.He was their only child. At a very early age he had an ambition to be famous, not only nationally, but also internationally .He began to play the tabla from the age of 3 . His relatives from his mother's side include singer Kishore Kumar and the S. Mukerji clan. Initially he was trained by his own parents after which he got his first opportunity in a Bengali film Daadu in 1972.
He came to Bollywood at a very young age of 18. The first film in which he composed music was Nanha Shikari (1973). Still the turning point of his career was S. Mukherji' son Shomu Mukherji hit Tahir Husain 's Zakhmee 1975 . He himself got to sing ‘Nothing is impossible’ with Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar in the same film. The songs of his next film Chalte Chalte, became a rage, ‘Jaana kahaan hai’ sung by Bappi himself and ‘Pyar mein kabhi kabhi’. But for the rest of the decade his music could not do very well.The films he worked for were (Khoon Ki Pukar, Lahu Ke Do Rang, Paapi) , Aap Ki Khatir (‘Bambai se aaya mera dost’), Toote Khilone (‘Maana ho tum’), Dil sey Miley Dil (the title-track and Aflatoon), College Girl (‘Pyar maanga hai tumhi se’), Surakshaa (‘Mausam hai gaane ka’) and Ahsaas (‘Kitne raanjhe tujhe dekh ke’).
In the 80's Bappi Lahiri has come a long way to be one of the most popular music composers in Indian filmdom. His music blasts out of car radios and ghetto blasters wherever Indian popular music is heard. Bappida, as he is more popularly known, will be remembered for at least one reason, he introduced disco music in Indian films.