Even if you are not an ardent fan of Hindi music, you may have come across old Bollywood numbers being remade into peppy, foot tapping numbers. Most music directors are inserting one remade song in their films. Nearly all of them have garnered millions of views on the internet and are a sensation. Of the younger generation of music directors, Tanishk Bagchi is the most notable. He is recreating the songs and churning out one chartbuster after another. Recently, “Aankh Marey”, and “Dilbar-Dilbar” gained momentum with audiences and is on a loop for the millennial generation.
Similarly, the magic of Madhuri’s yesteryear song “Ek-do-teen” has been recreated with Jacqueline Fernandes grooving in it. Aishwarya Ray is also seen exhibiting her charm in a new version of “Halka Halka Suroor” which was originally sung by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. The exciting part of these remade songs is that they are catchy, abundantly played in the discos and pubs, and are hot favourites with the Disc Jockeys or DJ’s. Youngsters love to ‘shake a leg’ in the new songs whereas the middle-aged and the old complain and express discontent over the remade version.
New, soulful music aided by technological advancements has introduced people like Amit Trivedi, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Pritam Chakraborty, Mithoon, Toshi, and Amaal Malik. Film directors like Vishal Bharadwaj and Sanjay Leela Bhansali have also been successful as music directors. They are carrying on the legacy of classic music composers like Salil Chowdhury, Roshan, Bappi Lahiri, Laxmikant-Pyarelaal, Khayyam, A.R. Rahman, S.D. Burman and his son R.D. Burman.
But, the question to be asked is whether the talent is drying up. Is there nothing new to be made? Why are the remakes of classics like “Lag jaa gale”, “Keh doon tumhe” or A.R. Rahman’s “Humma Humma” even being tried? There is a saying which goes, ‘Old is Gold’ and means the remaking of songs into peppy numbers is unjustified and not soothing for the ears.
The old classics when retouched lose their charm and grace. The melody of the yesteryear songs cannot be synced with the hi-end technological inputs and more bass to ‘shake a leg’. “Cheez badi hain mast mast” still reminds people of Raveena Tandon’s desirable moves in a yellow saree with Akshay Kumar infusing nostalgia and cannot match the latest number featuring Mustafa and Kiara Advani. With rap and remakes flocking in, are we seeing an end of new melodies or is it just that dance numbers are here to stay? Time flies and so does the musical tastes of the people. But certain things live with us, and the classics are among them. What do you say?
By Shourini Banerjee (PhD Research Scholar)
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