Bollywood Remixes – The Good, The Bad And The Ugly Side Of The Story


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Indian music had made a paradigm shift right from the time Bollywood started the masala and musical romance films in 1970s till 2020. We grew listening to classical tunes of composers like Laxmikant Pyarelal, R.D Burman, Bappi Lahiri, Viju Shah, Jatin Lalit, Nadeem-Shravan, Anu Malik (to some extent), A.R.Rahman, Shankar Eshaan & Loy and Amit Trivedi and still loving and humming the songs. However, as per current trend of Bollywood remixes, the question arises in mind – Is there dearth of talent or have we lost the creativity to come up with something original ? Let us focus what is the good, the bad and the ugly side of the Bollywood remixes.

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India is a land of diverse culture, religion, people and music. The music of India which includes multiple varieties of classical music, folk music, filmy songs, Indian rock, Indian pop and Punjabi music has been widely recognized by the world owing to authenticity, creativity, soulful-tune and feel-good factor which resonates with peacefulness, calmness and serenity. My parents were a big fan of Kishore Kumar and R.D Burman and I still remember the songs like Mere Saamne Waali Khidki Mein, Mere Pyaari Bindu and Ek Chature Naar from the laugh-a-thon , Padosan (1968).

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1990’s was the best thing which happened to us. The Indian music was at its peak as we got introduced to the Mozart of Madras, A.R.Rahman, who has won two Academy Awards, a BAFTA Award, two Grammy Awards, six National Film Awards and a Golden Globe Award. He got the break when he met Mani Ratnam at an advertising function. Rahman played him few of his music samples which Mani loved so much that he asked Rahman to compose the music for his next film, Roja (1992) (he won the National Film Award for Best Music Direction). The rest, as they say, is history.

Rahman introduced us to different genre of music with memorable compositions in films Humse Hai Muqabla (remember Prabhu Deva dancing to Muqabla Muqabla song), Bombay and Rangeela (1995), Hindustani (1996), Dil Se (1998), Taal (1999), Lagaan (2001), Yuva and Swades (2004), Rang De basanti (2006) , Guru and Jodha Akbar (2007), Delhi-6 (2009), Rockstar (2011), Highway (2014), 2015 (Tamasha).

Apart from Rahman, composers like Jatin Lalit (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge), Nadeem-Shravan (Saajan), Anu Malik (Border, Refugee), Shankar Eshaan & Loy (Lakshya, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag), Salim–Sulaiman (Chak De India, Band Baaja Baraat), Vishal-Shekhar (Jhankaar Beats, Musafir, Dus), Amit Trivedi (Udaan, Kai Po Che, Queen, Udta Punjab, Manmarziyaan) have built their own songs which has made our life wonderful, listening to their beautiful tracks.

My heart broke for the first time when I listened to the “Humma Humma” remake used in the film OK Jaanu which was composed by Tanishk Bagchi in collaboration with the rapper Badshah. The first thing came to my mind after listening to the remake – “Really, do we need to remake a classic”. This was just the beginning as Tanishk Bagchi went on to remake songs like “Tamma Tamma Again” from Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Tu Cheez Badi from Machine, Mere Rashke Qamar from Baadshaho, Hawa Hawai 2.0 from Tumhari Sulu, Aashiq Banaya Aapne from Hate Story 4, Dilbar from Satyameva Jayate, Gali Gali Mein Phirta Hai from KGF: Chapter 1, Aankh Maarey from Simmba, Chamma Chamma from Fraud Saiyyan, Shehar Ki Ladki from Khandaani Shafakhana, O Saki Saki from Batla House, Ankhiyon Se Goli Maare from Pati, Patni Aur Woh, Muqabla from Street Dancer 3D, Ole Ole 2.0 from Jawaani Jaaneman and now Maskali 2.0 from Delhi 6 which has been in the new since the time of the launch. The remix done by Tanishk Bagchi is not the only ones. There has been series of 2.0s – Dus Bahane 2.0 from Baaghi 3, solo Disco Dancer 2.0 featuring Tiger Shroff which has spoiled the original songs.

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I, being an avid movie watcher, had to kind of literally shut down my ears after listening to the remixes and wonder what had happened to Bollywood. Do we have dearth of talents, do we lack creativity, can’t we do more hard-work, spend more time on our passion and create something on our own ? The ugly side is that you cannot stop current generation from listening to the remixes and in that context, the original songs are being compromised. Shouldn’t we respect the classics and keep it the way it is ? Isn’t the charm of original compositions being lost ? The moment Masakali 2.0 came out, A.R.Rahman, who is not much active on the social media, had to take it to the Twitter :-

The good news is that after listening to these highly popular 2.0s, most viewed Bollywood remixes, I have started adoring and loving the classics even more now. Few days back, my daughter was listening to Muqabla Muqabla from Street Dancer 3 D. I suggested her to listen to the original composition from Kadhalan (Tamil film – Hindi dubbed version is Humse Hai Muqabla, which made Prabhu Deva a dancing sensation overnight). She is 6 years old and she asked me “Papa, why do they copy the songs ?”. I just smiled at her.


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Ketan Gupta

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