Old numbers minted as new are crowding the music industry as remixes appear to grow roots in Bollywood where filmmakers are keeping pace with fresh demands of the newer generation of listeners.
The line “Jitna purana ho sona sona, kyun na phir bhi rahega woh sona sona” from the number ‘Aunty ji’ has nailed the point that remixes have found an eager and an ever-growing market, song-makers argue.
While K-pop, reggaeton or hip-hop are stirring up western audiences, Bollywood is busily scrambling old Hindi hits with modern beats, catchy rhythms and pouring the product out at higher decibels to grab attention.
Refashioned tracks like ‘Dilbar’, ‘Husn hai suhana’, ‘Mirchi lagi toh’, ‘Nadiyon paar’ found a ready market in India where the latest foot-tapper ‘Chura ke dil mera’ of the 1990s has bettered its performance.
Singer Neha Kakkar, often described as the uncrowned remix queen, uses her vocal prowess to amp up recreations such as ‘Aankh marey’, ‘Cheez badi’, ‘Dilbar’, ‘O saki saki’ for dance-floor pelvic-grinders.
The 33-year-old said, “Remakes will never go out of fashion. It’s an old-school way of keeping the classics alive. It’s also about our memories associated with the song,” Neha said.
Vintage numbers are stealing the spotlight in contemporary Hindi movies with a clever mix of modernity.Playback singer Shilpa Rao, known for belting out original hits such as ‘Ghungroo’, ‘Khuda Jaane’ and ‘Malang’, feels otherwise.
“I am seeing so much original content that has been coming up. I am a huge supporter of original music. We have to create music for this era. I don’t want to be a part of an era that was a remake era. We want to be part of an era that defines it,” Rao said.
Singer Mika, rehashed ‘Tum par hum hain atke’, ‘Hawa hawa’, and ‘Aankh maare’, said that remixes such as ‘Chura liya’ or ‘Kanta Laga’ set the ball rolling way back in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
“The artists then (from the 1990s) are not seen now…The ones who came two years or two months ago have vanished. So, that is why it is felt that it’s not working in the film industry.”
The 44-year-old blamed the pandemic that sees films release only on online streaming platforms now. “Nothing else worked. Whatever songs are coming on OTT are not able to become a hit…Music will always be there…If the artists vanish then people think that the music has also gone,” he said.