From launching music online, to Salman Khan, Alia Bhatt and Shraddha Kapoor making their singing debuts, to the arrival of Bollywood Dance Music, to romantic ballets, to quirky songs topping the chartbusters to foot tapping item numbers to remake of old songs and the three Singhs — Arijit, Mika and Yo Yo Honey Singh — 2014 set new trends this year. Sangeeta Yadav speaks with music directors and singers who talk about how this year was a gamechanger for the music industry and list their favourites and whackiest songs this year
Online all the way
Basking in the success of her album Dil Ki Baatein, launched recently on YouTube, Kavita Paudwal, Arun and Anuradha Paudwal’s daughter, says that releasing music videos on the social media platform is this year’s boon for her. Though it is at the nascent stage, it has a lot of scope for singers.
“The music industry is waking up to releasing singles on social media platform. In the last two years, independent artists have been able to make a mark without being dependent on Bollywood or a music label. Even music videos have made a comeback. Earlier, people used to wait for years to launch their song but now it can easily be done over social media. It catches the attention of all the listeners and talent hunters and gives a visibility to the artist. You can create music on your own terms, compose the kind of music you like and believe in. This liberty you will not get when you work for other people,” Kavita tells you.
Where songs like Galiyan and Main tanu samjhawanki are her favourite pick of this year, Arijit Singh has emerged as the finest singer thus far.
“These two songs are definitely going to stay in my list of favourites. As far as singers are concerned, I will pick Arijit Singh; he is a class apart. His songs and voice are exceptional. I have heard all his songs and all of them are different that what makes him good and versatile,” Kavita tells you from Mumbai.
It’s not just the blockbuster songs that charted top at the box office list. There have been many whacky and quirky numbers that have found many takers.
“Sometimes, it’s just the title of the music that defines what kind of music it will be. Je mainu yaar na mile te mar jaawaan (Kick) is one of them. It has no sense but still people liked it because of its peppy composition. Even Maa ka phone aaya (Khoobsurat) is whacky. But probably the one to walk away with the trophy of being the madcap song this year will be I’m an alcoholic (The Shaukeens). When I heard it for the first time, meine apna sar pakda liya and said to myself, bas ab yeh hi rehgaya thha. What is the need to declare happily in public that I’m a alcoholic and be proud of it?,” Kavita asks.
So be it Engine ki seeti mein maro bum bole (Khoobsurat), Main patnewali (Desi Kattey) Piya ke bazaar mein (Humshakals) or Lovely (Happy New Year), Asalaam-e-ishqum (Gunday) and Dance basanti (Ungli), item songs have become a must in every film. But this year, these songs have received a very thanda response.
“It is derogatory to call anything item. Item songs have been overdone and have become unclassy. People are bored of it. Sheela.. and Munni… sounded fresh and original because a different treatment was given. Everybody was humming these songs regardless of the class they belonged to. But after that the popularity of these songs, it became a norm to put an item song in every film. I don’t think a large chunk of audience likes it anymore,” Kavita says adding that this trend has lost its charm.
“I just hope that music gets a little more body than it has right now. It’s just a lot of funky noise. It’s time that we create music which has a little more soul in it so make some sense,” Kavita says signing off.
Multiple composers ruled
Having worked on 12 films this year, Oscar winner for Best Sound Mixing for the movie Slumdog Millionaire Resul Pookutty is busy winding up all work related to his work for the movie PK before he heads for a well-deserve vacation. Composed by Shantanu Moitra, Ajay-Atul and Ankit Tiwari with lyrics penned by Swanand Kirkire, Amitabh Varma and Manoj Muntashir, Pookutty feels that having multiple composers is a good and healthy trend.
“Honestly, it’s not what a filmmaker wants to do. Roping in multiple composers is more of a business compulsion. It’s a combination of creative ideas and business put together. Certain people are good in certain things. It’s like having multiple singers and multiple writers for a film,” Pookutty says adding that his favourite song these days is Bhagwan hai kaha re tu from PK.
Unlike the west where we have a proper music industry that runs parallel with the movies, Indian music is missing out on a separate industry.
“Bollywood song industry is very peculiar because we don’t have a commercial music industry that is running parallel. Like in West, we have pop, rock, and many other established music streams. In India, the entire need of the music is been provided by movies wherein a set of music composers and filmmakers create compositions for the film which is story driven, composition driven and sometimes, poetry plays its part. But Coke Studios is an emerging trend,” Pookutty tells you.
For Pookutty, 2014 has been a musical treat with big budget films like PK, Highway and Kick. Where Kick was all about western elements coming together, his upcoming movies — Gurunanak and Jaanisaar will have the best of Indian classic music.
“In Kick, we looked at the other streams of music to find something new. Je Mainu yaar naa mile is a result of our search for a new sound, voice and composition. It’s very trendy and modern. When a pop star in the west looks for a new sound, they head to the DJ circuit. That’s a welcoming trend in India now”, Pookutty says.
BDM, the buzzword
After giving the biggest hits this year like Sunny sunny (Yaariyan), London thumukda (Queen) and Manali trance (The Shaukeens), Neha Kakkar is on cloud nine. Yet she has her feet firmly planted on the ground. Her aim, she tells you, is to entertain her fans through her music.
“My song Manali trance is one of my favourites and it’s a peppy number which has become a craze with the youth. The other best songs are Sawan aaya hai (Creature 3D) and Main tenu samjhawan ki which is sung by Arijit Singh. These songs are beautiful and reminds me of the 90s melody. But songs that have fun element have to be Chaar botal vodka (Ragini MMS 2), Abhi toh party shuru hui hai and Saturday saturday (Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania),” she says.
For Kakkar, 2014 was the year of Bollywood Dance Music (BDM) that spread like wildfire in the music industry.
“BDM is the latest trend in music today. It’s a mix Electronic Dance Music (EDM) and Bollywood. The second biggest trend seen in movies is rap. All Honey Singh videos and songs from the movies have rap and people have loved it,” theIndian Idol season 2 contestant tells you.
Where actors like Shraddha Kapoor, Alia Bhatt and Salman Khan forayed as singers and came out with their version of song from their movies, Badhshah who sang Saturday saturday in emerged as the best new talent this year.
“As far as the new talent is concerned not many new singers were launched this year. But Badhshah is the one who have made a dhamakedaar entry. He is the singer to watch out for along with others like Mohammed Irfan and her brother Tony Kakkar,” she tells you.
It’s Singh time
From Horn ok please (Dedh Ishqiya) to Chaar botal vodka to Party to bantee hai (Bhoothnath Returns) to Ye fugly fugly kya hai (Fugly) to Yaar naa miley (Kick), Honey Singh’s quirky rap and foot-tapping music ruled the roost this year. For Shibani Kashyap, who shot to fame with her Sajna aaa bhi jaa (Waisa Bhi Hota Hai), 2014 was the year of rap and club music.
“2014 is Honey Singh’s year. He has set a trend by creating music which is fun and quirky. I think, rap and club music have taken off in a big way this year in Bollywood,” Kashyap says.
And when she wants to listen to some good and fun songs she listens to songs of her favourite three Singhs — Arijit Singh, Yo Yo Honey Singh and Mika Singh. Where Arijit touches the heart of the people through his melodious songs, Mika’s unique panjabi tadka and unusual voice makes everyone groove to his numbers. Arijit is a true musician and artist.
“The way he plays the guitar and sings any genre of song makes him a rockstar,” Kashyap tells you.
Following in the footsteps of actors like Amitabh Bachchan and Priyanka Chopra who surprised us with their amazing singing talent, this year also saw other actors trying their luck in singing and getting rave reviews.
“I was stunned when I heard Alia Bhatt’s Galiyan and Shraddha Kapoor’s Main tenu samjhawan ki. They did a brilliant job. And Salman Khan singing Hangover from Kick was icing on the cake,” Kashyap says.
And then there was the remake of many songs from yesteryears and caught the attention of music lovers — both young and the elderly.
“I used to sing Main tenu samjhawan ki in my concerts, much before it got relaunched in the movie Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. I love the way it has been redone; it is brilliant. Even Queen’s Hangama ho gaya became a huge hit. I also think that Aaj phir tum pe pyar aaya hai from Hate Story 2 is recreated beautifully,” Kashyap says adding that Johnyy johnny haanji from the movie It’s Entertainment and Je mainu yaar naa milay are the whackiest songs this year with Baby Doll (Ragini MMS 2) being her favourite item number song by Meet Brothers.
Romantic ballets rocked
Love is always in the air and this year too, a couple of romantic numbers left everyone swooning. Shilpa Rao, who sung Meherban (Bang Bang), feels that romantic ballet category saw some amazing songs this year “Songs like Galiyan (Villain), Meherban (Bang Bang), Zehnaseeb (Hasee Toh Phasee) all have done well this year and are still playing on the chartbusters. These have been my favourite songs so far,” Rao says who is busy performing at the Hard Rock Cafe across cities.
Be it Jab We Met or Rockstar, director Imtiaz Ali and lyricist Irshad Kamil take extra care in packaging the music for their film so that they are able to strike the right chord with the listeners. The year 2014, kickstarted with mindblowing music from their film Highway that rocked the chartbuster and stayed for a longer run.
“When I first heard Highway’s Patakha guddi sung by Nooran sisters (Jyoti and Sultana Nooran), it took me to a magical place. I immediately messaged Irshad Kamil, the lyricist and music composer that this song send out a message to the people — a hope that things are going to be fine. It’s another way to look at life when you are in a tough situation. I find it inspiring. Even Maahi ve (Highway) become superhit,” Rao tells you adding that Paji tussi sach a pussy cat is the quirky song of 2014.
“If I’m in a bad mood, the music and the song lift my spirit. It has so much fun in it. Another song — Abhi toh party shuru hui hai has a right mix of base with punch and makes one want to dance. The way they have out the lyrics and weaved it with the background music is just applaudable,” Rao says.
(The article was published in Pioneer Newspaper – http://www.dailypioneer.com/sunday-edition/sunday-pioneer/backpack/sound-of-music.html).