The year 2017 will be memorable for many things, Bollywood music industry’s remixed contribution to our ears, is certainly not one of them. I was so happy at the beginning of this year. Finally! Bollywood was getting over its obsession with Yo Yo Honey Singh and his gang of sexist rappers. The songs were getting hypnotically repetitive. With lyrics not going beyond the realm of Daru, Party, Chhori, Maal. But little did my sensitive ears know.
As the year progressed, Bollywood music industry slowly pulled out a dormant bunny from its hat. The quintessential remixes, that too of the songs from 90s
Remixes were always a part of my song lists, when I was growing up. If I rummage through my cassette collection, I will for sure find recordings of songs like Dil kya Kare Jab Kisiko, Kaliyon Ka chaman, Kanta Laga (yes guilty of that too) and my favourite Ao huzoor tumko (Lounge Safari mix) and Bin Tere Sanam. Many of you might have played these songs on loop, while the oldies cringed and sulked. Now, I find myself in the same spot. I cringe every time someone plays Hamma Hamma, or mentions how mast is the remix of Tu Cheez badi.
So what has changed from then to now, that I find myself in the place of my parents? I am getting old, but certainly I have survived the onslaught of Despacito. So, I could have made it through this year without complaining about remixes. But it is the sheer number of songs that amuses me the most.
Just when one remix starts slipping in the charts, another one makes an entry to replace it
Tracks from 90s like Tamma Tamma Loge, Hamma Hamma, Neend Churai meri, Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast, Hawa Hawa, Hawa Hawai, Chalti hai Kya Nau Se Barah, Oochi Hai Building, were joined by classics like Gulabi ankhen.
The worst part was that almost each song came with a desi rap hidden between the stanzas
So evidently, the new monster was resurrected with the heart of the old one.
Bollywood loves to back any and every formula which will bring in money. The music industry, which is perennially fighting piracy, accusations of piracy (oh the irony!), and changing trends every year, suffers from a lot of pressure. Pressure from producers to deliver a hit number which will not only garner their film some talk, but will also be played on radio and television, till the listeners’ ear drums bleed to death.
It’s not that our music directors lack creativity. But they know that if they refuse to do a certain kind of song, someone else will do it
What else can be the reason for numerous directors, who willingly board the popular trend bandwagon, and watch their own old songs being beaten to pulp in the name of remix?
It’s not that remixes just came back from the dead in 2017. There were popular remixes in the previous few years as well. Like Kala Chashma, Oye Oye, Laila Mai Laila, Aise Na Mujhe Tum Dekho.
The trend of remix found its peak in 2017, because of the decline of desi rap. Hopefully, the trend will start declining in 2018, as music directors and film producers will find another sure shot formula which would guarantee a super hit song. Till then I am going to just heal my ears with some white noise.
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Dr Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are author’s own.