Music

Sajid Khan on Wajid's last composition: I am very emotional about it and it is very close to my heart

Posted on 30 Dec 2020 01:56:00 GMT - music

Bollywood composer-singer Sajid Khan says the anthem for a reality show, Indian Pro Music League, is close to his heart because it is one of the last compositions he created with his late brother Wajid Khan.

"In my entire career, the ‘Indian Pro Music League Anthem' has taken me the longest time to compose and record. Wajid and I were kicked about it when it came to us and we worked on it day and night," Sajid recalled.

"This is one of our last pieces of the composition together and, hence, I am very emotional about it and it is very close to my heart," he added.

Talking about the track, Sajid said: "What makes this even more magical is that we have 18 top singers singing such an anthem for the very first time. Talking about the anthem, it is quite different from our usual compositions. It is upbeat, charged with passion, and has a lot of regional flavours to it. I can't wait and watch to see the audience's reaction."

The anthem was unveiled at Zee Rishtey Awards 2020 on December 27. The music league will have six teams representing different regions of India. Each of these six teams is supported by leading Bollywood and sports celebrities and will have top playback singers as their captains.

The track is sung by 12 playback singers who will be seen as team captains on the show. Mika Singh, Kailash Kher, Sajid Khan, Shaan, Ankit Tiwari, Javed Ali, Asees Kaur, Bhoomi Trivedi, Akriti Kakar, Payal Dev, Neha Bhasin, and Shilpa Rao have been signed on to captain the six zonal teams.

The ambassadors of the league's zonal teams are Shraddha Kapoor and Govinda with their families. Rajkummar Rao, Riteish Deshmukh and Genelia, Bobby Deol, and Suresh Raina are seen grooving to the spirited track.

Apart from the 12 captains, the track also features the vocal stylings of the six reality stars -- Purva Mantri, Rupali Jagga, Hemant Brijwasi, Salman Ali, Rituraj Mohanty and Ankush Bhardwaj, who are a part of the six zonal teams.

The show will air on Zee TV soon.

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AR Rahman's mother Kareema Begum passes away in Chennai

Posted on 28 Dec 2020 12:12:25 GMT - music

Kareema Begum, the mother of Oscar-winning composer AR Rahman, passed away in the city due to age-related ailments. Mourning her demise, Rahman, posted a photo of her on his verified Twitter account on Monday afternoon.

Commenting on his tweet, celebrities from the world of music and cinema expressed condolences.

"Your heart is broken, I know. But your mother left you with an inner strength , an inner resilience and belief .. that I have seen and admired for long. Stay strong, my friend," commented director Shekhar Kapur.

"Dear Sir.. deeply saddened by your loss.. may god give you strength. Remembering Amma's wonderful and gentle soul. She will forever remain in our hearts," tweeted singer Harshdeep Kaur.

"Deeply saddened by this news Rahman sir. She was one of the most gentle affectionate person I have met. Praying for her departed soul," expressed singer Shreya Ghoshal.

"Sending you love and strength @arrahman sir," shared actress Aahana Kumra.

Kareema Begum was the wife of noted Malayalam music composer Rajagopala Kulashekharan aka RK Shekhar, who passed away in 1976. She is survived by her son Rahman and daughters AR Reihana, Ishrath Qadri and Fathima Shekhar.

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Sukhdeep Singh Bhogal: Art has often inspired change

Posted on 28 Dec 2020 01:59:48 GMT - music

Sukhdeep Singh Bhogal, aka L Fresh the Lion, keeps a close eye on developments in India. When an image of a protesting farmer being subjected to police brutality went viral, the Australia-based rapper knew exactly what he had to do. Over the past month, he has been using his social media account to be the voice of the farmers, whose voices, he says, have been stifled for decades.

"The image instantly caught the attention of those belonging to the diaspora. Someone, who was perhaps like my grandfather, was being abused. Having the kind of platform that I do implies that I have a responsibility," says the rapper, adding that apart from making a case for the farmers, he wanted to highlight how the media had played mischief. "Several sections tried to defame the movement by publishing images of farmers laughing, in a bid to imply that they weren't serious, or by suggesting that they were misinformed. But they didn't show the pain that the farmers were enduring — the nights that they spent on the streets of Delhi in the winter. For many, it was a life-and-death situation. They were willing to die there, because they knew that if they failed, they would be dying a slow death anyway." Bhogal is among the few artistes who have devoted their life to further social issues. He draws a list of instances when art has been instrumental in bringing about change.

"In the late '80s in the US, hip-hop [was popularised] by artistes who spoke of poverty, and marginalisation, and of how education was important to become self-reliant. Australia has also used music as a backdrop for its various defining moments. There was a racist movement prevalent in the country, and an album called Reclaim Australia had been created to further that message. They had a song [based on] Australia Day. That was also invasion day for the indigenous people. [A song released then highlighted how] marking both the days together was [not acceptable]. It was like saying, 'I killed your grandmother, and danced on her grave.' Eventually, counsels deferred Australia Day. That's a change that was [brought about by art]," says Bhogal, who conducted collaborative sessions with international artistes to draw attention to the protests.

Analysing conflicting opinions of Indians when situated in a distant country demands precision. But Bhogal believes he is in sync with people's sentiments. After he shared an image of water cannons being used on a vulnerable farmer, mutual associates facilitated an interaction between the two. "We connected over messages, and one of the things that he said was how grateful the farmers were for the support that they had received from people living overseas."

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Chandana Dixit: Glad that my voice was retained in Coolie No 1

Posted on 28 Dec 2020 01:55:23 GMT - music

Agitation against the rehashing of '90s ditties may not have stopped label owners from capitalising on the trend, but the effort hasn't been entirely futile. If Tanishk Bagchi's version of Husn hai suhana is testimony, attention is, at the very least, being paid to acknowledge artistes who were associated with the original track. For the remixed version of the Coolie No 1 song, the makers roped in original singer Chandana Dixit, who last lent her voice to a Bollywood track 17 years ago.

"The makers did not want to alter the original vocals. While the male vocals [of Abhijeet Bhattacharya] could be salvaged, a portion of the section that I had rendered was [hampered]. So, I had to record the mukhda again," says Dixit, evidently delighted that her work was retain-ed in the new version, featuring Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan.

Also Read: David Dhawan on recreating songs for Coolie No. 1 from 1995 original

Retaining the original vocals, she says, is a gesture that artistes of her like appreciate. "[A song like this one is] precious for a singer. When our voice is retained, it is nice, because we have a bond with the song; we have seen it being created from scratch. Unfortunately, this did not happen when Sheher ki ladki was recreated. That was also my song, but the rights were owned by a label, and it was hence their property. The owner naturally wanted his daughter to sing it. It was unfortun-ate, and I felt sad, but such is life."

In 2002, Dixit, who has worked with composers like Anand-Milind and Anu Malik, and rendered songs like Chumma chumma and Tujhe khaas fursat, moved to the US after getting married. This rehashed version is the first Bollywood track rendered by her ever since. In the states, Dixit has been conducting music classes. "I have been training students for 18 years. I was interested in classical singing, and followed my passion."

Also Read: Exclusive! Shikha Talsania on being offered Coolie No. 1: I was gobsmacked; I was like 'yes yes yes'

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Year-Ender 2020: Neha Kakkar, Armaan Malik, Dhvani Bhanushali: Singers who gave us memorable singles

Posted on 28 Dec 2020 01:49:00 GMT - music

Bollywood singers have been releasing non-film singles over the years, but 2020 saw an increasing number of artistes explore the indie scene, and fans are not complaining.

Here's a list of singers who entertained their fans with singles in the pandemic era:

Dhvani Bhanushali

The young singer has been successful at balancing Bollywood and non-film music careers. If she delivered Bollywood chartbusters like Dilbar and Psycho saiyaan, her singles such as Vaaste and Leja re have been fan favourites, too. This year too, she didn't disappoint her fans. She released singles Na ja tu, Baby girl, Nayan and Jeetenge hum, which she dedicated to the frontline workers who are battling the Covid-19 pandemic. Her steady flow of songs proves her career graph is only on the rise.

Armaan Malik

He is the voice behind top Bollywood tracks like Main hoon hero tera, Tumhe apna banane ka and Jab tak. He has also sung in multiple languages like Telugu and Tamil. And this year, he launched his first international single Control. He followed it up with more English songs Next 2 me and How many. He continued to churn out songs in the Hindi non-film music space, with Veham being his latest one. He added a feather in his cap winning Best India Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards.

Papon

For years, he has been singing in multiple languages including Assamese and Hindi. Known to Bollywood music buffs for his songs such as Kyon and Bulleya, Papon has a cult fan base in the independent music space as well. Making good use of lockdown, he came up with multiple singles this year including Haaye rabba, Nilaanjana, Mujhe kisi se pyar nahin and his latest, Maula.

Badshah

A plagiarism charge and a fake hits controversy generated much negative news about Badshah, but neither could keep his popularity down. The rapper unveiled an array of singles in 2020 like most years. Out of them, Genda phool was the most-talked about, for all the wrong reasons. He was accused of lifting portions off Ratan Kahar's classic Bengali folk song Boroloker biti lo without giving the artiste any credit. Badshah promptly paid the veteran folk singer, and promised to collaborate with him in a future project. The fake hits controversy followed. According to an IANS report in August, Badshah reportedly admitted to Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU), to shelling out over Rs. 75 lakh for promoting his album with fake likes and followers.

However, the rap superstar's hit count kept rising, undeterred. Among his biggest hits this year are the singles like Awaara and Toxic. His song with Fazilpuria, Haryana Roadways also became a rage.

Neha Kakkar

She is Bollywood's numero uno female voice at the moment, and despite film production being shut she had a very busy year with back-to-back singles including Moscow Suka (with Yo Honey Singh), Bheegi bheegi, Taaron ke shehar, and Teri aankhon mein.

She literally announced her wedding with the music video Nehu da Vyah, with her husband, singer Rohanpreet Singh, and then within weeks Neha announced Khyaal rakhta kar in a way that would make it seem like she was pregnant. It was a publicity stunt, of course.

Guru Randhawa

The Punjabi star is popular for his singles being given a Bollywood touch, as his hit songs get featured in Hindi films quite often. Be it Suit suit or Ban jaa rani, his singles have been used by Bollywood filmmakers. In 2020, he made his fans dance to singles like Nach meri rani and Baby girl.

Yo Yo Honey Singh

He is an artiste whose roots go back to the early days of the new-age Indian indie music scene. In Bollywood, he is known for hits such as Yaar naa miley and The Lungi Dance. This year not only saw him releasing his own singles, but also launching a new face, Ipsitaa, with the track, First kiss. Most recently, the rapper unveiled Jingle bell with artiste Hommie Dilliwala. He also has Saiyaan ji in his kitty.

Amaal Malik

Armaan's brother and composer-singer Amaal Mallik, known for Bollywood compositions like Sooraj dooba hai, Main hoon hero tera and Naina, entered the non-film music territory with the pop song Tu mera nahi as a singer. The track got a party version too. The re-imagined track was curated by DJ Shadow Dubai.

Kanika Kapoor

She was one of the first Indian celebrities to have contracted coronavirus. But she ensured to end the year with at least one single. Known for Bollywood hits like Baby doll and Chittiyaan kalaiyaan, Kanika released Jugni 2.0 in December. She basically gave a new twist to her single Jugni ji, which had released eight years ago. The song is an instant hit.

Arjun Kanungo

The Khoon choos le singer has made it big in the non-film music scene, especially after his breakout hit Baaki baatein peene baad. This year was no different for him. He continued to give melodious singles like Dil kho ke, Tum na ho and Waada hai.

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Shakeela song: Richa Chadha shows off her belly dancing moves in Taaza

Posted on 22 Dec 2020 06:26:23 GMT - music

The makers of Richa Chadha's Shakeela have released the new song from the film titled Taaza. The song is sung by Prakriti Kakar, Saheb Khan and Veer Samarth, and has been penned by lyricists Kumaar and Saheb Khan.

Watch the video of Taaza below:

The song features Richa Chadha as Shakeela flaunting her belly dancing moves as the video's narrative shows glimpses of Shakeela's on-screen and off-screen life and rise to stardom. Based on the life of the adult film star, who rose from rags to riches, and her downfall is a shocking true story directed by Indrajit Lankesh.

The film is set for a theatrical release across five languages on December 25 this year. The film is produced and presented by Sammys Magic Cinema Motion Picture Production and distributed by UFO movies.

Also read: Shakeela Song Tera Ishq Satave: Richa Chadha's Sensuous Moves Are Jaw-Dropping

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Coolie No. 1 song: Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan's Mirchi Lagi Toh will take you down memory lane

Posted on 21 Dec 2020 07:38:37 GMT - music

It's time to go down memory lane as the makers of Coolie No. 1 starring Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan have just dropped the new version of the classic 90s song Mirchi Lagi Toh. Reimagined by Lilo George - DJ Chetas, the original song was composed by Anand-Milind and the lyrics were penned by Sameer.

Watch the video of the song below:

The song featuring original singers Kumar Sanu and Alka Yagnik recreates the same magic as the 1994 cult classic. Filled with sizzle and spice, Varun Dhawan and Sara Ali Khan step into the dancing shoes of Govinda and Karisma Kapoor.

A still from the song

Speaking about the new version of the song, director David Dhawan says, "Songs from the original Coolie No. 1 are hugely popular and timeless, according to me these tracks also helped the film. I was always clear that if I ever made this film again, I would use these blockbuster songs. The songs from the original were created by music directors Anand Milind and written by lyricist Sameer, who are close to me. We have done a lot of work together, by including these songs in the new Coolie No.1 it was my way to pay back."

Coolie No.1 premieres on December 25, 2020, exclusively on Amazon Prime Video.

Also read: Varun Dhawan: Feel Safe When I Work With My Father

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Let's get this party started

Posted on 21 Dec 2020 01:43:14 GMT - music

'A mash-up, unlike a melody, must sound like one solo track'

DJ Chetas asserts that consumer's recently renewed affection for mid-tempo romantic songs cannot be ignored. "If you carefully listen to the party mash-ups that I have been creating for MTV Beats in the last month, you'll notice how we have used such music to address this behaviour," he says of the trend that has seen listeners gravitate towards music that isn't overpowering.

His ability to design promising mash-ups, he says, has earned him success. "The best part about a mash-up is that if you enjoy the entire soundtrack of an album, you can consume all its songs within the short span of a few minutes, via a mash-up. Consumers enjoy that." Does that imply that he takes the hook lines of different tracks and weaves them together? "No, I ensure that the words are interplayed in such a manner that the various sections work together as a single song. For instance, Dilli wali girlfriend, and Sharabi ho gayi are two tracks, but I will design the two lines to sound like one when creating a mash-up. It then acquires a new meaning. The most essential aspect of a mash-up is that, unlike a melody, it must sound like one song instead of a mix of many. All the tracks need to have one key. As someone who juggles both jobs, I can say that creating a mash-up is tougher than composing music."

'Party music no longer deafening, as we know it to be'

DJ Suketu

DJ Suketu makes evident that adaptability is an essential trait for survival in an industry that is as luring as the show business. When he began to explore a profession that could barely even be called one in '97, DJs were expected to churn out appealing remixes of English pop music alone. It was only after select musicians began to flirt with desi adaptations — peppering their American set with hints of Bollywood music — that tides began to turn. "Club owners started noticing that audiences were appreciating Hindi music, and, by 2003, there was an absolute shift. Hindi music came to the forefront, and today, [a party playlist] is dominated by Bollywood," he tells mid-day when we ask him about changes in consumption trends across his two decade-long career.

Suketu hasn't been apprehensive of welcoming change. He outshone contemporaries as consumers outgrew English pop music and developed an appetite for indie pop in the early 2000s. He also began to consume Bollywood music to stay in sync with evolving choices. However, like it did in every other aspect, 2020 threw a curve-ball for artistes of his kind. 'Party music' was no longer deafening as it had come to be known, with consumers "seeking mellowed versions" of even the peppiest numbers. "In April, we kicked-off a virtual party series called Sundowner by the Bay, and soon noticed that the [property] that was receiving the most acclaim was the Sunday Sundown, where I essentially played house. Even if I played a mainstream or Bollywood number, it still had a groove that was mellow. And I understand this change in listeners' behaviour. Consumers are essentially consuming our music while looking into their screens, and the volume needs to be controlled to suit those around them."

Having exploited his skills to create rehashed versions of songs over the past 23 years, the DJ has started to explore original compositions, only now. "I will release one original track each month till July 2021, and there will be a number of collaborations."

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Harshdeep Kaur: Brought together best of both worlds

Posted on 21 Dec 2020 01:36:21 GMT - music

Back in 2017, Karan Johar had hit the nail on the head when describing the emotions that Anushka Sharma and Virat Kohli's wedding pictures had evoked. "[They] have tapped into almost everyone's romantic instincts. The singles are feeling a pang, and the couples are feeling the love... (or the lack of it)," Johar had tweeted. The admiration that the duo has for one another reflected in the collection, which was only enhanced by ambience, attires, and music. Harshdeep Kaur, who had rendered a song specially curated for the occasion, points to this love when highlighting why the song received as much acclaim as it did.

"When we released a teaser of Peer vi tu at that time, people were curious to know who had sung it, and began to search for it. I got requests to unveil the entire version. Brides wanted the song for their weddings too," says the singer, who used a blend of Sufi music and contemporary practices when rendering it.

"Even if you hear this song 20 years later, you will still feel the [love]. By blending it with Sufi lyrics, we've also alluded to the love one has for god, and how one is willing to place their beloved on a pedestal, like we do our gods. There were certain words that had to be expressed with clarity. I would make a note of them before heading into the recording."

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Divine becomes the first Indian rapper to feature on New York Times Square billboard

Posted on 20 Dec 2020 01:43:00 GMT - music

On the eve of the launch of his sophomore album Punya Paap, Divine became the first Indian rapper to feature on the New York Times Square Billboard. Ecstatic about the honour, the rapper says it's yet another example of hip-hop making its mark. "Hip-hop has taken so many strides over the last few years in the country. I'm excited about all the young artistes and labels doing their bit for the larger movement. The next generation of music superstars in this country will come from hip-hop," he promises.

Undeniably, this comes as a big boost to his four-part new album. Since September, he has been releasing singles from the creation, beginning with the eponymous track, followed by Mirchi and Mera bhai. According to him, Punya Paap is far removed from his previous work, Kohinoor, which catered to his fan base. "Everyone is surrounded by the forces of punya [virtue] and paap [sin]; they affect our actions and decisions. Musically, the album sees me going in directions that I wouldn't have attempted a few years ago. It shows my evolution as an artiste and songwriter. It has something for everyone, including a casual hip-hop listener."

Rapper Divine
Rapper Divine

Also Read: Rapper Divine's song Kaam 25 talks about dark side of Mumbai

The musician, who, along with peer Naezy, inspired Zoya Akhtar's Gully Boy (2019), established his own label, Gully Gang, last year to support independent artistes. "Developing artistes is at the core of what we do," says Divine, adding that Aavrutti, Shah Rule, Karan Kanchan, D'Evil and MC Altaf have releases in the pipeline.

The recent feats notwithstanding, Divine admits the pandemic has taken a toll on the music scene in the country. "Touring has always been a big part of me. Performing Kohinoor in front of thousands of people last year was a different experience altogether. COVID-19 has affected all industries. The lack of touring has been the biggest fallout for us, especially for younger artistes for whom it's important to play for a new audience regularly."

Also Read: Divine: Gully Boy gave us great push but we shouldn't be dependent on it

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Sidharth Malhotra, Diana Penty get romantic in new music video; actress shares first poster

Posted on 19 Dec 2020 04:30:00 GMT - music

Actors Sidharth Malhotra and Diana Penty have come together for a romantic music video, Challon ke nishaan, directed by Bosco Martis.

Tweeting the poster of the song, Diana wrote: "Challon ke Nishaan dropping soon..."

Sidharth also shared the same poster that shows the actors smiling and hugging each other. On the other side of the poster, Sidharth is alone and looks unhappy.

"Kya Karein Shikayat bhi, Apna to Muqaddar hi Nikla Beimaan, ungliyon pe reh gaye Challon ke Nishaan," he wrote along with the poster. Martis, too, was "excited to share the first look poster of our upcoming music video". Sung by Stebin Ben, the song has been composed by Sunny Inder and lyrics by Kumaar.

On the Bollywood front, Sidharth will be seen in the biographical war drama, Shershaah. Diana, on the other hand, has Shiddat, which also stars Radhika Madan and Sunny Kaushal.

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Jubin Nautiyal releases reprised version of Aatishbaazi

Posted on 18 Dec 2020 05:01:29 GMT - music

Jubin Nautiyal has released a reprised version of his first international collaboration, Aatishbaazi, which was out in August. The Tujhe kitna chahne lage hum and Kaabil hoon singer shot the music video in home state Uttarakhand to showcase the region's natural beauty.

"Aatishbaazi is special as it was shot under strict guidelines during the lockdown with a small crew," says Nautiyal, who features in the video with model Bruna Weide. The song is composed by Nautiyal and Rocky Khanna, who has also written the lyrics.

Jubin has sung Aatishbaazi in Hindi. Its English version titled Breaking the rules was be helmed by John Berardo. Shot amidst pandemic and lockdown, the video highlighted his love for his home state, Uttarakhand. "Aatishbaazi is extremely special to me as it's the first time I got to direct my music video. Under strict film guidelines created especially for us as this was at the beginning of lockdown, along with a small crew, we were able to capture the true beauty of Uttarakhand which amplified the new sound that I have created with Rocky Khanna and 13-year-old Abhrahim Khanna, a music producer in India, for Malsons' first American project," said the singer in an interview with IANS.

"It was with the amazing support of the Uttarakhand government and my team that has stood by me for years, we have created something that has never been explored here before," added Jubin, known for singing songs like Tum Hi Aana and Kaabil Hoon.

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