Friday, February 24, 2017

Songs of 2016 Hindi Films

What IS with the new crop of Music in Bollywood ? I am mind-blown by the shear output of new styles and good ones at that.

Singers:

There is such an explosion in Bollywood music, its hard for me to name them all. Arijit Singh, Armaan Malik, Ankit Tiwari, Jubin Nautiyal, Monali Thakur, Neha Kakkar, Palak Muchhal. Last 2 years were flooded with their songs, hence they got noticed. But obviously, they have prepared for this, all their life. A whole lot of hit songs were by new singers. Hope they do not stay one-hit wonders.

Once upon a time, there was a monopoly in terms of Hindi singers. They did enrich the field in many ways. Other singers however, could barely make a scratch. Yet a lot of them did sing enough, for us to have a playlist of favorite songs - maybe nostalgia driven but not to undermine their immense talents - Suresh Wadkar, Yesudas, Anuradha Paudwal, Kavita Krishnamurthy. Eventually they did become giants of their world, but the pace is nothing compared to the explosion we have now.

Thanks to the competition reality shows, practically everyone started training in singing from their babyhood. And now we have the cream rise to the top. They are popular. Maybe not monumental & revered like the pre-80's singers. But they are popular and busy with work. That is much better scenario than the starving artist situation. Because God knows, Producers pay peanuts for the actual recording for the movie. It's the offline demand for the singers to sing their own or current hit songs, that bring in the dough.

Lyricists:

Is every Lyricist now, from the school of Gulzar ? How many of them studied in Hindi medium ? I know that a lot of them come from the Hindi dominant states. But a lot of them are metro city-bred or are southern. How are they managing to churn out poetry ? I know of the whole stance that Hindi songs are not poetry. But I feel we are well past that. Hindi movie songs are Poetry. They give a stanza to any instance of life. They bring out analogies that are lurking in the back of our minds. Now they have dazzling, clever lyrics, witty and with unique metaphors.
Notable mentions: Kausar Munir, Anvita Dutt, Amitabh Bhattacharya, Jaideep Sahni, Kumaar.

Interesting thing about Lyricists is they don't get paid much at all. I wonder how this many of them continued in this field and so many new ones still wander into it? I assume they have other source of livelihood as well, like other writing jobs in Films and Ad world. Because I don't think they have any recurring income from their output, just the initial payment. The song rights usually reside with the Producers and they are the ones who control the next remix, remakes and reboots every few decades.

However it is interesting how in any Remix song, the Lyrics are the hook, which get the audience. The musical arrangement & instruments change. Apart from signature tune, everything else changes. Singers change. Only thing that's constant are the lyrics (even with modifications and additions).
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Music of 2016: 

Majority of the songs were hit dance songs. And almost all categorized as EDM. They are all gems which are going to last long. Melodies are all beautiful, notably Amaal Mallik & Mithoon.

Collaborations seem like there is going to be interesting times ahead. Songs from independent makers were added in big-production house movies, after refining the original raw version. This would be un-credited in the less-informed era. But now in the world of uber-information, these artists are credited and actively participate in the movie version. Main example are Kar Gayi Chull , rappers and collaborations with Nucleya.

I am amazed at how they grow independently, really spread out. Most of them have used Youtube channels as their lab to grow and gather admirers along the way. And once they have built their own popularity base (measured in numbers on social media & sold event tickets) and once they have perfected their skill levels, they are collaborating with the filmmakers, again with a level of independence - not giving in to the traditional mold of "Hindi film Music director".

Albums

Coming back to mainstream muscians, Sairat is the wowest. Their orchestra and visual picturization was very refreshing. The slom-mos, drone camera shots showcasing the actual beautiful sceneray, this papaya and marigold farms, rocky shores.

Ok Jaanu grabbed our attention with The Humma Song. And then other songs started growing on you.


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