Bollywood’s sounds are a-changing. Who’s behind it all? And do people really like it? SWATI DAFTUAR
(In pic: Suraj Jagan)
Bollywood is known to adopt and discard trends faster than one can keep track of, and in the past few years, it has accepted and included new sounds, rock, jazz and infusions. Ram Sampath, Raghu Dixit, Naresh Kamath, Paresh Kamath, Suraj Jagan and Ashish Manchanda came together at the 100 Pipers’ India Music Week for a panel discussion on the topic, “Who’s behind the changing sound of Bollywood?”. Every single name here has found himself, either at the beginning of his career or at a later stage, contributing to this changing sound, providing music for movies and producing songs that have gone on to do extremely well in the commercial front. Amit Saigal, moderating the discussion, opened the discussion by asking them the first question that comes to mind, “Why?”
When for years, Bollywood music and rock music have been like chalk and cheese, and hardcore music lovers have looked down upon Bollywood songs, what is it that is changing now? Suraj Jagan, the man who’s given songs to movies like “3 Idiots” and “I Hate Luv Storys”, believes that it is the onslaught of young talent on the Bollywood scene that is shifting the trend. The lines between “rock music” and “filmy songs” are blurring, with newer Hindi bands and gigs, and fast paced movies that don’t want romantic tracks with the hero and heroine dancing but catchy background scores.
“I quite enjoy it. I still love screaming my guts out; I just do it in Hindi now,” says Suraj. His last song, Jaa chudaail is a typical example of a song he thought could never make it to Bollywood but went on to become quite a hit. Raghu Dixit of the Raghu Dixit Project fame believes that though he had been playing for quite a while, real fame came only to his when his song in a Kannada movie, “Psycho”, became a cult hit. “Next I knew, even the remotest village in Karnataka had heard my name.” Dixit says he enjoys making music for films.
Saigal’s next question elicited a mixed response from the panellists. “How have the other artists in the rock and indie music circle taken it?”“Of course, there have been comments about selling out,” says Dixit, but no matter what, this is just another genre we are exploring, just another phase of my career I’m exploring. Naresh Kamath, part of the band, Kailasa, believes that Bollywood acts as a melting pot for all that is happening, in terms of movies, politics, trends, fashion and much more. It has the mass appeal potential that other mediums don’t have.
So is this changing trend just a phase? Naresh’s brother Paresh Kamath, another member of Kailasa said, “I don’t know, but I know that the kind of music that used to be made when we were kids isn’t made anymore. Right now, Bollywood is experimenting, trying out new sounds, adding authenticity. I don’t think there is just one sound any longer, it’s a mix of everything, and rock is a part of it.”
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