The Indipop stars of yesteryear are having to compete in an increasingly filmi music video market

The 90s is remembered for many things - economic reform, foreign investment and liberalisation — but what most TV junkies recollect are Alisha Chinai and her “cute blunt cut” in Baby Doll; Baba Sehgal wooing Pooja Bedi in a garage in Dil Dhadke; Lucky Ali’s O Sanam and Anupama Verma’s pout in Biddu’s Boom Boom. It was the era of liberalisation and music, too was removed from Bollywood films and placed on the idiot box.

With VHS-quality music videos and funky artists, Indipop came of age. But today, a decade later, the music video genre has come full circle. From funky Indipop videos and sleazy remixes, to Bollywood videos, the genre is a muddled lot.

“From the time the first Indipop video was played on Channel V — 13 years ago — to date, has been quite a journey. Bollywood today is releasing its music in the video format, and when a multi-crore worthy heartthrob lipsyncs even a mediocre Bollywood tune, CDs sell much more than for the hardest promoted pop artist. The end result is both music and the video quality have suffered from a Vitamin M deficiency - M as in money, not music,” says Saurabh Kanwar, marketing head Channel V.

A fact hard to miss if you see the slew of Bollywood music videos on the tube — Mauja Mauja from Jab We Met; Hare Ram Hare Krishna from Bhul Bhoolaiyan; Singh is Kingg from Singh is Kingg — are all videos used to publicise the films.

“Both Bollywood and Indipop are vying for extra airtime,” says Harry Anand, music director of the controversial Chadti Jawani and Kanta Laga remixes, “The audience too has changed. While earlier most music videos would be sleazy, today, the audience wants a classy, well-made video, as we are constantly compared to film songs. The fact that films, too, release music albums has made the Indipop genre difficult to compete in.”

Produced like home videos with the artist mouthing the lines — the Indipop videos of yesteryear, many say, were plain bad, or simply novel. “Back then music channels were new, and so was the idea of music outside of films. That is why music videos stood out and became such a rage. But with the technology, everyone stepped up their quality, so today everything looks the same. Bollywood songs try to mimic the video format and music videos artists shoot their songs like film music,” says Luke Kenny.

That’s not to say that the Indian music industry hasn’t produced any memorable ones.
Lucky Ali’s O Sanam was a great song with a soulful singer, uniquely shot with
Pyramids in the background; Dooba Dooba by Silk Route was shot underwater; Sayonee by Pakistan band Junoon was shot in Sufi style; Bula ki jana by Rabbi with its juxtaposition of artist and content — have all stayed in our memory. Channels, too, still have them on their play list.

“Only those videos with a good song, great visual content and a charismatic artist have stood the test of time,” says Luke.

Yet the struggle to keep the Indipop video format going is on — only this time artists are armed with better technology and a new vision.

“In the milieu of music videos and other formats only the best can survive,” says Anand,
“no longer can you depend on the ‘item girl’ tag alone to sell your music. Today, you easily need a Rs15-16 lakh budget with great locales and a novel idea to get noticed.”

India’s original rap star Baba Sehgal, agrees: “A good music video with good music, content and artist’s personality will definitely get noticed. But it is sad that these days most music companies aren’t interested in grooming an artist. It requires a lot of patience, understanding and belief to do so. People want quick results and the remix-item girl genre is easy both in terms of time and finance,” says Baba, who is launching his new album Life ki gaadi ko dhaka mar, in October this year.

Music channels, however, feel that there is now a resurgence of talent and greater interest in music than ever from consumers. “Fortunately, with technology and time, costs have come down. There is more attention to image and style and packaging of a singer. The video, too, is now more important than ever as the key means to promote and sell an artist,” adds Kanwar.

Like Baby Doll, Dil Dhadke, O Sanam and Boom Boom, today’s Indipop artists, too, have to get the formula right, especially since the novelty has worn off. But warns Kanwar, “Only a winning song makes for a winning video, much like Rock On’s Pichle saat dino mein video — that’s a sure-shot winner.”


11:56 PM

Music Reviews : Gong The Arista Years

Posted by Vamsi

This is not the same Gong that produced the extreme Psych of 'Radio Gnome Invisible’ or 'Flying Teapot’ but rather the later version headed up by Pierre Moerlen and moving into a far more jazzy and funk orientated realm. There are guest appearances by Didier Malherbe, Mike Oldfield and Darryl Way but the music is much less whimsical and more focused and percussive and – lets be honest – much better musically although lacking the extreme sense of originality of Daevid Allen’s original band.

What you are getting here is the three albums that Gong produced for Arista spread across two CDs and with the live album half on one and half on the other but without the sense of wholeness that each album had when they were first released.
The guitar work throughout is influenced by Steve Hillage and Mike Oldfield but the most influential instruments seem to be Vibes and crash cymbals – not surprising since Moerlen was originally a drummer!
But the music is a good example of where Jazz & Fusion were headed in the eighties and in their own right these tracks are highly evolved and very listenable to – just not heart-stoppingly unique as the original Gong were capable of.

Cortesy :

Himesh Reshammiya recently recorded the Kishore Kumar hit ‘Ek hasina thi’ for his upcoming film Karzzzz.

But it was a recording with a difference. Himesh has sung this song without his quintessential nasal twang.

“Yes, I have sung this song without a nasal twang for the first time. I have stuck to the original soul of the song and not tampered with it,” said Himesh.

Obviously he believes that a classic cannot be tampered with, even by Himesh Reshammiya. The song was filmed at a suburban studio.

“I’ve composed the other seven songs in the film, which are very contemporary,” added Himesh. ‘Ek hasina thi’ is the only track that has been borrowed from the original Karz. T. Series has bought the rights of ‘Ek haseena thi’ from HMV for their remake Karzzzz.

Himesh has stuck to his astrologer’s advice and brought forward the release of Karzzzz from December to October, according to our source.

Karzzzz is directed by Satish Kaushik. It stars Urmila Matondkar, Dino Morea and Danny and marks the debut of Shweta Kumar.

Source: MumbaiMirror

11:39 PM

Muisc Review :Singh is Kinng

Posted by Vamsi

Bow to the Doggfather, y'all.

The rap superstar from the West Coast is riding high these days, with his latest Ego Trippin album a saucy return to form. He's the single most enduring rap/hip-hop success on either side of the Atlantic, both as an MC and a producer, and it's simply immense that the man has been roped in by Vipul Shah to come and get Bollywood into the right groove. Nobody does it better, and laced with random Punjabiness from RDB and Akshay Kumar , the mega opening track of this album feels like a Chandigarh clubber's wet dream distilled onto a CD -- man, it rawks.

This Singh Is Kinng opener is all Snoop right from the start, the man laying the funk down as he sings about 'all the ladies hanging out in Moom-bai' and spicing up the Akshayizzle like never before. The composition itself isn't anything too special, but the groove is really racy. The Punjabi bits by RDB are really generic, and Akshay's own vocals are amusingly enthu. Yet there's enough basic Doggystyle in here to thrill desi Snoop-fans, and this larger-than-life track ends with Snoop praising Singh but adding a 'bring me some grapes here, baby' postscript that 'D-o-g-g is also the king.' Word, man.

Katrina KaifTrack 2 Jee Karda tries to continue with the same upbeat BhangR'n'B feel, and while singers Suzie Q and Labh Jan Jua do an entry-level job, the track is sufficiently dancefloor-worthy. The entire track doesn't quite match up to the first few high-energy seconds though, and ends up a bit too long. Labh's voice sounds perfectly matched to Akshay Kumar though -- which could translate to a jackpot career.

Bas Ek Kinng starts up with a wannabe-Gangsta Rap rhythm, and it's refreshing to hear the now ubiquitous Hard Kaur sounding different -- well at least as the track opens. 'Dil agar sachcha ho toh Rab kar de sub set-ting,' ('If the heart's alright, God sets ya up tight') goes the fun refrain to rhyme with Kinng. The voices of Mika, Neeraj Shridhar and Ashish Pandit gel interestingly together as the lyrics continue to glorify and evangelise the ever-increasing majesty of the leading man.

Oh come on, you can't seriously expect a film about all things turbanned to not feature the one and only Ta-ra-ra-ra man. Daler Mehndi a complete blast with Bhootni Ke, right from the opening lines as he yells out words, with unexpected hilarity, about a naked Akshay. Hardcore enough to make you reach for butter chicken, this track maintains its intensity and simply doesn't let up. Repetitive or not, Mehndi's aggro vocals are bloody infectious, and this is the Bhangra track to raise one leg to this year.

Shreya Ghoshal's on every single soundtrack these days, but while sounding soothing enough, her vocals fail to leave an impression in the lacklustre Teri Ore. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is awesome as always, but significantly underwhelming compared to his usual output. The film needed the obligatory ballad, but thanks to the overdone percussion, this also provides the listener with the nearly mandatory track-to-skip.

Talli Hua is a perfectly acceptable ditty which only serves to underscore how close Labh's voice is to Akshay's, even as Neeraj throws a bit of a curve in terms of the vocals. It's an okay song, but by now the sheer Punjabiness on the album has become too thick to breathe, and it's clear that those who have never let their hair down to the stylings of Malkit Singh are not going to be able to sit through this album.

Now, the remixes. Bas Ek Kinng (Tiger Style Mix) starts with Hard Kaur hyping up the remix -- no wonder, since it's just a slightly-accelerated track featuring more of her. Interestingly, the Bhootni Ke (Tiger Style Mix) pits Mika as the vocalist this time -- he's good too, but Daler paaji clearly owns the song.

Remember Style Bhai? Well, he features on the Talli Hua (Jay Dabhi Mix) and while it's unfortunate to look at any rappers on an album where the Lord Dogg himself has already wielded the mic, the track overall does fine in a random dancefloor capacity. Nothing special at all though. The Jee Karda (Remix) is okay, but why don't our DJs alter the original tracks drastically enough instead of just speeding up the tempo and tossing in some random loops and bad rap?

Neha DhupiaThe Teri Ore (Lounge Mix) suffers from the same woes, and is resultantly Lounge-y only by name. In an attempt to end the album on a high, we have yet another Bhootni Ke (Remix) by Daler, but it's really not a patch on the fab original track.

Overall, this is going to be a highly divisive album. Not just are those who hate Punjabi music advised to skip the soundtrack entirely, but it's also pretty exclusively for Akki fans. Like soundtracks of the South that revolve blatantly around the leading man and his image rather than the film itself, this one indicates that Singh Is Kinng will really be about the superstar far more than it'll be about the script.

So yeah, if you don't like Akshay Kumar or Bhangra, this isn't your album. Then again, let Pritam Chakraborty's (composer) songs sink in -- it's his best work in a while (with no words on 'alternate sources' yet) and some of you might be converts.

Buy it, anyway. For the Snooperstar.

Rediff Rating : 3/5

Courtesy :

11:30 PM

Music Review : Hijack

Posted by Vamsi

Album: Music Review: Hijack Music: KK, Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Shilpa Rao, Suraj Jagan, Uday, Joi Label: - Indo-Asian News International

An action-packed thriller, Hijack has a music album that only adheres to the genre. Debutant composers - Justin and Uday - have put together eight songs for the movie and some of the tracks will take time to grow on the listeners.

KK croons Aksar, which relies heavily on the support of the guitar. So while we have KK rendering his versatile voice for a romantic, likeable track, we also get the bankable guitar strumming away to add to the music. Kumaar's lyrics are average.

The unplugged version is better than the original owing primarily to Shaan who does his work a notch better than KK. The music is also kept subtle so as to cater to the needs of this particular version.

Dekh dekh follows with Sunidhi Chauhan, Suraj Jagan and Joi at the helm of the vocals. With Sunidhi as part of the team, the track is high on rhythm and beats. The song has been given a techno touch with great use of the drums. Though it's an enjoyable piece, it isn't worth a download.

KK returns for Koi na jaane, which has a theme completely different from the previous tracks. While Shilpa Rao begins this number with her enthralling voice, KK ends the song.

The Hijack Theme surprises one and all. While one expects it to be quite subtle owing to its genre, the track rendered by Suraj Jagan and Uday is a hard rock piece.

High on energy and beats, the piece encompasses a lot of drums and guitar. Finally, what you get is a rollicking number that would add to the thrills of the movie.

All in all, the music of Hijack is quite average, though some tracks have the potential to hit the right chords.