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How 2016 changed the course of Bollywood music industry.

Aakash Mishra

2016 was a very good year for Bollywood films. Films like Pink , Udta Punjab , Dangal, Dear Zindagi, M.S Dhoni , Airlift and Kapoor & Sons roared at box office. All the films gave us a truckload of amazing songs. Be it Ikk Kudi from Udta Punjab or Bolna from Kapoor & Sons. But , there was one particular song that changed the course of music industry in Bollywood and that song single-handedly gained more than 650 million views on YouTube. It was none other than – Kala Chashma from the film Baar Baar Dekho.

Kala Chashma was a party banger, an instant hit , in fact it was declared India’s Biggest song by T-Series in 2016. It was a recreation of a 90’s Punjabi song. The original song was created by Amrik Singh Shera. He is a head constable in the Punjab police in Kapurthala. He wrote the song in 1990. He doesn’t hold any grudge for not getting the credit as the way he expected but he wished that he was invited at the launch event of the song so that he could have made his village famous.

Kala Chashma was recreated by none other than Badshah. And it’s not like remixes weren’t made before Kala Chashma. In the very same year, Rock Tha Party from Rocky Handsome was recreated by the same Bombay Rockers that made the first version of the song called “ Teri toh Teri Tah “ in 2011. But, the sudden buzz created by Kala Chashma just couldn’t be matched by any other song. Unintentionally, Kala Chashma invited a music culture of remixes, which felt good in the beginning but too much of anything eventually leads to bad results.

In 2017, Bollywood saw a major rise in remixes of the ’90s and 80’s songs. In early February, Badrinath ki Dulhania released the recreated version of the popular song Tamma Tamma. Then came Haseeno Ka Deewana from Kaabil, then The Humma Song from Ok Jaanu, then Laila Main Laila, Main Tera Boyfriend, Chalti hai kya 9 se 12, Suit Suit, Lift Teri Bandh Hai, Ban Jaa Tu Meri Rani, Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast and Pallo Latke ( Good God, I need to breath).

In 2018, only remixes ruled the music charts and an original song release was a miracle. That’s why, the music albums of films like that of Manmarziyan which was filled with entirely original amazing songs, started getting a different kind of respect in the industry. The album was a huge hit and gathered many acclaimed music awards. In 2019, there was a different kind of divide in the music industry. There were singers like Tanishk Bagchi, Badshah, Neha Kakkar, and Tony Kakkar. And, there was a sudden rise of independent artists like Ankur Tewari, Prateek Kuhad, Ritviz. Gully Boy’s music album became a sensational hit and eventually became a reason for the rise of several rappers.

People started showing how much they hate this new “vibe” of music. Dilbar from the movie Satyamev Jayate got 450K dislikes and Aankh Marey from Simmba is currently on 770K dislikes. Filmmakers and music creators didn’t notice this disapproval of Indian audience at first, but finally in 2020, a sort of revolt began from the side of audience when songs like Genda Phool ( recreated by Badshah) got heavily criticised. Just a month later, another recreation dropped of the very popular Masakali song and it is one of the most disliked Indian video. People disliked it so much that eventually T-Series decided to remove the like-dislike counter from the video.

The Bollywood music industry is in dire straits and dropping a single from Arijit Singh isn’t gonna save the music industry. It probably needs another revival by either Shankar Mahadevan or AR Rahman. Dil Bechara for a change had a good music album but it wasn’t even close to the kind of heavenly music AR Rahman can bring. We should blame ourselves for liking these remixes so much that we stopped paying the required attention to the original songs. A reverse culture has started and I hope Bollywood learns something from it.

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