Almost 3 years after recreating Indi-pop queen Falguni Pathak’s 1999 song ‘Yaad Piya ki Aane Lagi’, singer Neha Kakkar is at it again. But this time it has struck a different chord with the ’90s kids and they are clearly not happy.
‘We have had enough!’ resonated across social media as millennials expressed their displeasure with Kakkar’s new Song ‘O Sajna’, a remixed version of Pathak’s 1999 hit song ‘Maine Payal hai Chhankai’. Even though one can’t deny this new song has a certain groove to it, when pitted against the original, it surely failed the litmus test.
‘Stop This Madness’
Forty-year-old Anisha, a homemaker and mother of two, finds it unacceptable on the part of the artists to ruin an original piece of music from her teen days. “This song helped me sail through my teenage breakup and I still hold it close to my heart. I am truly upset with how the new song has turned out," she tells News18.
Once a lead vocalist in his college music band, 31-year-old Anuj from Mumbai was one of the last people on his Whatsapp friends group to hear the latest release.
“How to destroy an iconic song you ask me? O sajna is the perfect example. Stop this madness now! The 90s saw the evolution of Indian-pop as a genre of music. From Alisha Chinai’s Made in India to Lucky Ali’s O Sanam , there was a song for every mood. Nowadays, songs are being made for Instagram Reels only. ’90s kids like me feel threatened, we can see our culture slip away," he says.
‘Blame the music labels, not the artist’
Amid the barrage of criticisms hurled at Kakkar, meting out a gentler treatment was 28-year-old fashion designer from Delhi, Samriddha. ‘Blame the art not the artist’ she says, while fondly recalling her performance on Pathak’s songs on Garba nights at her complex.
“It was a good time, the ’90s. Though I was very young at the time the Indi-pop music industry peaked, I still remember the impact it left behind. I understand the anger and resentment among people of our generation, it’s fair to say the least, but can it be pinned on Kakkar alone? Time and again, the Hindi music industry has tried experimenting with remixes and failed miserably. It’s time to hold music labels accountable, not the artists,” she says.
‘Adapt Karo, Spoil Nahi’, Musicians Cry Out Loud
Let alone the audience, the remake didn’t go down well with Falguni herself who said on record that she doesn’t mind if her songs are being recreated, however, one should retain its original flavour and not spoil it.
“Adapt karo lekin acchi tarike se karo. Remixes ban rahe hai aajkal aur acche bhi ban rahe hai jo humlog bhi stage pe gaate hai. Lekin usko acchi tarah se use karo na. Tum usko faltu kyun bana dete ho," the singer was quoted telling Mirchi Plus.
A few months back, Mohit Chauhan, who rose to fame with his Indi-pop song ‘Dooba Dooba’, had rejected singing recreated songs. When asked the reason for his refusal, he told Etimes, “It’s not like I don’t like singing old Hindi songs. I have sung Kishore Kumar ji’s songs on my YouTube channel, but I don’t like the way old songs are recreated. Music directors are deconstructing the songs and remaking them, with rap and other elements that probably don’t even go with the song’s essence. The purity of the original song gets lost in this process, and that’s what I don’t support. These songs need to be treated aesthetically and with a lot of love.”
This feeling of disdain was also reflected in one of the interviews of singer Shaan in 2019 who had questioned the basis on which remixes are being created by music producers even after receiving so much backlash from the audience.
In fact, when Deedar De from Chhalang released, it was evident that composers Vishal-Shekhar who had sung the original song in 2005 were not happy with the remix. They had even openly refused to take credit for the same.
“We have been very kindly credited here, only because we composed the original #DeedaarDe in 2004. However, we haven’t done this ‘remix’. That said, best wishes to the film and team. Thanks for loving our music down the years,” Vishal Dadlani had tweeted.
Taking a dig at music labels were also singers and composers like Sona Mahapatra and Amit Trivedi who alleged that remixes are killing the creative community.
Trivedi, in an exclusive chat with News18, confided that there was a phase when remixed songs had become the trend and even he had to do a couple of them due to producers’ demands but audiences are done with that now and ‘need to consume proper stuff.’
Lost Glory of Indi-Pop
Indi-pop became a thriving parallel industry in the ’90s, giving mainstream Bollywood songs a run for their money. Apart from lyrics that were poignant, it was also the era of music videos ranging from thought-provoking to mushy, artistic to tacky. But it left behind a staunch fanbase whose comments often pop up below the YouTube videos of these songs in the form of nostalgia or lament, often regarding the death of melody in recent times.