Twisting old melodies is all the rage among filmmakers today but is it really luring movie-goers to cinemas?
Remixing old Hindi and Punjabi songs is proving to be a cash cow for filmmakers looking to milk an old hit number for their films, ahead of their release. From switching up tunes to changing lyrics, they are finding ingenious ways to rework the old classics.
A R Rahman’s iconic Humma humma was recently recreated for Dharma Productions’ Ok Jaanu featuring Aditya Roy Kapur and Sharddha Kapoor. Punjabi superhit song Kala chashma made its entry to the Hindi film lover’s heart when Katrina Kaif sizzled on the screen with the song in the film Baar Baar Dekho.
Laila main laila, originally from the 1980 film Qurbani featuring Zeenat Aman, was recreated for Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees and featured Sunny Leone. Sanjay Gupta’s Kaabil featuring Hrithik Roshan too had a recreated version of the iconic song Haseeno ka deewana.
Dharma Productions recreated Tamma tamma for Badrinath Ki Dulhania and earlier had Punjabi songs Saturday Saturday and Main tenu samjhawan in the film Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania. Both films featured Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt.
Tweaking an old classic can definitely give a fresh perspective, and if the song complements the film and matches new trends, it could be a winning formula.
This week, we’re talking about old Hindi and Punjabi songs being remixed for new films. How helpful is this in terms of marketing a film and luring movie-goers to cinemas? Let’s find out what the experts have to say:
It’s not a trend; it’s a vacuum. I don’t think there is anything wrong in using short-cuts. I think it was good that Humma humma was introduced to the new generation.
First, old is gold. Every song I have composed has been a hit and even if recreated, again and again, they will remain hits. My song in Golmaal 3, I am a disco dancer, was a hit. Even the film did good business and now Tamma tamma is also a big success. The song has been picturised very well and Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt have made it even better. Not all recreated songs do well but I can assure you that my songs never fail. Recently, Naam Shabana also used one of my songs, Zubi zubi. All these recreated songs are good but old is gold.
The trend of recreating songs is both good as well as bad. It is good because it is nice to know that people still love to listen to old songs in a new, remixed and modern version. The bad thing is that it is stifling originality. All the old era songs are being remade and used in every film and it is 100-per cent used for marketing. They are using a few verses or a hook line and mixing that with modern music. This creates some curiosity among the audience. They think that since this song was popular in the old days, we should go and watch the film and have fun. But we need to make some original songs. Remakes are all very well if a director desperately wants it but if every movie has recreated songs, their charm will fade. And where is your originality? All the credit goes to the singers and musicians of the original songs.
Lately, every film is using recreated songs. The advantage is that these songs draw movie-goers to cinemas and are therefore used to market the film. It’s purely marketing strategy. The disadvantage applies to artistes, whose potential is suppressed because of these songs. We have the ability to make new and original songs. If you read the comments attached to recreated songs, they are always, like, ‘Yeh song chori kiya’, ‘yeh gaana bhi kharab kiya’. Even if we give our best, people still compare the song to the old version. I think this trend should stop as soon as possible.
Today’s generation has not had the good fortune of enjoying the classics as they were way before their time and falls into the category of retro music. Rehashing and remixing these classics to suit the music preferences of today’s generation is a good idea, to make them aware of earlier times and why the classics are called the classics.
As far as contributing to a film’s opening is concerned, it’s not only one song but a combination of the star cast, script, trailer and overall feel of the film that influences the opening numbers. A remix is merely icing on the cake. Classic songs such as Humma humma and Haseeno ka deewana will always be classics and nobody can change that. What we do is try to recreate them to present them to the younger audience so that they can appreciate what we did back in the day.
For every new song that releases, music labels have loads of money at stake. We can’t blame them for using new tactics to churn out profits. Recreated songs are a new and desperate measure aimed at attracting audiences not only to the songs but eventually to cinemas. So far, it has brought good results, but only for the labels. Artistes, especially music directors and lyricists, are reduced to low level fabricators. The dignity of their profession has suffered a major blow. If you are not expected to compose a song, but only to redesign its sound, what is the difference between a composer and a DJ? I have written super hit recreations like Pyar manga hai, and Dillagi, which have created records on YouTube, but that has hardly helped my career and stature as a lyricist.
The bottom line is, recreations are seasonal flavour which will die as the wind changes direction. Just wait for another album like Aashiqui 2 or Ek Villain… original songs will be back with a bang. Composers and lyricists are hopeful that they will ride on their own glory instead of using old vehicles to survive. Also, barring a couple of them, most recreations are unfair to the original creators.