Thursday, December 09, 2010

Where have our singers gone (Part 1)

Shweta says new year party at HITEX is drool-worthy. I don't know as I have never been to any new year party ever. But if having Jasbeer Jassi as the lead entertainer is anyone's idea of having a party, leave alone 'drool-worthy', I am not that 'anyone'!

But seeing that once 'oooh-so-familiar' and now 'umm-somewhat-familiar' face of Jassi on the poster I wondered, where have these people gone? All those people who released albums in all possible genres most notably Punjabi pop and ruled the Indian music charts with alarming regularity, have they been relegated to only etc Punjabi?

Back then every one seemed to be a potential pop star. The success of Daler Mehndi lead to attack of clones and soon many sardars with opulent sherwanis and pagdis were crooning Balle Balle! Secular nature of the country struck back and Punjabi pop was not limited to only Sardar jis and people like Shankar Sahni, Jasbir Jassi, Sukhbir and Hans Raj Hans were the new kings of the block. Womenfolk were not to be left behind and after Alisha, Anaida, Anamika, Raageshwari, Rajeshwari and so many made a mark. The novelty factor of Indian Pop was all but over!

Then the remixes happened. Coupled with raunchy videos the remixes dealt a blow to originals. DJs were the new talk of town and instead of 'performers' (who sang as well as were presentable on the stage) the 'item girls' took the center stage. The Rakhi Sawants and Shefali Zariwalas were the hot cakes!

This was the phase when Bollywood was changing and so were the music companies. The corporatization was taking place and the music rights were being sold along with other rights in the bulk deals. I don't know if this was the reason that music companies decided that the money to be made was in the film music. Gradually there were hardly any remixed albums. The remixes became part of the film album only.

People like Shaan, Mohit Chauhan, Anushka, Daler Menhdi, Neeraj Sridhar and many others who had started as pop artists, now were mainstream Bollywood singers.

This was a good phase for Hindi film music.

(Concluded in next part)