Trashy remixes of iconic songs, a musical tragedy
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Trashy remixes of iconic songs, a musical tragedy

For all millennials, Falguni Pathak’s ‘Maine Payal Hai Chhankai’ is a piece of nostalgia

Trashy remixes of iconic songs, a musical tragedy

It was an ordinary September afternoon until a friend shared a YouTube link to Neha Kakkar’s version of ‘Maine Payal Hai Chhankai’ saying, ‘Kill me already!’ The Earth had shifted from beneath my feet. In an already damaged world where the names of my favourite places were being changed and my favourite 90s songs were being spoilt by so-called ‘modern-day artists’, this was the final hard blow.

For all millennials, Falguni Pathak’s ‘Maine Payal Hai Chhankai’ is more than a song. It is a piece of nostalgia, a comforting memory of growing up where we danced, sang and played this song with friends innumerable times. Rightly justifying the 395 M views the song has on YouTube.

Samra, 28, from Lucknow says, "I feel music is an art, and it always leaves an impression on Individuals. For many, it can bring back memories. And when you juggle with that tune, you are basically manipulating those very feelings the song or album left on that person."

The first thing that haunted me about Neha Kakkar’s remix was that it had gathered 19M a few hours after being released. To be fair, it is a terrible remix. The added original lyrics by Jaani feel pretentious and utterly frivolous. The music by Tanishq Bagchee is crass. Even worse is the video, with Neha Kakkar, featuring Priyank Sharma and choreographer Dhanshree. The theme of the video is that a boy is dating two girls at a time and the girls eventually find out about him.

A string of comments on Neha Kakkar’s remix 'O Sajnaa' reads, “Please don’t destroy iconic songs. Old is Gold.” Many fans of the originals have called out Neha Kakkar for running the song. Even Falguni Pathak has herself amplified the criticism and shared the trolls in her stories on social media. About the remixed song, Falguni Pathak says, “Remixes are happening, but do it in a decent way. If you want to reach out to the younger generation, change the rhythm of the song, but don’t make it cheap. Don’t change the originality of the song. I don’t think I need to do anything; my fans are taking action against the song. I am just sharing the stories. Why should I keep quiet when they are supporting me, main kaise chup baithoon.”

This is not the first time a remix has been rejected by the audience and composers. Sadly, we seem to have arrived in the era of frivolous remixes shattering fond memories of classic songs. Some that come to mind are, Masakalli 2.0 recreated by Tanishq Bachi, Ek Do Teen from Baaghi 2 sung by Palak Muchhal and ‘Kate Nahi Katte from Mr India’ remade as ‘O Janiya’ in Force 2 by Gourov Roshin among many others.

Another interesting side that came out after this remix was when a fan asked her to sue the makers of the remix. Sharing this story Pathak said, “I do not have the rights.” The fact raises an important question, why isn’t there more regulation on the remakes of songs? Shouldn’t artists have more rights over their original work even after it achieves cult status?

Prasoon Joshi, the original lyricist of Masakalli in 2009’s Delhi 6 slammed its remake Masakalli 2.0. He tweeted, “All songs written for Delhi 6, including Masakali close to heart. Sad to see when the original creation of AR Rahman, Prasoon Joshi and singer Mohit Chauhan insensitively utilised. Up to the conscience of T-Series.”

Even the musical legend AR Rahman has reacted to the remix culture. In a recent interview, he said, “The more I see, the more it is distorted. The intention of the composer gets distorted. People say, 'I am reimagining.' Who are you to re-imagine? I am also very careful about taking someone else's work. You have to be respectful and I think it is a grey area, we need to sort it out."

CitySpidey talked to Hitesh Madan, a musician and former lead guitarist of the music band Euphoria.

He composes original music as part of his rock band ‘Eka’. Hitesh says, “As an artist, I would any day be more excited for an original composition than a remix. A song is made up of many parts: the lyrics, music, and video. Thus, it is the ingenuity of new work that makes our craft exciting. However, not all remixes are poor. When a remix is made, it should be done sensitively. At the same time, new music, some new lyrics can be added to give it a different appeal while preserving its soul.”

He adds, “In recent times, I would say the remix of 'Har Kisi Ko Nahi Milta’ for the film Boss was well remixed as it preserved the texture of the song but gives a new dramatic, melancholic take. In fact, at the times, when some of the classic songs were made, they were fewer resources. Modern technology can be used to make a good remix.”

As new remixes come up every day, the fear of another beat ruining a favourite lingers on. One can only hope that the gods and goddesses create musical harmony in the universe.