Musical Chairs #3 : Top 5 Trends that hijacked the Bollywood Music Scene

Trends in the entertainment industry change every 10 years. The frequency is even higher in Bollywood Music Scene. A genre that is the talk of the town today may die a sudden death the very next day. A lot of it can be attributed to the lack of creativity of the music producers and they blindly following the footsteps of whoever is selling in the market. Today when there are hundreds of countdowns floating everywhere over the internet, here I am with my top 5 musical Trends that came out of nowhere and completely hijacked the Bollywood Music scene.

1) Indipop (1993-2005)

Indipop made inroads into our pop culture in the early 90s when singers from non-film background started creating their own content inspired by the west. Sooner than later, the fad became a trend with the arrival of music channels like MTV India and Channel V who were desperate to create video content for their respective platforms. Singers like Alisha Chinai, Suneeta Rao, Shweta Shetty, Anaida, Rageshwari, Mehnaz, Daler Mehndi, Falguni Pathak, Sonu Nigam and Pankaj Udhas took full advantage of the new wave and became household names. Indipop brought in a new sound in India which was lapped up by the masses. The euphoria was such that established actors like Govinda gave it a short. All of a sudden every artist wanted to be a popstar. Like all good things, Indipop too became out dated soon. The piracy hit the industry hard and the sales declined. After reaching its peak in the late 90s, Indipop became obsolete by 2006.

2) Retro Remixes(1998-2003):

Another factor that contributed to the death of Indipop was the arrival of sleazy remixes in the early 2000s. The mega success of music videos like Kanta Laga, Kaliyon Ka Chaman, Rangeela Re, Tu Tu hai Wohi, Bin Tere Sanam, Pardesiya made Retro cool again. It launched careers of performers like Shefali Zariwala, Meghna Naidu, Maahi Vij, Rakhi Sawant, and Deepal Shaw. With time the coolness declined and the remixes became repetitive. The videos grew outrageous and started looking vulgar. Adding to the woes, Bollywood songs came up with their own remix versions in the original sound track (OST) itself leading to the end of Retro Remixes.

3) Music Directors turning singers (2005-2014):

It all started with Ashiq Banaya Aapne in 2005, when Himesh reshammiya decided to give playback for the movie. He became so huge and was such a rage at that time that he soon launched his own music album that boasted of 7 major hits with music videos for each of the song. Later he starred in his own movie as well. As a result all music directors suddenly realized their long lost aspiration to be a singer and started singing their own songs making the male singers at the time jobless. Some of the music directors who followed Himesh were Vishal-Shekhar, Salim-Suleiman, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Amit Trivedi, Sajid-Wajid, Mithoon, Ankit Tiwari. The trend came to a stop when Arijit Singh brought back the long lost male playback singer from the oblivion with Aashiqui 2.

4) Desi Rap with a Punjabi Touch (2011-present) 

Raftaar Honey Badshah.jpg

Yo Yo Honey Singh started this trend with his ultra-glam Hip Hop Singles like Brown Rang and Angrezi Beat that became hugely popular. His growing popularity hinted at a revival of sorts for the Indipop genre but like other pop artists, he too sold his soul to Bollywood and started churning hits after hits. Following suit, rappers like Badshah and Raftaar too joined the bandwagon. Today the trend is still in vogue and every Bollywood song today has a rap interlude with some Punjabi touch.

5) Revisiting Songs of the 90s (2015-present):

This is the latest trend wherein a popular song from the 90s is taken and granished with few techno beats and a rap portion here and there. These hand picked songs are very much hummed even today and have high recall value or nostalgia attached and thus hog a lot of eyeballs for the movies they are used in. It kind of starts a debate each time (as to which version is a better one) and in the process helps the movie get a better opening at the box office. It also points out the complete dearth of creativity in the industry today and their blatant plagiarism in the name of inspiration. Some of the 90s gems that have been revamped are Ek Do Teen in Baghi2, Humma Humma in Ok Jaanu, Dilbar Dilbar in Satyamev Jayate and Tu Cheez Badi in Machine.

Let me know if you too observed the above mentioned trends and also if you see a new trend in the offing.

Authored By – Abinash Gupta

(Disclaimer – I do not own the rights to the images displayed on the page. The rights remain with their rightful owners. The images are sourced from various public online sources to provide references to the songs/music on the list.)