Bollywood’s penchant for remixing and remaking popular songs has long been a subject of debate and criticism. The recent release of the remixed version of Coke Studio’s viral song ‘Pasoori,’ originally sung by Ali Sethi and Shae Gill, for the new movie starring Kiara Advani and Kartik Aaryan, has once again ignited the discussion surrounding the remix culture in the industry.
While some tracks become instant earworms and gain popularity, many critics argue that this trend signifies a lack of creativity and originality. The controversy surrounding Arijit Singh’s rendition highlights the polarising opinions about the impact of remixes on the original tracks and the broader music industry.
Criticism of the Remix Culture
In recent years, the practice of remixing and remaking songs has faced significant backlash from both music enthusiasts and purists. Detractors argue that relying heavily on remixes displays a lack of creative vision and originality. They claim that the constant recycling of old tracks dilutes the essence and uniqueness of the original compositions. Furthermore, critics argue that remaking old tunes can be seen as an easy way to gain attention and commercial success without putting in the effort to create new and original music.
While proponents of remixes argue that they provide a fresh take on familiar tunes and introduce them to new generations, for many music lovers, the nostalgia and connection they have with the original versions are eroded when subjected to remix treatments that prioritise commercial appeal over artistic integrity.
While you contemplate whether you lean towards being in favour or against this trend, let’s explore ten timeless songs that have been reimagined for Bollywood movies..
‘Genda Phool,’ originally a Bengali folk song sung by Ratan Kahar, an 88-year-old Birbhum-based singer in the bhadu folk tradition, was remixed by Badshah and Payal Dev, finding its way into the Bollywood circuit. Originally composed in 1972 by Kahar, the song depicted the poignant perspective of a prostitute singing to her daughter while combing her hair. However, Badshah’s remix version received criticism for its bawdy lyrics, underwhelming choreography, and objectification of women through the usage of explicit words and double entendre.
As the controversy unfolded, Bengalis took to social media platforms like Twitter and even penned a letter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, expressing their discontent and concerns. Featuring Jacqueline Fernandez, this foot-tapping track has racked in a whopping 956 million views (and counting), creating a vibrant and infectious dance anthem despite the controversies surrounding it.
‘Mungda’ in Total Dhamaal
The iconic song ‘Mungda’ from the 1978 film Inkaar received a sensational revival in the movie Total Dhamaal. The remade version, featuring Sonakshi Sinha, showcased a fusion of retro vibes and modern beats, reigniting the charm and energy of the original while adding a fresh twist.
‘Manike’ in Thank God
The Sri Lankan sensation ‘Manike Mage Hithe’ by Yohani took the music scene by storm. Its magic extended to Bollywood with a remix titled ‘Manike’ featuring Jubin Nautiyal and Yohani for the movie Thank God, a delightful addition to the Sidharth Malhotra and Nora Fatehi starrer.
‘Rangi Sari’ in Jugg Jugg Jeeyo
The captivating song ‘Rangi Sari,’ originally sung by Kavita Seth, received a fresh interpretation for the movie Jugg Jugg Jeeyo. Retaining Seth’s soulful voice, the remade version adorned the Holi celebrations in the film, igniting the sizzling chemistry between Kiara Advani and Varun Dhawan.
‘Dilbar’ in Satyameva Jayate
The legendary Sushmita Sen set the stage ablaze with her remarkable dance performance in the original ‘Dilbar.’ The song underwent a transformation for the movie Satyameva Jayate, starring John Abraham, as Nora Fatehi weaved her magic with graceful moves and subtle Arabic influences.
‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’
The enchanting romantic number ‘Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga’ captivated hearts once again with a new rendition. Darshan Raval and Rochak Kohli lent their melodious voices to this beautiful classic title track originally composed by R.D. Burman and sung by Kumar Sanu. The song was taken from the Anil Kapoor, Jackie Shroff and Manisha Koirala-starrer 1942: A Love Story, and reimagined for the 2019 film Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga, starring Sonam Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao.
‘Jehda Nasha’ in An Action Hero
Originally a chart-topper by the Amar Jalal Group, ‘Nasha’ underwent a transformation as ‘Jehda Nasha’ for the Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer An Action Hero, injecting pulsating energy into the film’s action-packed sequences.
‘Nach Punjaban’ in JugJugg Jeeyo
The timeless song ‘Nach Punjaban’ by Abrar Ul Haq, an esteemed Pakistani artist, was reintroduced to Bollywood audiences in the movie JugJugg Jeeyo. With its revamped beats and over 78 million views on YouTube, this track continues to reel in listeners.
‘Laila Main Laila’ in Raees
From the 1980s hit movie Qurbani, where Zeenat Aman mesmerised as the iconic ‘Laila,’ the song was revived in 2017 with an upbeat twist for the movie Raees. Sunny Leone’s scintillating performance alongside Shahrukh Khan brought a fresh groove to the classic tune.
‘Aankh Marey’ in Simmba
Originally featured in Arshad Warsi’s debut film Tere Mere Sapne, ‘Aankh Marey’ resurfaced in the Bollywood romantic-action film Simmba, starring Ranveer Singh and Sara Ali Khan. The energetic track left audiences grooving to its infectious beats and became as beloved as the original.