Remember the age of just two channels on TV viz. Doordarshan and DD Metro? Remember the golden age of Indipop when it all began with the likes of Baba Sehgal, Remo Fernandes, Parvati Khan, Sharon Prabhakar and Alisha Chinai scorching the idiot box in our living rooms? Indipop has come a long way. Or has it really? We’ll discuss that in a separate post. For now, let’s concentrate on what we set out to achieve.
10 tracks, many contributors. Since time immemorial, collaboration or jugalbandhi has been synonymous to musical awesomeness. And Indipop is full of such awesome gems. Here I have listed 10 of my favourite ones from the top of my head. There is no such criteria involved in the selection. Just the first 10 which I could easily recollect. If you have some more in mind, you can always shout it out in the comments section. Right-e-o, let’s begin. And please, do not fill the comments section with hate mails. I can understand your passion for music, but that does not mean that since I left out a song, I should be considered as a punch bag. Thanks for keeping it clean
Clarification: Indipop -> Not necessarily pop. Collective name for Non-film music album.
10 Awesome Indipop Collaborations.
The debut album and song of Euphoria, this song features Shubha Mudgal singing a Maajhi interlude which is undoubtedly the best part of the song. Coupled with teracotta colours of Banaras by the banks of Ganges, this is a track to die for. DJ Bhaduri’s bass rules the pulse of the song, and Palash’s vocals supply the high-fuelled energy of the song. And above all, the awesome elements of the Rajasthani folk strings complete the experience.
I am not a fan of either of the artistes. One is a Dandia queen, and the other is known for creating twisted Angrezi interpretations of Golden Oldies. But together, they have created this gem of a song. This is a lovely ballad composed by Neeraj Sridhar. The video is as simple as it could – just a greyscaled montage piece of the two performers playbacking the song in front of a grand piano. And tbh, Falguni sounds like a cross between Madhushree and Sadhana Sargam in this song.
My sisters says Ustad Sultan Khan sounds like our dad, when he sings with paan in his mouth She is absolutely right. But that is not going to stop me from loving this song. A brilliant composition nonetheless, this track has Chitra balancing out the heavy bass vocals of Ustad Sultan Khan, with her very lean and innocent voice. Nauheed Cyrusi’s acting career begins with this (and unfortunately ends with it as well).
My favourite portion of the sing is (unsurprisingly) – Palko ke sirhaane baithe, Khwaab wahi jo aane waale..
One of the non-guitar and quite un-Lucky songs, as in it sounds more like a Bollywood song than a Lucky Ali album song. This one boasts of a beautiful melody and the high pitched vocals of Lucky Ali get contrasted by the serene aalaps of Kavita. My favourite bits of the song are quite unsurprisingly the female portions when Kavita sings – Dil Mein teri yaad hai tera, ….
This one’s a chart topper. And it was on the numero uno spot for more than a year. Until it was dethroned by Adnan Sami’s crowd pleaser – Lift Kara De. But everything about ‘Kabhi To Nazar Milao’ is lovely – apart from the cheesy video featuring – Salil Ankola, Aditi Govitrikar and Perizaad Kolha (yep, the one from Great Indian Laughter Challenge).
The Saxaphone intro followed by Adnan’s heavy vocals get dissolved in the melody of the piano and then Asha jee unleashes her magic. This track is to die for, and hence, it remains as one of my favourite ones. There are other beautiful duets on the album, and even better melodies in Adnan’s subsequent albums featuring an array of Bollywood actresses. But a duet with Asha Bhonsle – c’mon. Nothing else stands a chance.
Eat this! Colonial Cousins went to Billboard Awards the following year to perform this. With lyrics such as - Jesus, come back and save the world, you are the future of every boy and girl – there was no reason to stop this song from becoming an internationally appealing song. Nevertheless, the video is a very touching tale of a young kid gone astray due to unfortunate circumstances and how religious fanaticism can break families into fragments. The message of secularism is effortlessly conveyed in a beautiful and yet simple melody by Hariharan’s Carnatic classical renditions and Leslie Lewis’ English vocals. Okay, so they are not really collaborators, as they had a name for the duo and all. But really, do you really want to exclude this song on the basis of that technicality? Need I say more?
Originally released in 1991, this track was re-released in 2006. The video is a very poorly produced one with young actors with hideous make-ups and awful grey hair trying to portray 30 years older version of themselves drinking tea in a hill station. So, forget the video. Just let yourself dive into this beautiful ghazal which speaks of missed chances, harsh circumstances, undying love and yet unfulfilled. The lyrics by Shahid Kabir, express grief in the strongest way – check this out.
Apne Gham ko Geet banaakar gaa lena, Raag purana tera bhi hai, mera bhi
A much needed collaboration that we had all been waiting for. And when finally it happens, they had to bloody ruin it with a music video which has not one , but two Riya Sens and a Victoria Secret catalogue. Imagine! But nevertheless, this song is a brilliant composition by Aadesh Srivastav, and heartfelt lyrics by none other than Nida Fazli. And Jaggu Bhai and Asha jee ke jalwe ke to kya kehne My favourite lines -
Hum Koi Waqt Nahi Hai Humdum, Jab Bulaoge Chale Aayenge
I am not a big fan of either of them. Apache Indian will always remain associated with my growing up days of Indipop on Doordarshan’s music shows with the regular appearances of crossover hits such as – Chok There and Me want Gal! As for Jazzy B, I had always considered him to be an artiste that only the North Indians could enjoy, especially those who have relatives in Southall. But with the album – Romeo, Jazzy B totally turned around, and with this awesome collaboration with Apache Indian, he almost revived the sound of Apache’s rapping. Give them some mercy mercy mercy!!!
My numero uno choice for this post. This one is a once in a blue moon occurence in Indian music scene. Thanks to awesome people at Channel V, that this project came to life. V Jamming brought together some of the best names in music together to write, compose and record the music within a limited time. Now, if I were allowed to choose I would choose this album as the best collaborative effort – no questions asked. But I did not make the rules. C’mon, there is so much awesomeness here – Shaan and Sukhbir, Parikrama and Usha Uthup, Euphoria and Mehnaaz, Talvin Sing and Ila Arun, Sagarika and Strings, the list is quite heavy. But if I had to select one – it has to be – Alms for Shanti and Taufiq Qureshi’s percussion explosivo – Superbol. With catchy and tongue twisting lyrics and heavy percussions sounding like thunderstorms, this one deserves to be given the super salute as the NUMBER one Indipop collaboration. Tadhom na Tadhom na Tha!!