There has been a surge in the remix culture. Almost every film has at least one of these remakes. T-Series, mainly Tanishk Bagchi and Neha Kakkar, are known to produce most remix songs. However, recently, OG musicians like Falguni Pathak and AR Rahman have slammed the trend.
Here are some musicians who openly discussed their negative opinions of remixes.
- Amit Trivedi
During his interview on Film Companion’s TapeCast Season 2, musician Badshah asked Trivedi about his opinions on remakes. He said, “I really don’t like them […] Because I think it’s lame. There’s nothing exciting about it.” He did not hold back in his critiques of the remix culture, even while giving credit to some good songs.
He continued, “Sometimes some songs are better than the original. But I’m against this trend of remaking or rehashing old songs. Yeh cheez se sirf do hi cheez nikalke aa rahi hai Badshah Bhai – either the composers today are not capable or talented enough anymore to create an original song. Or if that’s not the case the other option is that the makers – the producers and labels – have lost the judgment of gaging the right tunes.”
2. Falguni Pathak
Many iconic songs have been recreated in the past few years. In the latest, Falguni Pathak strongly reacted after Neha Kakkar recreated her 1999 song Maine Payal Hai Chhankai and said the new version O Sajna ‘ruined’ the original. Pathak even said that she felt like ‘throwing up’ after listening to the song.
She went on to say that she was close to ‘throwing up’ when she heard the new version. Hilariously, she simply reposted memes made by fans, bashing the remake. She went on to say that she is fine with remakes, but they should be done well and not spoilt. She rightfully said, “Usko recreate karo, usme alag rhythm do, make it modern lekin achi tarike se karo na. Uski jo beauty hai, jo simplicity hai usko mat touch karo
3. Mohit Chauhan
Similar to Falguni Pathak, Bollywood singer Mohit Chauhan also dislikes people trying to encash the popularity of an old, famous song. Discussing the remix of his iconic music, he said, “Masakali ka bhi achcha nahi tha toh Rahman sahab bhi bahut naraaz huye the. To aisa nahi hona chahiye.”
He also criticized the lack of control or credit given to artists. “I don’t know if there’s a dearth of creativity which is why people are piggybacking on songs or if there’s a business angle for the labels. But I feel ultimately the creator should have control over where the song is going […] If you want to do something with it, contact the original people and see if you can get it.”
4. AR Rahman
Rahman’s popular tracks such as Humma Humma, Urvashi, Muqabla are among others that have been remixed. While the composer did not explicitly detest them, he did not endorse them. However, that changed with the remix of Masakali.
He responded with a tweet discussing the hard work, labor, and manpower that goes into creating original music “that can last generations”, with a link to the original song. Recently, 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?”
5. Vishal Dadlani
Music composer Vishal Dadlani has had enough of remakes and rejected them in his own way. He threatened to sue musicians who dare to remix Shekhar Ravjiani and his songs. Their popular song Saaki Saaki from the 2004 Musafir, was recreated in Batla House.
Neither the composer nor Koena Mitra was too pleased with it. Dadlani issued a legal warning to musicians that remixing their songs would land them in court.
6. Armaan Malik
Singer and music composer Armaan Malik came out in support of Vishal Dadlani’s legal threat. He retweeted the post and wrote a message of support.
They have remixed songs but maintain that it is important to retain the feel of the original while putting your spin on it. His song Ghar Se Nikalte Hi did not get as much hate and was appreciated due to the sentiment.
7. Alka Yagnik
The iconic song Tip Tip Barsa Paani from the cult movie Mohra was remixed for Sooryavanshi. Akshay Kumar took it upon himself to give the blessings and star in it (who even remembers him from the OG song?) The original singer, Alka Yagnik, expressed her disappointment.
She shared her feelings that the derivative desecration is a sign of the diminishing creative abilities of music composers. She further said that these days composers reprise old successful songs to cover their lack of skills and piggyback off them. Yagnik expressed her disgust with the trend and shame that her past hit songs are being remixed as club music.
8. Remo Fernandes
Another iconic Rahman song, Humma Humma, was recreated by Tanishk Bagchi as The Humma Song for Ok Jaanu (which itself was a below-average remake of a Tamil movie). It had a misplaced Badshah rap.
The 1995 song was sung by Remo Fernandes who expressed his disappointment and called out the remake. He said, “There is nothing wrong in doing new versions of existing songs, as long as one brings something new to the table. It can be something plus, or at least something different. This version of Humma Humma, I am afraid, brings neither. It is but a pale, insipid version of the original. Vocally, instrumentally and arrangements-wise, it seems to be a hurried, uninspired job.”
9. Aaman Trikha
The Hookah Bar singer opened up in an interview about remakes. He critiqued musicians and producers for overdoing the trend and exploiting songs, even relatively new ones. He said, “Recreating a song that was released just five years ago does not make any sense. You can’t add anything fresh to it because the song is still there in people’s memory.”
Furthermore, he elaborated upon the responsibility that one must have while recreating classic music. He said, “You just cannot play around with classic songs. They are etched in people’s memories. To make it look new, you just cannot change the entire graph of the song. You have to keep the soul of the song intact.”
In 2015, music director Ilaiyaraaja sent a legal notice to director Shankar for “remixing and rearranging” his composition, Ooru Vittu Ooru Vandhu song, in the recently released film Kappal without permission and in violation of copyrights. The song was originally used in the hit film Karagaattakkaaran, before being used in Kappal. Shankar is the producer of the film. Shankar was urged to pay the royalty for the song immediately or not use it.
Advocate S.K. Ragunathan, representing Ilaiyaraaja, said an inquiry revealed that Shankar entered an agreement with Agi Music Pvt Ltd to acquire the license to remix the song. “My client says Agi Music Pvt Ltd has no ownership or publishing rights in respect of the song. The Madras High Court has granted an interim injection restraining Agi Music Pvt Ltd and others from exploiting the musical works of my client for thousands of films in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada, including Karagaattakkaaran ,” Mr. Ragunathan said.
Remakes are the new fad of Bollywood and a number of musicians are raising their voices against the new trend.