Now,raunchy regional tips for Bollywood item numbers

Most composers admit that an already-hit number is remade for Bollywood films only when the makers insist on it.

Written by Dipti Nagpaul D'souza | Published: February 27, 2012 12:00 am

A firebrand girl made for an apt gift from Kancha Cheena to his new ally,Vijay Deenanath Chauhan. For this sequence in the film Agneepath,producer Karan Johar and director Karan Malhotra were looking for a tune on which they could have Katrina Kaif,as that chosen girl,perform an item number. “The tune had to be rustic and far removed from the club numbers that Katrina has done before,” Malhotra recounts. The film’s music composers Ajay-Atul then decided to give the makers of the film a taste of lavani to see if they would like it and played their popular song Kombdi Palali from the 2006 Marathi film Jatra. The composers’ plan succeeded but both Johar and Malhotra insisted that Ajay and Atul recompose the same song for Agneepath’s item number. “The song had the right rhythm and beat and it was already a success in Maharashtra. We were sure it would work with the masses across the country,” explains Malhotra.

Filmmakers are increasingly thinking on the same lines as Malhotra. They are using both regional and Western chartbusters in Bollywood films,this time officially. Producer Bhushan Kumar,upon Salman Khan’s insistence,had purchased rights of the Telugu hit song Ringa Ringa,which was recomposed as Dhinka Chika for the film Ready. Actor Akshay Kumar has also taken a fancy to the popular Tamil track Appadi Podu,and will be using the tune in his home production Naam Hai Boss. Composer duo Vishal-Shekhar had adapted Ben E King’s classic Stand By Me as the song Dildara for Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra.One. More recently,Agent Vinod’s item song I’ll Do The Talking has been officially inspired by Boney M’s Rasputin.

Incidentally,these songs have already tasted success in their Bollywood avatar. Music composer Pritam,who worked on I’ll Do The Talking,explains that rhythm and tune have a universal appeal.

Rasputin is popular even after three decades of its release. The chances that the Indian version will not be liked are slender,” says he. While there are fans of these originals who do not like the Indian compositions,the industry members dismiss it as a small number,since most of the audience might not have heard the originals.

Most of the composers are not rooting for the trend. They admit that an already-hit number is remade for Bollywood films only when the makers insist on it. “We can create something of our own that will be as popular,but don’t have a choice when the crew takes a strong liking to a song,” says Shekhar Ravjiani of the Vishal-Shekhar duo. Atul Gogavale of the Ajay-Atul duo seconds Ravjiani. He adds that this gives regional music a boost,as it brings them more revenue under the Copyright Act.

The biggest challenge in adapting a song for Bollywood is that the composers have to better the original. While Ajay-Atul re-recorded the song with more orchestral instruments to ensure that the sounds are more contemporary,Vishal-Shekhar tried to keep the sanctity of the song intact.

Vinit Thakker,Head,Sony ATV,Sony’s music publishing arm,views the trend as a step forward from the days when popular songs would be unabashedly copied by Bollywood composers. “The publishing industry is finally picking up its pace in India. As composers continuously turn to us to license out some of our properties,it is overwhelming to see that people are following copyright rules,” he says.

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