With the recreation trend that had gripped Bollywood films, it was always a question of when and not if, it will die down. And composer Amit Trivedi knew it. The acclaimed music director says the trend, which had gained momentum close to a decade ago, has finally hit rock bottom with listeners outrightly rejecting remixes.
Trivedi says if the audience feels that Hindi film music is going through a confused phase, with only a few original albums making a mark, the reason could be plenty, starting from the overall consumption pattern of listeners.
“As far as my understanding is concerned, from what I have observed and understood over all these years is that since 2016-17, when the internet reached villages, reached out to the masses, things changed. Everything became massy, very mass driven, whether films or songs.
“The game is all about numbers–streaming numbers, YouTube numbers. More the numbers, more the money. Content creation also took a massive shift,” the composer shares with indianexpress.com.
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Amit Trivedi, the name behind some of the most inventive Bollywood soundtracks from Dev D, Udaan, Bombay Velvet, Lootera to Manmarziyaan, says the need for instant gratification led to makers taking the easy route of remixes, which worked with the listeners– at least initially.
“There is so much content happening. There are so many different avenues, and the audience is already divided and spread across, because they have so much to consume. So how do you make noise about a film that’s coming instantly? The easiest way was to give them something more familiar, a remixed version of a successful track as it is easier for an audience to grab it.
“We started from that point, where the remixes were at its peak. Initially, even the audience liked it, they lapped it up. The reason why labels and producers were encouraged to make more remixes was because the audience enjoyed it,” he adds. The composer recalls how the recreated version of the chartbuster Kala Chashma was one of the biggest hits from the initial phase of the trend.
Trivedi says the Sidharth Malhotra-Katrina Kaif starrer track, composed by Badshah, had led audiences to theatres to watch Baar Baar Dekho, only to be disappointed that the song comes only at the end.
“There were audience reactions, where people had said that the film was ‘vaahiyat’ (terrible), and they only came for Kala Chashma which came at the end! So, the audience loved the idea of remixes which the makers understood.”
But what went wrong, Amit Trivedi observes, is when almost every other Bollywood film started relying on remixes. What was once unique, had soon started annoying the listeners, but makers never paid attention.
“They tapped into this world and did more, so much that… We have this habit of herd mentality. Whatever works, we follow it to the extent that it becomes perishable. Usko pura nichod dete hai (We completely suck the joy out of it). That’s what happened here (with remixes).
“We did it way too much, went overboard with it and now it is over. In 2022, remixes are almost dead. Now the audience is also fed up of it. Audience has clearly said that they did like it, but itna bhi mat pheko humpe ki hume bhi ghinn ho jaaye (Don’t shove this down our throat so much that we are sick of it),” he adds.
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Amit Trivedi is now awaiting the release of filmmaker R Balki’s thriller Chup, in which he has composed two songs – “Gaya Gaya Gaya” and “Mera Love Mein“. The songs have been penned by his long-time collaborator Swanand Kirkire.
Trivedi, who began the year with the extremely melodious soundtrack of Rajkummar Rao-Bhumi Pednekar starrer Badhaai Do, says collaborating with Kirkire for Chup was “comfort”. “I love him. He is a friend, mentor and guide. When the energy between two people is wonderful, work just flows,” he adds.
Trivedi also credits filmmaker R Balki for offering him projects which push him out of his comfort zone. The composer has previously worked with Balki on his directorial Pad Man, Mission Mangal (where Balki was attached as a writer) and English Vinglish, which the filmmaker had produced.
“The way Balki sir approaches his cinema, his ideas, thoughts are so out of the box, it kind of rubs off on people like me and Swanand sir. We tend to go in the direction he is heading. When we are on that path, our brain starts working like that and hence a Gaya Gaya Gaya or Mera Love Mein happens.
“Both the songs lyrically and musically are absolutely unique, something that Swanand sir and I have not done before. That’s the beauty of working with Balki sir, who is a wonderful person as well as a filmmaker,” he adds.
Chup is set to release in theatres on September 23.