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    Don't look back in anger !!!!!!!

    love aadee

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    Don't look back in anger !!!!!!!

    Post  love aadee on Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:27 am

    Atif Aslam scores another hit with Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani while Indian singer Abhijeet lashes out against Pakistani
    singers. What's the deal?

    The really wild spin

    Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani refuses to climb off the charts. Whether its local urban charts, music channels (Indian and Pakistani) or music stores, the 'song' is always blaring out from one place to another. The song in question is the remixed version of 'Tu Jaane Na' off the AJPKGK OST. Atif Aslam lent his voice to two songs ('Tu Jaane Na' and 'Tera Hone Laga Hoon') of this high profile Indian flick starring the new rising stars of Bollywood; Ranbir Kapoor and Katrina Kaif.

    The film is now just over one month old and has walked away with mixed to positive reviews. For Atif Aslam, this is fantastic news. He does few Indian films in a given year and now that he is picking big (star-studded, in other words) films, his popularity will further increase across the Indian musical stratosphere.

    But the popularity of Pakistani voices - this really isn't about what remuneration they earn from each film or lack thereof - has been pissing Indian singers off.

    Sonu Nigam had made a snide statement a while back. But the man, who is really ticked off these days, with the popularity of the likes of Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan; is Indian playback singer Abhijeet. He's also tried his hand at pop stardom but that didn't really work out for long. That's a story for another time though.

    In a recent interview with Times of India, Abhijeet lashed out, stating: "Why do they (The Bhatt family) call Pakistani singers and actors to work in India when we have so much talent here?" Indeed Mahesh Bhatt should be credited for taking the step forward. His visits to Pakistan, the support for KaraFilm Festival has led to cross-border cultural exchange. And so, according to Abhijeet, he should be investigated. Clearly, Abhijeet has the importance of cultural exchange on mind… not.

    The once-formidable and now sinking singer went on to say: "People praise Rahat Fateh Ali Khan's voice, but have they heard Sukhwinder Singh? There's no better singer than Sukhwinder. The irony is that it's hardly been a year since 26/11 and already songs of two Pakistani singers, Atif Aslam and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, are topping the Indian music charts."

    To understand Abhijeet, one needs not to look at Pakistani singers but the shape of the Indian music industry where Indian film music makes the biggest cut.

    The woes of Bollywood

    For one thing, Pakistani singers (try as they might, so many of them want to make a mark in India) don't do too much work in India. Take Atif Aslam as an example. In his five year long musical career, he has done five films in Bollywood. It started with Zeher (2005) and was followed by Kalyug (2005), Bas Ek Pal (2006), Race (2008), Kismat Konnection (2008) and now in 2009 there is Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani. And each Atif song was as popular as the next. The songs weren't exactly the stuff of legend; groundbreaking musical inventiveness was nowhere to be found. But tunes like 'Tere Bin', 'Pehli Nazar' and now 'Tu Jaane Na' worked because Atif Aslam, like his peers, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan or (the selective) Strings does not possess a generic voice. He can stand out.

    The trend of pop musicians entering Indian playback singing scene isn't restricted to Pakistani artists alone. Shankar Mahadevan of the famous Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy tri-tet hails from Indian pop (remember Breathless?) music back in its heyday. As Indian pop music struggled; more and more Indian pop singers went for playback singing. Its lucrative and its the only thing that sells the most.

    Sonu Nigam used to be a pop singer and now has his heart set on being an actor (as with actors who are trying to be singers such as Farhan Akhtar, Aishwarya Rai, Hrithik Roshan, etc etc). The trend of pop mixing in with Bollywood soon led others in as Indian pop music saturated into nothing but remixes of classic Indian songs.

    Meanwhile Indian pop singers like Shaan, Alisha Chinoi, K.K joined in and made singers of '90s Bollywood music such as Kumar Sanu and Udit Narayan, the not-so-cool voices. Indian actors themselves pushed pop singers forward. Neeraj Shridar, the man who was known for the band Bombay Vikings was pushed forward in Bollywood by Akshay Kumar. ('Hare Ram, Hare Krishna', 'Love Mera Hit Hit' are two of his most famous hits). This year's Kambhakkt Ishq had the RDB-composed 'Om Mangalam'. Akshay brought them onto the project. Why didn't he call Sukhwinder, I wonder? Maybe he needs an investigation too...

    Rahat, the other consistent voice in Bollywood, has done more films than Atif or Strings) but he neither pretends to be a commercial pop star nor a Sufic qawwal. He can do a tripped-out hypnotic record like Charkha with Rohail Hyatt and then go on to sing 'Teri Ore'. So what? It's called diversity.

    Shiraz Uppal, Roxen, Azal - they all understand that to capture India, some tunes in Bollywood are really not such a bad day. Now how they strike that deal is another story. But Pakistani singers don't exactly work in every other Indian film to begin with. And India has drowned its own pop acts. Where are the Colonial Cousins now? Comprising of Hari Haran and Leslie Lewis, the band did make a mark in the nineties with some wonderful pop songs (Indian classical mixed with funky Western treatment) but eventually Hari Haran did come to Bollywood. Now Colonial Cousins are making their debut as music composers for a Tamil film, Modhi Vilayadyu.

    Nonsensical rants?

    Bollywood or the Hindi film industry is massive. According to CNN, Bollywood "releases nearly 1,000 films annually."

    That's rapid. If a few Pakistani singers sing in some films, how does it harm a singer like Abhijeet in an industry so huge? It isn't the old school Bollywood where melodies flowed and one sang along. With the evolving time and sound, Bollywood has had to evolve.

    If actors can get replaced with time and they do - look at Raveena Tandon, Kajol, Juhi Chawla, Jackie Shroff. Even Shah Rukh, Aamir, Salman and Saif Ali Khan can't stop the next wave of actors that include Hrithik Roshan, Abhishek Bachchan, Shahid Kapoor, Ranbir Kapoor, Imran Khan and even Emraan Hashmi (call it sheer dumb luck but he can deliver hits) - then why can't singers?

    Abhijeet, Shaan and Sonu Nigam (while hugely talented singers) can sing for pretty much anyone and get away with it. But with Pakistani singers, it's not that simple. Shafqat singing 'Mitwa' didn't gel with Shah Rukh singing the words on screen. Ranbir looks too young to pull an Atif onscreen and Atif's voice is too unique, too powerful to be incongruous. However, Atif's vocals make the song work. And Pritam, who worked with Atif on the soundtrack of Race, Kismat Konnection and Bas Ek Pal has understood that Pakistani voices are different. They can stand out amidst the brilliant talent of Sukhwinder Singh, K.K and many others.

    In the case of Abhijeet, it sounds more like a case of sour gr*p*s. The man once sang for Shah Rukh Khan in well known movies like Anjaam, Zamana Deewana, Yes Boss, Duplicate, Bad Shah, Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani and Chalte Chalte. Even now, Abhijeet has sung on the OST of Om Shanti Om and is working in Bollywood. And his concern for Sukhwinder Singh sounds quite pointless. It was Sukhwinder who sang last year's 'Jai Ho' which went onto win the Oscar and has been nominated for a Grammy this year. During this year he sang the famous 'Marjaani' off Billu Barkber and 'Dhan Te' off Kaminey and both songs have been raging hits; here, there, everywhere. The man does not sound like most Indian singers.

    In the end, when a 27-year-old singer from across the border manages to score hit after hit in the filmi, generic musical structure of Bollywood year after year - and not because the songs are absolute gems but his voice has a unique character that even I find hard to describe - it sounds like a case of sour gr*p*s. And that is why one just can't take Abhijeet seriously anymore. Case dismissed.

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