always believed that the music that touches the soul and evokes deepest
emotions of a human being is what lingers on in its true spirit even after
decades. Now music in itself is a combination of lot of ingredients, such as
lyrics, composition, sounds, instruments, vocals, etc. Most of the times it’s
the combination of all that works, however one cannot deny the importance of
the “voice” that eventually tickles the soul. Music or no music, a beautiful
voice never fails to create its magic.
the time I had watched Aashiqui 2, which was the sequel to
the 1990 musical blockbuster Aashiqui, a question
has been chasing a logical answer for it in my brain. Question is how come a
successful singer gives into his addition to alcohol and is unable to fight his
way back to his glory? How come he himself believes that he is a failure and
cannot sing anymore? For me a good singer is a good singer irrespective of his
age. We have live testimony of that in Lata ji, Asha
Bhosle and many more.
understand voice does lose its control a bit over the years; however it’s not
like cricket or any other sport where age and physical fitness has a major role
to resolve this mystery I decided to do some research. Immediately my thought
went on to few play back singers whom I admired during 80’s and 90’s, however I
rarely heard them in the recent movies. One of those voices that
instantaneously crossed my mind was Kumar Shanu. He was one of the
play back singer who had ruled 90’s male play back singing and had seen huge
Kumar Sanu getting the Padma Shri award in 2009.
holds the Guinness Book world record for recording the maximum
number of songs in a day, which are 28. For good one decade from 1990 to 2000 he
was the voice king who ruled the Bollywood male playback singing. He had won
the best male playback singer film fare award for 5 times. He was recently
heard in “Dum Laga Ke Haisha” after a long time in one solo
song “Tu” and one duet song “Dard Karaara” which was indeed a refreshing
who ruled the music industry in 90’s was given a tribute through Dum Laga Ke
Haisha. In his recent interview’s he talked about the changing industry, music
lobbies and why he won’t change. When he was questioned, “You were once the top
playback singer. Do you hold a grudge against your audiences, people who forgot
about you? He replied – How can I blame the audience for it? People’s
tastes haven’t changed. The problem is with the industry and how they manufacture
trends and force them on people’s minds. They keep playing a song 40 times a
day and they declare it a hit themselves. There are the big lobbies with their
own coterie of singers. The scene is polluted. I even know of singers who pay
cash and gifts to get offers. What hurt me though, is how the top heroes for
whom I used to sing, and in whose success I had a big part to play, forgot me
conveniently. I never turned to them for any kind of help.
Udit Narayan’s case is no different;
his success was going hand in hand with that of Kumar Sanu in 1990’s. Udit
Narayan has sung more than 25,000 songs in more than 34 languages. He had won National
Award four times and five time film fare award as best male play back
singer. These days Bollywood does spare him some songs,however that too in
bits and pieces. No solo song opportunity has knocked Udit Narayan’s door
recently. He keeps himself busy singing for regional languages.
Aditya Narayan and Udit Narayan at Police event
name almost entering into this list of forgotten singers is that of Sonu
Nigam. Sonu Nigam was used to be a craze once. May it be a pop album or
movie song, he was the preferred voice. Almost all the Bollywood music
directors were booking him. Nigam’s voice led him to winning many awards,
notably for the title song of the filmKal Ho Naa Ho and “Abhi Mujh
me Kahin”(Agneepatha-2012). He has recorded romantic, rock, sad and patriotic
songs in Hindi, Kannada, Assamese, Bengali, Oriya, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu,
English, Maithili , Bhojpuri, Urdu, Nepali, Chhattisgarhi, Malayalam, Tulu and
Marathi. Trend states that in last couple of years songs from his kitty have
been replaced with fresh voices.
that Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan and Sonu Nigam used to be binding
voices of Shahrukh, Salman and Aamir. Though we still see these three actors
breaking box office records on each release, those who placed an imperative
role in their success in past have now been replaced with new voices.
Sonu Nigam Performing in Coke studio
Abhijeet Bhattacharya, Shaan, Kay
Kay, Sukhwindher Singh, Babul Supriyo and
many more had their share of short fame during this journey as well. We know
that the present belongs to fresher voices, yet Bollywood music directors do
seldom recall them as per their convenience.
addition to the list of Golden voices is, Mohit Chauhan. He tasted
delayed success as compared to his peers,though that was short spanned
too. He was in the limelight for around 5 to 7 years. Soon his silky voice was
replaced with that of Arijit Singh.
Chauhan had his first brush with success with the song “Dooba Dooba” from the
band Silk Route’s album Boondhein. Album debuted at number one on the album
chart. Boondhein featured songs in Hindi, English, and Pahadi, and the band won
several awards at the awards in 1998.
career in Bollywood began in 2002 when he sang “Pehli Nazar Mein Dari Thi” in
the movie Road. His songs “Khoon Chala” and “Masakali” from the films Rang De
Basanti and Delhi-6 respectively, composed by Rahman and “Tum Se Hi” from the
film Jab We Met, composed by Pritam, were successful.
singh is current full time active singing sensation, he is in demand and almost
all big banners and current renowned music directors are chasing him to lend
his voice. Singh has received many awards and honors, including a Filmfare
Award, an IIFA Award, a Zee Cine Award and two Screen Awards. He received most
awards and nominations for the song “Tum Hi Ho” in Aashiqui 2 (2013); nine
awards from ten nominations for this song. Not sure who will replace him sooner
or later however currently Arijit is riding high on the horse called success.
Kumar Sanu quoted in one of his recent interviews, “Today, nearly eight
singers are made to sing the same song and you are never sure if yours will end
up being used eventually. I have experienced this myself quite a few times.” It
is evident that there is major difference that one can see between the ’90s
music and that of today.
singers have adopted a simple principle that they won’t sing bad songs, songs
that require them to scream rather than sing. Kumar Sanu says, “I abhor bad
lyrics. Look at the kind of lyrics that are being written — Chaar bottle vodka,
Jalebi bai, Munni badnam hui. Such work should be strongly condemned. The
offers still keep coming and I keep refusing. I will only sing the kind of
songs I’m known for.”
we know there is no scarcity of enchanting voices, thanks to ever increasing
reality singing shows. These shows keep cropping new voices each year, and keep
on forcing them onto the audience. And audiences being victim of self
proclaimed blockbusters have no other choice but to accept them.
any fan who enjoyed and 90’s music, they will swear by the voices and would
love to hear those golden voices again. Hoping for music directors to create
songs that’ll bring back the magic of 90’s and and wish all those singers to
croon their way out of oblivion.