The sounds of 2015

  • Satarupa Paul
  • Updated: Dec 27, 2015 00:15 IST

We asked the DJ to play our favourite song, leaned on, said hello from the other side, and were heartbroken when we lost our one direction – 2015 was a year of big news and bigger hits.

A surprise visit and a ban

Music lovers in India had a confusing time this year. When Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin made a surprise appearance in a Delhi pub one evening and played an impromptu gig, social media went crazy. On the other hand Pakistani ghazal maestro Ghulam Ali’s concert was called off in Mumbai after resistance from fundamentalist groups. This led to the singer declaring that he won’t return to India, until “things are settled down”.

The biggest hits

The year may have begun with a series of big box-office flops, but one film out of the lot, the romantic thriller Roy, gave us Chittiyan Kalaiyaan which became the go-to song at weddings, parties, discos, radio stations, college fests and just about everywhere, all year round.

Then returned Tanu, or her doppelganger. Banno Tera Swagger from Tanu Weds Manu Returns was written and composed by the then-unknown Tanishk and Vayu. But if you had heard their trippy song Oopar Oopar Renn De from 2014, you wouldn’t have been surprised by their big Punjabi wedding song to come.

But the biggest hit this year came not from any film soundtrack, but from the single released by rapper Badshah, of Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai and Saturday Saturday fame. DJ Wale Babu became the song of the year and spawned many spoofs, notable amongst those being the Shere Wali Mata mix.

The most watched music video on YouTube this year – with 1.3 billion views – was a heartwarming tribute to the much-loved actor Paul Walker, who lost his life in a car crash two years ago. Wiz Khalifa’s See You Again featuring Charlie Puth was part of the soundtrack of the seventh installment of the Fast and Furious movies, and it left Walker’s fans in tears.

The big chartbuster this year was Major Lazer and DJ Snake’s Lean On, which peaked at #4 on US Billboard Hot 100 and reached number one in many countries, including India. Its popularity here perhaps has to do with the fact that the video for the dance number was shot extensively in India, complete with desi outfits and Bollywood-inspired dance steps.

Indie pick of 2015: Prateek Kuhad

The singer/songwriter from Jaipur was one of the most promising artists in the Indian indie scene this year. His soft, acoustic numbers with indie-folk influences and laid-back vocals in English or Hindi are easy on the ears, something that you can sway or tap your feet to. That’s probably why Kuhad is attracting indie fans by the droves at the many gigs he is playing around India.

Prateek Kuhad

Tearjerker moments

This year had two big occasions that brought out the tears on social media. The first was in early March when singer-songwriter Zayn Malik, who topped the 2015 list of Sexiest Asian Men, left the pop boy band One Direction, leaving teenage girls worldwide bawling in grief. Most took to the internet to express their sorrow by posting Vines and photos of them sobbing their hearts out.

Something similar happened in late October, but this time it wasn’t just teenage girls weeping, but even celebrities like Kate Hudson and Katy Perry. Adele’s first single in three years, Hello (a sepia-tinted video that depicted the failed love story between the singer and a former lover) received 50 million views on YouTube in the first two days of its release. This placed it amongst the most watched YouTube videos of all time.

From HT Brunch, December 27

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