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Bollywood music tunes into Gen-X

Musicians are belting out kitschy lyrics and racy beats for the youngsters.

india Updated: Jan 02, 2006 19:09 IST

Bollywood music is singing a new tune these days - replete with kitschy lyrics, racy beats and a cool-dude attitude - to get Generation X's ear.

The chartbuster Right Here Right Now from Rohan Sippy's film Bluffmaster and Kajra Re - a mujra featuring Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan memorably with Aishwarya Rai in Bunty Aur Babli - combine hip-hop with urban chic that appeal to the young.

Over the past few years, music in Hindi films has undergone radical changes as taste eventually won over tradition. Today's music is composed keeping in minds the likes and dislikes of Gen-X.

Veteran filmmaker Yash Chopra, known for introducing new trends in Bollywood, said: "Today's world is anchored to the thought processes of urban youth. That is why the tone of music and the choice of words in songs have also changed."

Lyricist Javed Akhtar said: "Writing lyrics has become an exercise that celebrates aesthetics and lucidity. I think when I composed lyrics for Saagar it was in another mould, another mood.

A still from Bunty Aur Babli's famous mujra number, Kajra Re. The song became an instant hit with the cine goers. The country enjoyed the crude essence of the song and rocked with Big B, Abhishek and Aishwarya.

"The film

Kal Ho Naa Ho

was in another vein altogether. I remember being vehemently opposed to the idea of using 'Pretty Woman', but then you see I was proved wrong."

"Choices and tastes have won over tradition. And the language of music has always been designed and composed to suit changing trends. The lyrics have changed, but I don't think the language of love changes. When you seek romance, you will find it," Akhtar said.

Most youngsters, however, felt contemporary music reflected realism just like the art-house depiction of Tagorean nostalgia in Vidhu Vinod Chopra's period hit from last year - Parineeta.

Anirudh Roy, a young student at George Washington University, averred: "What a contrast the songs were. While my parents loved Piya bole, I liked Rekha in the smoky jazz number KaisiPaheli Zindgani.

"Music nowadays reflects realism. If there is a dilemma between tradition and choices, it's up to us to choose. Music now seeks to reflect openness in society. Some viewers will chorus that the entire music vibe is synonymous with kitsch or commercial cinema."

But to many who relish Mumbai's masti (fun), magic and masala (spicy) marathons, lip-synced diversions with their characteristic love triangles and dance sequences, Bollywood music seems to offer more than just a straitjacketed cultural identity.

Art professor Krishna Reddy said: "Every society indulges in popular forms of art that may or may not be agreeable with purist minorities and Bollywood is a case in point."

Citing the example of the hit BheegeHont Tere from Mahesh Bhatt'sMurder, Akhtar said: "Change is the most demanding dictate of all time. Since media and time stand still for no one, this is the crucial junction for artistic functioning.

"Look at the success of Bheege Hont Tere. What do you remember more -singer Kunal Gaanjawala's voice or that emotional tremor in the words? I think Bollywood music is going through a period of revolution and composers and lyricists are finding new things to say.

"I think there has always been a dilemma between tradition and choices. Now we are talking about it and singing about it. Sabke honto par hain ek mazedaar gaana (everybody is singing a fun song)," Akhtar said.

First Published: Jan 03, 2006 02:00 IST