It makes you dance, it makes you sing, and it makes a great business idea in Bollywood. Punjabi music has taken the Hindi film industry by storm and is a sure-shot way to recover costs, say industry experts.
Punjabi numbers like “Sadi galli”, “Rola pe gaya”, “Laung da lashkara” and “Ainvayi Ainvayi” are sitting pretty on Bollywood music charts and are also a rage at weddings and discotheques.
“The craze for Punjabi music has always been there because they are mostly foot-thumping and groovy. They catch up very fast with people of all age groups. Earlier Punjabi music was big on the pop scene, but gradually Bollywood also got a good taste of it,” Krsna, who composed “Tanu Weds Manu” music, told IANS.
The Punjabi flavour in songs – be it lyrics or beat or melody – has been around for as long as one can think, but lately there has been a rush of them in Bollywood.
Popular singer Mika said: “Punjabi songs have always ruled the roost in Punjab, the UK and Canada…and in India, my elder brother Daler paaji (Daler Mehndi) started the trend with ‘Bolo ta ra ra ra’. The rest, including me, followed him.”
“I have always given my songs a Punjabi touch because that’s where I come from. Punjabi songs are very catchy and Punjabi is a very sweet language; so, that is also one reason why Punjabi songs are so popular,” he added.
The music of “Tanu Weds Manu” has became a hot favourite with songs like “Sadi galli” and “Jugni”, while the “Patiala House” music won hearts with numbers like “Rola pe gaya” and “Laung da lashkara”.
Yash Raj Films’ “Band Baaja Baaraat” also managed to hook music buffs to its title song, as well as the funky number “Ainvayi Ainvayi”, which features lead actors Ranveer Singh and Anushka Sharma.
Much before the Dharmendra-starrer “Yamla Pagla Deewana” hit the screens, the title song was a hit and every radio and TV channel was beaming it. “Charha de rang”, another song from the comedy with Punjabi flavour, proved to be a slow winner.
“The trend has been there for a while. I have sung so many Punjabi hits for films even before… like the ‘Oye lucky! lucky oye’ song and also ‘Mauja hi mauja’ from ‘Jab We Met’. They were chartbusters, and so were the songs from ‘Singh is Kinng’. The kind of energy a fast Punjabi song has is incredible.”
In 2010, songs like “Gal meethi meethi bol” (“Aisha”), “Tujhe Bhula Diya” (“Anjaana Anjaani”) and “Dhanno” (“Housefull”) had a Punjabi element in it. Even earlier, “Kudiyan shehar diyan” (“Arjun Pandit”), “Mehndi laga ke rakhna” (Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge”), “Jogi mahi” (Bachna Aae Haseeno”), “Lodi” (“Veer-Zaara”), “Chak de phattey” (“Khosla Ka Ghosla”), “Sona sona” (“Major Saab”) and “Shava shava” (“Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham”) among others were a rage.
With the penchant for Punjabi numbers in films on the rise, it is boom time for singers of the genre.
“The trend is slowly catching up and now we see all directors and music directors wanting to have at least one Punjabi number in their album, and so singers like me have a good chance to connect with our audiences in Punjab too,” said Mika.
According to Bhushan Kumar of T-Series, it is a wise business decision to add a Punjabi beat to at least one song in a music album.
“Adding a Punjabi beat means giving it a chance to be played in discotheques, clubs and weddings, where it catches people’s interest and they start liking the song. The more they dance to it, the more people like it,” Bhushan, son of late music baron Gulshan Kumar, told IANS.
DJ Suketu agrees, saying, “In today’s date, music composers are aware that youth, clubs, wedding and private parties are an important segment to make music for. It helps promote the film as well as the music.”
Punjabi numbers have even made it big internationally through crossover films like “Balle Balle Amritsar to LA”, “Monsoon Wedding” and “Bend It Like Beckham”.
Singers like Sukhbir, Jazzy B, Hard Kaur, Punjabi MC and Jassi should also get the due for taking the genre across the shores. They are known to fuse bhangra music with rap and techno to woo international listeners.
Disc jockeys like Suketu, Akbar Sami and DJ Aqeel are also responsible for popularising dhol beats through their umpteen remixes of Indian as well as international songs.
“I use Indian instruments and dhol beats when I remix tracks for international artists like Sean Kingston, Iya, Tata Young and Flo Rida for whom I have done remixes,” he said.
With such a success story, Punjabi flavour is here to stay in Bollywood.