Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

There are a few guys in our office, who are die-hard fan of RD Burman, Pritam, and even HR?? (Our beloved Himmessh Resshaammiya, no offence please). I also like RD Burman and tolerate Pritam to some extent but I was never a fan of them. I’ll not discuss whether I like Himesh or not, because to like someone’s music, 1st you have listen to them. I forbid myself from listening to Himesh’s songs, however good composer he is or whatever soothing songs he sings. For me listening to Himesh is like watching Inception in Hindi and come out and comment “What a crap, I haven’t understood it for a minute!!!” Hmm, doesn’t it seem to be an over the top comment? Let’s try another: For me, listening to Himesh’s song is like hitting my head with my own guitar. Sounds more appropriate :-). But, let’s forget Himesh for now and come to the point thinking of which I started this post.

I’ve taken the above few names of music directors (there are lots more, these three has just come to my mind in a whip) in the context of music plagiarism and the frequent friendly arguments that occur between me and some of my friends and colleagues. I will and can never argue or utter any doubt on the talent of RD Burman in the context of Indian music. But, yes, I will definitely say that he was not honest with some of his compositions. There are examples flooded in the Internet showing how blatantly he copied some of his numbers from other songs (mostly western), which become chart busters in Bolywood. At his time, may be most of the people were unaware or even indifferent about the western music industry. So, if there were plagiarism, they were oblivious and were happy to enjoy some good new music. However, nowadays, we become more curious and concerned regarding what we are getting. So, it becomes harder for a music director to copy music and get away with flying colors :-). Even Pritam couldn’t get away after lifting a Korean number for one of his songs in a Hindi movie (such an innovative idea, he should next go for Hebrew, Mandarin, and the road is open). So, my advice to music directors of today: “Look (Think) before you lift”.

Wow, so much bak bak (post Raavan effect), but haven’t reached the main point yet. I think I will be a good media artist, especially in India where one can to talk on and on and on on something that has not much to talk about. Yawnnnnnnnnnn. Let’s come to the point directly. Suppose, a music director copies someone else’s music/tune in his song and the song become a huge hit and also gets added to your favorites’ list. Now, what will be your reaction after knowing that your favorite song is a shameless copy of some other song? Mine is plain and simple. I will continue to listen to the songs, but will definitely lose respect for the music director. If possible I’ll try to get the original song and if I like the original then definitely discard the hit number from my list. One such common example is the song Woh Lamhey from the movie Zeher sung by Aatif. When I first heard this song, immediately I loved it. But after a few days, I heard the origin number by Jal and believe me I never listened to the Aatif’s number thereafter and Woh Lamhey by Jal undoubtedly remains one of my favorite numbers till today.

However, many of my colleagues/friends have other opinions. They believe the plagiarism issues, but then go on to justify them making comments like “it’s inspired”, “we like it and for us that was the prime”, “this is common in Bolywood, everybody copies”, “there’s no harm in copying if it is good to our ears”, blah blah. But suppose one of them is the original composer, then, will s/he comment the same way. It’s too easy to be in the side of majority, but it’s no harm to be with and support the right.

I am not endorsing myself as a saint or someone always with the right. But I try. Even, I’ll too justify and term such songs inspired if the music director gives credit to the original composer. OK, don’t give credit, at least mention that it is inspired from this or that number. I don’t know the legalities of plagiarism, but in India, people can easily get away without giving credit (Remember 3 Idiots, Aamir khan???). So, what’s the big deal in giving the credit? Don’t give money, just give the name. At least people like us will have some respect for such music directors then.

Note: The above content is purely my personal view and doesn’t intend to hurt anybody’s sentiment. So, please read it lightly and take it sportingly.


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Jal – My Kind of Band

As I’m listening to one of the songs of the Pakistani band Jal, the idea just come to my mind that why don’t I write something on Jal. There’s not much to do in office today. Also, It’s been quite sometime since I last updated my blog. So, the idea of writing something about Jal seems suitable for me right now.

Jal is a Pakistan-based small band comprised of three members, Goher – Lead Guitarist, Vocalist and Band Creator, Shazi – Bass Guitarist, and Farhan – Lead Vocalist. The first time I heard Jal was way back in 2005. That was the time of rise of Atif Aslam in India. He sang a song “Woh Lamhe” in the movie Zeher. When I first heard the song, I liked it instantly. Then after a few days I heard another version of the same song in FM. The earlier was a slow sufi number, while the later was a fusion between sufi and semi-rock. Immediately I realized that my kind of song was the later version. I did some research and find out that it was a song from an Album called Aadat by a Pakistani band Jal. Surprisingly, Atif Aslaf happened to be their lead singer, but later he moved out of the band and Farhan joined it as the lead singer. I heard about Jal post Atif Aslam and believe me I was happy that Atif was no longer in the band. No doubt Atif has a good voice, but somehow I feel that he is not a natural singer and his singing is not flawless. He is a good playback singer, but as a part of Jal the band, I can’t imagine him.

So, I started admiring Jal the very moment I discovered that the original version of Woh Lamhe was actually from the band Jal and Atif sang his own version of the song as he too claimed the copyrights of the Jal’s songs being an ex-member. Soon, as I started listening to the other songs from their album Aadat, I was not only finding them interesting but actually I was in love with the songs. I used to listened them day and night, which I still do (not to that extent). Even when I talked to yasmin (she’s in hyederabad then) we discussed a lot about the songs and the band. It was like when she listened to Jal, she knew it already that I’d like them and she’s desparate to tell me about the songs.

Also, it is the songs of Jal that inspires me to keep playing my guitar. Otherwise, there was a time, when I started my job life, I lost hope on any kind of improvement or learning with my guitar playing. I was not a proficient player but I liked to play the guitar and I learnt how to play it with the help of some my friends at hostel. It was my passion, and I almost lost it during those days. But thanks to Jal, their songs re-ignited my passion and still fueling me to play my guitar and try to learn something new with it. I’m grateful to Jal for that. If I hadn’t heard Aadat, my current Yamaha F310 wouldn’t be with me.

Without a doubt, Jal is my favorite hindi band and I love almost all of their songs except the number “Yeh Mera Pakistan” :-).

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A Brief Note on Zubeen Garg

Okay, I’ve told you how I become a fan of Zubeen Garg; but did I really tell you who exactly he is? No doubt he is a household name in Assam and in the recent past he has also become well-known for his songs in Bollywood. But I think I must give a brief account on Zubeen Garg so that if he is new to some people, they can have a fair amount of knowledge about him.

 Zubeen Garg is an Assamese who has made it big in Bollywood in the recent past with his hit number “Ya Ali” in the film Gangster. Basically, Zubeen hails from Jorhat, a city located in the Upper Assam region. Though his actual name is Jibon Barthakur, he is known among the masses as Zubeen Garg only. The surname Garg comes from his Gautra name. Apart from singing, Zubeen is a great composer—songs of most of his Assamese albums are composed by himself. He also scores the music of most of his albums as well as Assamese films. He can play the guitar, keyboard, mandolin, dotora, dhol, and various percussion instruments.

Zubeen started his initial music career as a keyboard artist in the early 90s. However, soon he came up with his first album Anamika in 1992, which was an instant hit. This very first album of his rejuvenated the complete music scenario of Assam, in fact the complete northeast. Most of the songs of Anamika were composed by Zubeen himself. Anamika is followed by another blockbuster hit, Maya, and the songs like ‘Dure Dure’ and ‘Maya’ are even counted among the all-time hits of Zubeen Garg. After that Zubeen hardly needed to look back. He released more than 50 albums in Assamese. Soon after he became popular in Assam, he entered the music industry of other regions of India like Bengal, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Hyderbad, Punjab, etc. He has sung more than 8000 songs in different language in India including Assamese, Bengali, Oriya, Marathi, Hindi, Tamil, Telegu, etc. He has also acted in a couple of Assamese movies like “Tumi Mur Mathu Mur” and “Dinobondhu”. For the music of “Dinobondhu” he also received a national award in 2005.

 Although Zubeen was able to establish himself as a renowned singer and composer in Assam in his early days, his journey to Bollywood was not an easy and smooth one. As per my knowledge, he gave his voice for the first time in Bollywood for the song ‘Mere Watan’ of the film “Fiza”. Thereafter he was prominently seen in singing the ‘Jaane kya hoga rama re’ in Sanjay Gupta film “Kaante”. He was involved in a couple of Bollywood projects after “Kaante” but none of them was big enough to hit the limelight. But you know talent never dies and that is what proved, when Zubeen hit the Bollywood with his smash hit number Ya Ali in the film Gangster. After that there is no looking back for Zubeen in Bollywood too. He has sung in numerous Hindi feature films. He also scored the music of one Bollywood venture—Strings—songs of which became quite popular. If you ask me “Which is your favorite Hindi number by Zubeen?” then it is unanimously ‘Jaane kya chahe man’ from the movie “Pyar Ke Side Effects”.

Source references: http://www.zubeen.com and http://www.wikipedia.org

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How I Become a Fan of Zubeen Garg

It’s almost a fortnight since I created my blog, but my contribution towards it still remains null. In fact, I’ve failed to keep the enthusiasm with which I’ve created it. I won’t say that this is due to work pressure although it’s one of the reasons. To be honest, sometimes I really feel out of ideas; while some other times, ideas used to flood my mind in such a way that I got carried away with my thoughts and they never get the opportunity to become visible in black and white. The same thing is happening right now. I’m not sure what I’m going to write. But something I must do to break the ice in this blog, in my own blog! So, I’ll not waste my time anymore.

In most of the social network forums, if there’s a section called About Me, I used to write “A die-hard fan of Zubeen Garg”. Today, I’d like to reminisce how I become a die-hard fan of Zubeen.

The year is 1993 or 1994. I’m an Assamese by heart. In fact, I’m an Assamese before I’m a Muslim; which sometimes make me think — am I a human or a Muslim? Let’s forget who I am now. Though I’m an Assamese, I was not very fond of Assamese songs during my school days. I only listened to handful songs of Bhupen Hazarika that too from the collection of my dad. But I liked songs of Assamese movies of the earlier days sang by Dwipen Baruah. Though Bhupen Hazarika is renowned for his songs, I never personally admired him. Don’t know, but I find his contribution very less in encouraging the Assamese music scenario. Again, distraction! My God!

So, the year is 1993/94 and apart from a handful Assamese film songs, I liked the Assamese modern songs by Jitul Sonowal, a rising star then. You may call me a Jitul fan at that time. One day in my school, one of my friends told me, “Have you heard the song Maya by Zubeen?” “Zubeen! Who is this Zubeen?” was my first reaction. At that moment I was immature and thought Zubeen might be nothing but a mere hype. I did overhear Maya once or twice while my neighbor was playing the album Maya. I was confused if he is a classical singer or somebody trying something stupid out of nothing. Believe me, at that time my musical knowledge is very ordinary, I was not at all curious about Zubeen. In fact, I’m happy with the songs of Jitul Sonowal and used to think that “who the hell is this Zubeen in front of Jitul?” Do you believe, till then I even didn’t know that before the album Maya, Zubeen debuted with his hit album, Anamika. So ignorant and dumb I was. But time changes, and so my taste buds, and more things.

In first quarter of 1994, my dad got transferred to Goalpara and my complete family got shifted to Goalpara. New town, new school, new people — complete new experience. Though it’s tough for me to adjust in a new place, I started loving Goalpara within a couple of months. During the early days in Goalpara, I found an Album of Zubeen called Zubeenor Gaan in one of our neighbor uncle’s home. I thought let’s give it a try as I was eager to listen something new. The songs of Jitul had become somewhat very monotonous. So, I borrowed the cassette and played in my music system. The first complete song of Zubeen I’ve heard is “Endhar Hobo Nowaru” (Translation: I can’t be night: literal translation guys). The moment the song ended, I automatically rewound the track and played it for the second time. Don’t know what happens, but it was love at first listen and rest is history.  As I listened to the rest of the songs, I realized it’d be difficult for me to listen to somebody else in Assamese anymore. This belief of mine continues till date as I hardly listen to Assamese songs by anybody else. This is entirely my opinion and belief to which many people may differ. But to me no one can overcome the stature of Zubeen in Assamese music scene. However, I must mention here about Angarag Mahanta, the one and only other contemporary Assamese singer, whom I admire after Zubeen. But his songs fall entirely in a different genre than that of Zubeen.

So, this is how I have become a die-hard fan of Zubeen Garg. But this is not the end. I must tell you how my love for Zubeen’s songs has sustained for so long and how he revived Assamese music and make me more Assamese. But that’s some other time.

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