‘It’s important to have a balance of originals and remixes’
Leading composer Amaal Mallik on the direction he seeks for Bollywood music this year
Amaal Mallik believes in evolving with the ever-changing trends in music. To begin with, the shift that he hopes to see the most this year is clearly-visible mentions of the original creators of remixes or remakes. He states that it’s a clerical change that nobody pays attention to. “Original makers are credited in the most unread and irrelevant sections of a song description on social platforms like YouTube. It seems newbies want to grab all the limelight when what they’re technically doing is feeding off a song made by someone else,” he observes. “I’d like to see this movement of prompt acknowledgement. It’s the responsibility and duty of new composers who are part of this trend,” he adds.
Admitting that sound engineers always come up aces in the soundscape, Amaal acknowledges the presence of apps and services such as vocal processing plugin Vocoder and voice samplers, which are making their way into film song productions. “In a way, I hope to hear them a lot more now. Personally, I’d hope for an AI (Artificial Intelligence) that maps the notes in your brain and sets into an algorithm which can then be mapped on your screen. I think creativity may really thrive under such innovations,” he says.
Last year saw a plethora of remixes and remakes such as Aankh Marey (Simmba), Ruk Ruk Ruk (Helicopter Eela) and Dilbar (Satyameva Jayate) among many others. While Amaal is not against rehashes since he, too, has recreated Ishq’s (1997) Neend Churayi Meri (Maine Tujhko Dekha) for Golmaal Returns (2017) and the single Ghar Se Nikalte Hi (Papa Kehte Hain, 1996), etc, he finds their usage frivolous.
He elaborates, “We seem to be a digressed industry. We have old songs being remade in abundance. For every original track, we hear about three remakes and that ratio is dangerous for an industry that has sworn by original music for so long. It’s important to keep a balance of both.” He tells us that unless he can add his personal touch to a recreated melody in some way, he doesn’t take up the project. “I always feel less trusted as a composer if I’m asked to remake a composition the way it is,” he points out. “Back in the ’90s, these songs were remade for pop and nonfilm purposes. I fail to see how they do justice to a film’s script. They’re inserted just to grab a few eyeballs,” Amaal continues, clarifying that there’s nothing wrong with that per se. “But a sense of responsibility needs to creep in, so that people don’t stop believing in original music. The motive behind creating a film’s soundtrack has changed and it probably needs reassessment. A track in a movie should justify the story’s demand,” he states, emphasising that it’s called a ‘film song’ because it’s originally composed for a situation. “Originality and innovation must thrive equally and that’s clearly not happening today. It almost seems like the ones approving the music want their say and instant profit more than doing what the film needs. And all I say is that composers are eventually bearing the brunt of it all,” he rues.