In Hindi cinema, the early 90s had a lot of staple giants in the field, and many of the names that would go on to become major forces in Hindi films and music in the following two decades, started off in this era. The 1994 film Kabhi Haan Kabhi Naa was an important juncture for many things that were to come, and crucial stepping-stone towards many changes that would happen in the near future. In the film the simple and romantic song, Aye kaash ke hum remains one of my favourites. Continue reading →
As much of a startling change to the landscape of Hindi film music as A.R. Rahman was in the mid-1990s, his transition from Tamil films to mainstream Hindi cinema was also a gradual one from the audience’s perspective. He only showed up on the average film-fan’s radar with the release of the Hindi dub of Roja and its music in 1994. The film had been released in the original Tamil two years earlier and was Rahman’s first outing as music director, but the Hindi songs that came out of the later release sealed his place in minds of a much larger audience. It also explains the popularity of the songs of Thiruda Thiruda at the time; the people wanted to hear more, even if it was in a different language. However, it all really started with Roja, and Yeh haseen wadiyan remains one of the memorable tracks from the film that’s still played often after nearly two decades. Continue reading →
In the mid 90s, shortly after the economic liberalisation of India and the influx of new things like satellite television and international brands of fizzy drink, we had a fairly vibrant pop-music scene for a while. Players new and old broke on to the scene with modern music, slick music videos and experiments in both good and bad taste. The important part was they were giving it a serious shot.
At the time Alisha Chinai had been a playback singer for Hindi films for close to a decade and she made her first serious stab at the pop-music market with an album called Bombay Girl. And what a stab it was. Continue reading →
As teenagers in the 90s, we had started to assert our tastes in music beyond our parents’ choice of old Hindi film melodies. While we liked those too, we were ever open to new influences, and so it was during a ride in our Aunt and Uncle’s car, that our cousins put in the audio tape for Thiruda Thiruda. That was the first time I heard Konjam nilavu, or Chandralekha as it came to be referred to popularly, especially in its later Hindi version. Considering no one in the family spoke or understood the language, the playing of the original Tamil soundtrack was even more strange and memorable. Continue reading →