90 per cent of the remixes aren’t working; you are destroying the songs by adding new lyrics: Lalit Pandit

Remember Lalit Pandit’s composition Munni Badnaam Hui from Dabangg (2010) which was picturised on the sultry Malaika Arora? Indeed, it was without a doubt one of the most popular songs of the last decade. Incidentally, the song was picked up by the curriculum of Music in Britain a few weeks back.

So indeed, the very talented Lalit Pandit is a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. He has belted out several original hits and is known for his mellifluous melody. We got talking to the ace composer Lalit Pandit who in a hard-hitting interview gives his opinion on remix songs and how it is harming the industry.

 Lalit Pandit has always believed in the originality of songs and that the music industry should always be governed by pure melody. No wonder, he is not at all happy about the remix scenario that has almost taken over the music industry. In a no-holds bar interview, Lalit Pandit airs his views on this…

Could you tell us about the remix scene?

There are two things that come out of it clearly. The first thing is that directors/producers are looking for a quick hit. They are grabbing onto something that’s a sure-shot hit already. They feel that the old song is already a hit and people have heard it, so why not add a bit more masala to it and represent it to the audience once again? The second thing that comes out looking at this scenario is that filmmakers don’t seem to have the confidence in music composers, who are mighty talented.

Could you elaborate on this?

Whenever there is a song being created, it’s a very simple process where the composer presents the tune to the director/producer. Many times, there are no lyrics also – we just present the tune to the makers. But nowadays, filmmakers want a sure-shot hit right at the beginning itself. Even if it’s a Munni Badnaam, unless the director/producer listens to it in the first narration and give it a chance, how will they even judge the song? I know it’s difficult to assess in just one go, but the director needs to visualise it.

So, what do you think is the reason for it?

I think the insecurity these days has increased to unimaginable levels. People are just trying to remix old melodious songs, adding a couple of new lines of lyrics and representing it to the audience. 90 per cent of the remix songs these days are not working. The added lyrics are actually destroying the songs. Some great writer must have written the song thinking about something, and just by adding two new lines, you’re totally destroying the song.

To add to that, they’re even taking credit for writing the song after just adding two new lines. In a song like Ghar Se Nikalte Hi, there’s no mention of Rajesh Roshan, the original composer; there’s no mention of Javed Akhtar who originally wrote the song. This is a total infringement of one’s moral rights.

Do you think the originality in today’s songs are getting lost somewhere?

The question of originality comes when the music composer is at least asked to give an original song. They’re not being asked for that – they’re just asked (by the director/producers) to recreate or remix so and so’s song. The music composers are not given the chance to make something good and present to the audience. In today’s times, director/producers have become too dominant over music composers.

New-age music composers have to earn a livelihood, and therefore, in the fear of having to lose the film altogether, they just do as the director/producer asks. They’re not given that breathing space to create something original and present it to the audience. This process is harming and taking the music industry down. It is very rare these days that we get to listen to a great song, and when we do, we need to realise that the music composer must have worked really hard in order to get an original song out.

So, what is lacking now?

There used to be a bonding and trust between the music composer and the director of the movie. I had just made Karan Johar hear a long tune for Kuch Kuch Hota Hai – it had no lyrics. But he had that faith in us that yes, they’ll make something good. When the song finally came out, he loved it, and it became a huge hit. That trust factor between composers and directors is missing nowadays.

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