Hindi Film songs of the 21st Century: The Change


‘Music is the strongest form of magic’ this quote by Marilyn Manson will make seven billion nods. But the magic formula has to be different for everyone. In the context of Hindi film songs, the magic formula has changed and evolved with time. Let’s understand the change. 

Composition – Moderately complex to simple. Composition means the elements that make up a song which includes harmony, instruments, rhythm, melody, and lyrics. If it’s too complex, most human brains excluding the musicians wouldn’t be able to absorb it and might consider it as noise, but if it’s a little complex, the arrangements are done well, then it could be turned into something beautiful. There’s nothing wrong with simple composition, there are thousands of beautiful songs with simple compositions, but making a song with complex composition takes effort and a high level of creativity.  And music makers are also humans who like to make efforts only if their efforts are appreciated. With time, the composition is becoming simpler and simpler every few years, because that’s what the masses like to listen to today.

 Melodious but underrated songs from the abums, like ‘Piku’, and ‘October’ have a little complex composition that is not on the lips of many but the songs from the albums like ‘Dil Chahta hai’ and ‘Tanhai’ were, in the 2000s.  In conclusion, a good composition can be both simple and a little complex. A catchy melody, vocal or instrumental harmony, synthesizers, bass, background music or vocals, poetic lyrics, and the use of a few or more instruments, good-sounding chords, all these elements, rightly used and well-arranged, can but not necessarily in a complex way would make a song heart stealer.

 Examples of good compositions that did well in the market include Jannat 2 by Pritam and Raju Singh, Jab we met by Pritam, Sanjoy Chowdhury and Sandesh Shandiya, Tum Mile by Pritam and Raju Singh, and many other albums Kal Ho Na Ho, Rockstar, Kabir Singh, Murder 2, Murder 3, Malang, 1920 evil returns, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi Aashiqui 2, Ek Villain, Ae Dil Hai Muskil, Azhar, Goliyon Ki Raasleela Ramleela, Raaz 3, Jersey, Half Girlfriend, YJHD, Cocktail, Student of the year 1, Hate story series, Radhe Shyam, Agneepath, Lootera, Humari Adhuri Kahani, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Zid, Shershaah, Bajirao Mastani, MS Dhoni, Once upon a time in Mumbai, Badlapur, Kalank, jab Harry met Sejal and many more. 

Sound Design- 


Sometimes, we listen to a song just to hear something extra, that a sound designer offers to us. Sound designers know, when to vocal harmony, when to use instrumental harmony, where to fit the chorus, the non-musical sounds like clapping, etc. We can see a decline in the use of live instruments, machine sounds are preferred these days.  For example, Albums like ‘Malang’ and ‘Kabir Singh’ are hugely based on electronic music. Also, we can’t ignore, autotune. Autotunes doesn’t deserve the hate that it gets, you will say this if you only care about how a song sounds but some singers only survive because of Autotune and this might be controversial. 





Everyone would have a different opinion in this category, at least. Singing was raw back in the days, clear, sweet, and pure. After the 2010s, romantic singing became more sensual, seductive, breathy, and deeper, with more pain than happiness. Songs like ‘Kal Ho Na Ho, ‘Guzarish’, and ‘Khuda Jane’ can fit into the first category, and songs like ‘Wajah Tum Ho, ‘Ijazat’, and ‘Bol Do Na Zara’ into the other.  Both have their own audiences. One more thing to notice that people don’t talk about at all, for some reason that there’s comparatively less female singing in Hindi cinema. 

Lyrics- Hindustani in itself is a beautiful language. Lyrics used to have a deeper meaning, like ‘Swadesh Hai Mera’, ‘Chand Sifarish’, ‘Masakali’, ‘Suraj Hua Maddham’, ‘Aankhon Mein Teri’,’guzaarish’, and others.  But some songs of the 10s like ‘Banjaara’ by Mithoon, ‘Sun Saathiyan’ by Priya Sarayia, Phir Bhi Tumko Chahunga by Manoj Muntashir, ‘Mehram’ by Shellee, ‘Kar Har Maidaan Fateh’ by Shekhar Astiwa and rap song ‘Apna Time Aayega’ by Divine and Ankur Tewari are lyrically a few of the best songs in popular opinion. Sometimes different languages are mixed to add more creativity. ‘Uff Teri Adaa’, ‘Dil Ibadat’, and ‘Radha’ from ‘Student of The Year’, ‘Nashe Se Chadh Gayi’, ‘Sau Tarah Ke’ are some of the great examples of it. Punjabi has also become a trend in Bollywood. 

Remix - If you were born in the 80s or early 90s, you might have a favorite DJ, whose remixes you liked to listen to in the 2000s, like DJ Aqeel or DJ Suketu. There’s a difference in the remixes of back in the day and today. Remixes were done to show more creativity, today it’s just done because of a lack of creativity. There’s someone in the industry who puts the reggaetón beat in all of his songs and it becomes a hit. Remixes today are sung by the already settled singers. So, there’s nothing new. Sometimes, the remakes are not at all close to the original. For example, ‘Leja Leja Re’ is the original and irreplaceable song by Ustad Khan and Shreya Ghoshal. But there are definitely some good remakes of the decade like, ‘Aaj Phir’ and ‘Itna Tumhe.’

Lo-fi Trend-

 For the past few years, lo-fi and slowed songs are in trend. So much so that music makers themselves have started making lo-fi versions of their own songs, like, ‘Jaan Hai Meri’, the lo-fi version of ‘Labon pe naam’, from the film, Radhe Shyam. And the music labels are also releasing lo-fi versions of their songs. 


At last, we can say, nothing is permanent and so is the music. Music will always evolve and as we grow older, we might not prefer the new trends. But that doesn’t make a song ‘bad’.


Add comment

Security code