Now and Then.

Who the...?

Harendra Kapur.
Kyra Mathews.
Tejas Menon.

This post was originally going to be about the quantum leap that Hindi music has made over the last 5-10 years or so; but instead I decided I'd focus on one singer who is at the top of the charts and is in much demand by the premier music directors of the Indian Film Industry.

Working in a Hindi radio station WILL get you addicted to Hindi songs and music. Even if you are not a fan of it, you will be whether you like it or not. I always used to dig it. I love AR Rahman and Shankar Ehsaan Loy's music and recently have come to appreciating other musicians work as well. Also I'll agree that popular Hindi music hasn't had the best rep, with hosts of musicians copying tunes from the west (and east as it turns out!) and I can say personally that the 90's worked itself into a rut, with repititive chords and melodic patterns, (a trait in most Aditya Chopra and Karan Johar films, I've noticed) that annoyed the shit out of me many a time.
But as the aughts rolled out, more composers broke away from that norm, favouring a more western style of chord progressions and more musicality and less percussion. And it is also strange that even though we opt for this change, it still cannot be dubbed as anything else but popular hindi music or Bollywood music; mainly because it still retains that distinct touch of Indian, like vocals from Raahat Fateh Ali Khan*, or Kailash Kher. Or perhaps even because of the inclusion of a pakhawaj or tabla to a drum set. Whatever it may be, I know that Mohit Chauhan is also one of those reasons.
Few may remember the erstwhile Silk Route; a 'rock' band at the time when we had few. It was from here we heard of Mohit Chauhan, the lead singer/guitarist at the time singing the popular 'Dooba Dooba' which has actually aged quite well since then. Mohit moved on from then and released a few solo albums before getting signed to sing as playback. It is at this point in his career that I feel he has peaked, by being the proud owner of the vocals that can be heard on this summer's two biggest releases: Love Aaj Kal and Kaminey.
After his short success with AR Rahman's 'Khoon Chala' he recorded for Imtiaz Ali's breakthrough 'Jab We Met', in the slow but beautiful Tum Se Hi. He became recognizable to me from that point and just went on to wow the hell outta me. He came out with the much under-appreciated 'Kuch Khaas' from Fashion as well as the strangely insipid 'Is This Love' from Kismat Konnection. But it was 'Masakali' from Delhi-6 that has showed the range of this singer. I always imagine that it must be a pleasure for the playback to record to excellent music, AR Rahman's to say the least, theres not much to be salvaged by a singer from crap music, but just by listening to the song you can clearly understand how he must have enjoyed recording it.
Two songs I am listening back to back at the moment are both romantic numbers from the movies Love Aaj Kal and Kaminey, with Mohit Chauhan returning to what he does best.

'Dooriyan' from LAK is clearly possesing the more Rom-Com-Comercial feel to it, with Imtiaz Ali trying to recreate the same effect from Tum Se Hi, and trying to force out the emotions, with the string section and music I have decided to dub CRM or Cry-by-Reverb Music (as opposed to HRM). However we can all agree that it is probably Mohit Chauhan's soothing voice that will probably get the girls crying.

'Pehli Baar Mohabbat Ki Hai' composed by Vishal Bhardwaj himself for his own film Kaminey, is my personal winner of the two, clearly the more tender song, with interesting vocal moments and moving piano moments. Equally great vocals from Mohit Chauhan makes this all the more intense, and I'm interested how this song will come off on screen.

I hope he goes on to release tracks like these, and hope he has the oppurtunity too, because you know how unreasonably far one can be from the other. Now if Lucky Ali would just get off his lazy ass and accept Rahman's offer to work with him...

* The inspiration and reason why I started writing this post. Unbelievable vocals on 'Ajj Din Chadheya' from Love Aaj Kal.

1 response to "The Wonderful Mohit Chauhan"

  1. Mohit Chauhan music are my favotite tracks...

    To be honestly i never knew my most of the favorite tracks are by Mohit Chauhan; Just love listening them.

    Recently an article about Mohit Chauhan educated me about his music & thereafter I came to know that its HIS Music which drives me crazy ;)


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