Not so long ago -- the late 80s and 90s to be specific -- Bollywood nuts would look forward to the next Udit Narayan hit or Kumar Sanu winner, alongside the SRK blockbusters and Salman potboilers. While, you can say, the playback singing business was somewhat monopolised by a handful, we weren't really complaining. I mean, after Pehla Nasha, who wouldn't want a lifelong supply of Alka Yagnik-Udit Narayan duets?
Bollywood hasn't stopped churning out hits now, but chances are, we aren't always familiar with the voices behind these blockbusters. A number of talented singers and musicians populate Bollywood, but if your friend asked you who sang Kala Chashma, would you know the answer?
You have listened to these songs on loop, you have danced to some of them, you have heckled the DJ till he played these songs, so you must know the men and women responsible for the magic.
# 1 The Humma Song (Ok Jaanu, 2017)
The classic song "Humma Humma" from Mani Ratnam's 1995 hit film Bombay was recreated as "The Humma Song" by Dharma Productions for Ok Jaanu. The video featuring Shraddha Kapoor and Aditya Roy Kapur currently has over 120m views.
Jubin Nautiyal (27)
The talented Dehradun boy debuted in Bollywood with Ek Mulakaat from the movie Sonali Cable (2014). However, his big break was singing the soulful number "Zindagi Kuch Toh Bata" in Salman Khan-starer Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015). He has since sung for films like Rustom, Kaabil and Jolly LLB 2. Of course, Humma Humma got him the kind of attention that most Bollywood newbies vie for, though it came with its share of downsides.
#2 Haanikarak Bapu (Dangal, 2016)
Dangal was not only the highest-grossing movie from last year, it had some of the quirkiest songs. Even when the film had not released people were hooked to the song, "Haanikarak Bapu" which set the tone of the film. Guess who sang it?
Hanikarak Bapu owes its magic to two talented young singers from Jaisalmer -- Sarwar and Sartaj. Pritam, who composed the song, auditioned 20 children from Barmer and Jaisalmer, of which these two were selected. The song has 70 million views on YouTube.
Sarwar Khan (12)
Sarwar belongs to the Manganiyar community and studies in the seventh standard of a government school in his village in Rajasthan. He, along with Sartaj, used to learn music at the Gaji Khan's Pechan Lok Sangeet Kendra in Barna village, reports Times of India.
Sartaj Khan (11)
According to reports, Sartaj is the son of Khartal player Gaji Khan Barna. This may have been first big Bollywood break, but reports say that he is already an accomplished musician who has made 201 trips abroad for shows.
#3 DJ Waley Babu
Okay, we made an exception here. This 2015 song isn't from a Bollywood movie but from the party album by Badshah. But it was as good as a big Bollywood hit and pretty much hijacked our radio stations and personal playlists. The song currently has over 110m views on YouTube.
Delhi girl Aastha Gill has been collaborating with artists Raftaar and Badshah for a while. She debuted in Bollywood with a song in Fugly (2014). If her hits are anything to go by, her forte is peppy dance numbers. She was the voice behind "Abhi Toh Party Shuru Hui Hai" from Khoobsurat (2014) as well.
#4 Bulleya (Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, 2016)
Pritam won the Filmfare Award this year for composing the music for Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (2016) and rightfully so. Arijit Singh, whose songs, were your favourite earworms last year, also won best singer at the same award. However, there was this one song from the same album which was on everyone's lips, and Singh wasn't the voice behind it.
Mishra, who is a trained musician and classical singer, debuted in Bollywood with Ajay Devgn, Konkana Sen Sharma, and Paresh Rawal's Atithi Tum Kab Jaoge (2010). He sang "Dohe" and "Sukhaharta" but what really launched his career were chartbusters like "Sau Tarah Ke" from Dishoom and "Manma Emotion Jaage" from Dilwale. Mishra won the R D Burman Award for upcoming music talent Filmfare 2017 for "Bulleya". The song has almost 130m views on YouTube.
#5 Jabra Fan (FAN, 2016)
This movie, an interesting departure from usual Shah Rukh Khan potboilers, didn't have songs. There was just one that played during the opening montage of the film. Jabra Fan penned by Varun Grover had 8 different versions in different languages. The most popular of them, the one in Hindi, has been sung by Nakash Aziz.
Nakash Aziz (31)
Aziz has assisted the maestro A.R. Rahman on films such as Highway, Ranjhanaa, Rockstar, and Delhi 6. A familiar name in Telugu music industry, Aziz debuted in Bollywood with "Suno Aisha" from the film Aisha. Since then, he has sung hits such as "Sari Ke Fall Sa" and "Gandi Baat" from the film R... Rajkumar (2013) and "Dhating Nach" from Phata Poster Nikla Hero (2013). The Hindu reports that he will be singing a remake of 'Ek Chatur Naar' soon. In an interview Aziz said that he hailed from a musically-inclined family and his father was named 'junior Kishore Kumar' during his college days.
#6 Kala Chashma (Baar Baar Dekho, 2016)
Kala Chashma was less of a song, more a phenomenon last year. People did covers of it, there were dance videos on it and the song was why DJs had people queuing up before their turntables at pubs.
"Kala Chashma" had more than 180m views on YouTube. But where have we heard it before? The original song is roughly 12 years old and sung by Amar Arshi in the original as well as in the remastered version.
The original Bhangra pop hit "Tenu kala chashma jajta ve", was composed by Kam Dhillon and released in 2005. In the remastered version Badshah has added more beats, rap and vocals by Neha Kakkar.
Here's the original song if you are curious.
#7 Laila Main Laila (Raees, 2017)
Bollywood has mastered the art to release reworked version of the classics. Thanks to the original's appeal, these songs go viral in no time. This time it was the revamped version on 1980 film Qurbani track "Laila O Laila" which starred Zeenat Aman.
Pawni was one of the finalists on Sa Re Ga Ma Pa L'il Champs show in 2006. After the show, Pawni earned a song in a Punjabi movie Ek Jind Ek Jaan. Her first Bollywood endeavour was in the movie Kisaan in which she sang "Jhoomo Re Jhoomo".
#8 Love You Zindagi (Dear Zindagi, 2016)
One of the several high-points of Gauri Shinde's directorial debut English Vinglish (2012) was its music scored by Amit Trivedi. Almost each song had a warm, hummable quality to it. One of these songs was the title song, 'Love You Zindagi', sung by Jasleen Royal.
Jasleen Royal (25)
Jasleen Royal, one of the semi-finalists in the first season of India's Got Talent, debuted in Bollywood in 2014. You probably haven't forgotten 'Preet', the catchy song from Khubsoorat. She was the voice behind it. Royal went on to sing for movies like Badlapur, Baar Baar Dekho, Haramkhor amongst others. A self-taught musician, you can look forward to firework's from her in Phillauri.
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