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Remix Mixed Up or Messed Up Music
by Ankita Kumar

What is a remix? Some enlightened minds may say that it is a perfect blend of the music of the old and new times or the art of presenting anachronistic music in a modern style. But, according to me, it is just a form of plagiarism or rather it is worse than that. In plagiarism, a person copies a certain thing completely and claims the piece of work as his own. But, in the case of remixes, old tunes are utterly distorted, a few English words are added, the videos feature skimpily clad females who are made to dance in an obscene manner and then the song is dedicated to the original music composer or singer. Isn’t this an offense to the music maestros? Isn’t this a greater sin than plagiarism?

Earlier, it was a fashion to do cover albums in which modern day singers used to sing old songs but the tunes and lyrics were never changed so it was more like paying homage to their favorite singers. However, now in the name of remixes the composers mess up the melodious songs which sometimes get popular as a result of immense publicity and vulgar videos. Models like Sophia and actresses like Dia Mirza are featured in the videos to popularize them. They are invited to shows on popular television channels to give interviews and are even invited to music shows to promote their upcoming albums. Many popular singers like Lata Mangeshkar have condemned remixes calling them an insult to the maestros who originally composed the songs. Disgusted with this new realm of music Naushad, the late legendary music director had said that it was shameful that today’s generation is getting to see so little of music and so much of malignity of music.

According to me, the real reason for the popularity of remixes is that even though the songs are changed, the lyrics and tunes (whatever little is left of them) are so enduring that the young generation likes them. Music composers like Bally Sagoo and Harry Anand who started this, couldn’t make a name in the music industry by composing original songs so instead, they started this trend of remixes which doesn’t require any imagination and innovation. Doesn’t this show lack of creativity and originality in these so called “new generation” music directors? If writers can be accused of plagiarism then why can’t these people be accused and taken to task. But no instead of reproving such puerility, even the older generation encourages them calling it inventiveness to be in sync with the “in” crowd. It is considered a fashion to like remixes. Since remixes have become a rage now, many NRIs like Raghav and bands like Bombay Vikings are gaining recognition as they have a bare minimum sense of music and lots of money to splurge. I feel, instead of encouraging these people it would be better to encourage people with an aptitude for music. Big companies can sponsor these young talents who lack money, not skill. Even now it is not too late. There is no dearth of talent in India the thing lacking is the ability to spot talent.

We might blame the music directors and singers, but, actually the reality is that such pusillanimity is gaining recognition only because teenagers like us like listening to remixes. Once we start rejecting them, this trend will soon be forgotten. We have to work towards crafting, listening and promoting original music. We must endeavor to create an ambience in which only good music can dwell so that our children are not deprived of what we are being deprived of.

There are many movies today which have the original version and a remix one too in the same album. If this trend continues, a day might come when the remix of a song will hit the market earlier than the original!!    

4-Jun-2006
 
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