If you visit parties or your colleague puts on “her kind of” music in the car or you simply let Spotify make a playlist for you; you are sure to have encountered music that is not from a movie. Individual labels, artists and bands are coming up with their own music and they no longer have the ultimate target of being accepted by Bollywood or the “playback” industry. We are returning back to the craze of 90s Hindi pop songs.
They have a huge, devoted and ever-growing audience ready to consume the music that they make due to the diversity that these artists offer. Rappers like Divine, Emiway, Spitfire; Pop singers like Asthaa Gill, QARAN, Darshan Raval and Rock artists like Prateek Kuhad and The Local Train have gained immense popularity across YouTube and live music fests.
Interestingly, this trend is not a new one; it has actually re-emerged after a gap of almost 2 decades. Pop singers like Lucky Ali, Alisha Chinai and Falguni Pathak were a rage back in the days. Independent bands like Euphoria, Bombay Vikings and the Indian Ocean were revered. The 90s Hindi pop songs ruled over India’s music scene.
Maeri, Dekha hai aise bhi, Kya Soorat hai, Made in India and many more melodies like these still bring out the hidden nostalgia in the 90s kids who grew up listening to these songs on MTV and cassettes.
In Focus: Rap
Coming to the present times, rap has really caught on with the youth. Although a mainstream Bollywood movie like gully boy did help with the popularity. It is important to know that films only show us what we want to see. Rap songs gaining relevance made sure Zoya Akhtar and Ranveer Singh took notice of the “underground rap scene” and create heroes out of Divine and Naezy. Emiway and his rise have become an inspiration for young rappers who want to create their own identity in the rap scene.
Party Starter Pop
Similarly, no party or function or long ride is complete without playing tracks from pop sensations like Hardy Sandhu, The Doorbeen, Astha Gill and Darshan Raval. Their songs challenge the dominance of western pop singers on YouTube and gain millions of views on the video-sharing platform.
The Audience loves these artists and not only listen to them sing while actors lip-sync to their songs, they recognize the faces of these “pop stars” as they see them perform. Their creations are different from the 90s Hindi pop songs, but they are just as popular.
Its Rock-ing: LIVE
Last but not least, the live music scene in India has always been very accommodating. College students and young workers, who can and are willing to shell out money to listen to their favorite singers and bands perform live, make up the crowd of these concerts. Interactive, fun and intimate, these live music concerts are the epicenter of college life across the country. The Local Train, Prateek Kuhad, Jubin Nautiyal, and Papon are very popular amongst this niche crowd. The connection with their audience and affordability are huge reasons for their fame.
Very evidently, the music consumer of the country has moved past the “only” Bollywood stage and they are welcoming of the new age music with performers who are here to become icons and stars, not just unknown soundtrack singers. This has opened up new avenues for artists as well as the audience who are all getting to make and enjoy the best music according to their tastes.