Sunday March 1, 2020

On remixes, A.R.Rahman and Tanishk Bagchi

Posted by Karthik

Two perspectives, recently.

A.R.Rahman has voiced his opinion against remixes and recreations. He specifically spoke about being really annoyed with the remix of ‘Ishwar Allah’.

Tanishk Bagchi voiced his opinion that the composers who handle background scores in the films where he composes songs use his songs to create those background scores. And that this robs him of credit!

I do not condemn remixes and recreations, in general. Cover versions have always existed in music. And they help bring to fore music from another generation to a new generation. It could also eventually spur interest in an older song, both among newer audiences and older ones.

There is no excessive or limited remix quota. At any given point in time, there’d always be some remixes in India that are popular because, right now, music labels think this is a good yardstick for instant success given that those songs have already proven to have worked once, years ago.

And Tanishk’s claim is rather funny 🙂 Though he (and the music label + film producer) do their recreation officially, after seeking all necessary permission and paying the royalty, despite all appropriate credits, people would end up remembering Tanishk’s name as the composer for a recreation. The original composer’s name is a fine-print, at best.

In the case of background music, very few composers even get prominent credit! And in any case, the compositions Tanishk produces for a film belongs to the production house + music label too. So, the claim of ‘why should someone else take credit for my music?’ seems specious, considering he claims credit for a lot of other composers’ songs and is known for that trend!

In context, recently my daughter, while watching Spies in Disguise exclaimed, “Hey, that’s Will Smith, no? He was the Genie in Aladdin!”. To use Aladdin as a frame of reference for Will Smith, who has a whole body of work to remember by, is a telling statement of how younger people look at things from their limited perspective, given the lack of exposure (that only comes with age).

My son too exclaimed when he heard the remix of Urvashi Urvashi: “Hey, this is will-i-am’s song, no?” 🙂



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