We saw remixes and ‘influenced and inspired’ tunes, but ignore all that and we had a good musical innings. We trace this year’s melodies to give you something to hum

The Indian music scene has undergone a sea change, with a flood of artistes from varying backgrounds into the commercial space and listeners who are unafraid of experimenting with music. You know this holds true when Ashish Akkaraju, financial writer for Karvy, listens to old school rock music but he also has Tung Tung Da Sound Karda in his playlist. Vamshi Bandi, who works for an advertising firm, also has Ishaqzaade’s ‘Pareshaan’ lined up along with 'Magic' covered by Walk Off The Earth.

Hindi film music is leaning towards a global perspective, though the regular ‘beat’ songs are present. Take ‘Pani Da Rang’ from Vicky Donor: it infuses a melodic guitar into soulful Punjabi lyrics. According to Facebook Trends, this song was the third most heard after ‘Tumhi Ho Bandhu’ and ‘Daaru Desi’ (both from the film Cocktail). ‘Pareshaan’ from Ishaqzaade is like a whiff of fresh air, as the song progresses from a thin female vocal and progresses into a loud but pleasing chorus.

Barfi viewed as a music album is rather satisfying. The songs have Western influences. If you’re familiar with the works of Jack Johnson and Zoey Deschanel’s music (She and him); the sunny songs from the film have the same influence. Nikhil Paul George’s rendition of the breezy, melodic ‘Main Kya Karoon’ will have you humming.

Of course, where Pritam is the music director, musical influences and inspirations are not far away. Music enthusiasts noted that the songs were ripped off from Yann Tiersen’s music composed for the French film Amelie. But if you promise to be unaffected by plagiarism, Barfi perhaps stands out as 2012’s musical stamp — good music supported by soulful lyrics by the likes of Swanand Kirkire, Ashish Pandit, Neelesh Misra and Sayeed Quadri.

English Vinglish, the Sridevi starrer, had a few memorable musical elements too. ‘Dhak Dhuk’ sung by Amit Trivedi and ‘Gustakh Dil’ sung by the ephemeral Shilpa Rao stood out.

This has also been a good year for Telugu melodies.

City RJ Krishna of the show ‘Main Hoon Na’ expresses his love for beat songs and lists his favourites: “Kevvu Keka is one of the most requested songs on radio. As far as I am concerned, I love the song ‘Melikal Tirige Ammayi’ from Cameraman Ganga Tho Rambabu. ‘Aakasam Ammayi’ and the title track of Gabbar Singh are excellent too Bhaskar Duvvuri, an AT&T employee and avid Telugu music lover, names ‘O Madhu’ from the film Julayi as one of his favourites.

“Both the vocals in the song are nice and it’s a fun and peppy number,” he says. Other songs in his playlist are ‘E E Mantramo’ from the film Andala Rakshasi, and ‘Chinnadana Neekosam’, ‘O Priya’ and ‘Edho Edho’ from the film Ishq.

If you haven’t heard songs from Gajaraju, you should probably hear them now. ‘Kanne Sogasulu’ and ‘Chepesane Na Premani’ evoke the nuances that make up a budding romance. D. Imman’s compositions transport you into a world laced with melody.

‘Yedi Yedi Kudiredi’ from Yeto Vellipoyindi Manasu by Ilayaraja of course brings out the memories of young love. The light guitar that plays throughout the song is light on the ears. From the recently released film Krishnam Vande Jagadgurum, ‘Arerey pasi manasa’, ‘Krishnam vande jagadgurum’ was notable. From the entertaining Eega, you had the playful melody ‘Konchem Ardhamaina’, sung by Keeravani.

Singers who made a mark

Hindi:

Mohit Chauhan (Ala Barfi, Barfi)

Shilpa Rao (Aahatein, Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu)

Arijit Singh (Saawnli Si Raat, Barfi)

Shalmali Kholgade (Pareshaan, Ishaqzaade)

Kavita Seth (Tumhi Ho Bandhu, Cocktail)

Telugu:

Hemachandra (Tala Dinchuku, Cameraman Ganga Tho Rambabu)

Sravana Bhargavi (Arerey Pasi Manasa, Krishnam Vande Jagadguru)

Geeta Madhuri (Melikal Tirige Ammayi, Cameraman Ganga Tho Rambabu)

Raja Hasan (Chinnadana Neekosam, Ishq)

Anjana Soni (Chori Chori, Lovely)

Funky songs

Hunter Song from Gangs of Wasseypur went viral.

Sudigaadu’s Inkey Pinkey Ponkey evoked a few laughs as well.

Sir Osthara from Businessman topped the charts for more than a few weeks.

Kevvu Keka, a fast number from Gabbar Singh, is easily a favourite item number of 2012.

Composers who made a mark

Hindi:

Amit Trivedi composed music for 10 films in this year. Although his music has not topped the charts or gone viral, he has developed a sincere fan following among music lovers. His compositions are simple and use a variety of instruments to create tunes that are light and breezy.

Ek Main Aur Ekk Tu, English Vinglish, Aiyya and Ishaqzaade are a few films from his portfolio this year.

Sneha Khanwalkar composed music for the magnum opus Gangs of Wasseypur. The album has 25 songs and they stand out for their nuanced combination of the bucolic and the modern. Recall the songs ‘Womaniya’ and ‘Kaala Rey’.

Ram Sampath gained fame with his singles for the popular talk show ‘Satyamev Jayate’. Songs like ‘Ghar Yaad Aata Hai’ (sung by Sona Mohapatra) and ‘Nanhi Chidiya’ are popular online. He made music for the popular comedy Delhi Belly, but his recent compositions for the Aamir Khan crime thriller Talaash got him true acknowledgement. ‘Jee Ley Zara’ and ‘Hona Hai Kya’ from the film have got wide acclaim.

Telugu:

Radhan composed music for Andhala Rakshasi. The album has six songs, which tiptoe around melancholic and romantic moods.

Karthik Raja composed music for his first Telugu film Tuneega Tuneega, starring Sumanth Ashwin and Rhea Chakraborty.

The music in the film is peppy and the lyrics by Sirivennela Sitaramasastry are excellent.

The album comprises 8 songs, of which the song ‘Digu Digu Jabili’ sung by Karthik Raja stands out as a beautiful melody.