Composers in Mollywood are adapting Hindi lyrics and Hindi songs like never before

What is common for Ohm Shanthi Oshaana, Oru Indian Pranayakatha, Praise The Lord and Gangster? All these films have a song with Hindi lyrics in it. Mollywood composers have always been quick to tune in to the trendy. Celebrity singers, quirky lyrics, new orchestration, genres…have all been tried out in the past. The latest is the use of Hindi lyrics in Malayalam films.

Composers M. Jayachandran, Shaan Rahman, Vidyasagar, Afsal Yusuf, Berny Ignatius and Deepak Dev are some of the composers who have struck a chord with Hindi songs to catch the ears of listeners. While some of them used Hindi numbers to go with the narrative, a few others chose to go with refrain in Hindi just for the sake of novelty.

“In the case of Ohm Shanthi Oshaana it just happened,” says Shaan. “When I made the tune and sang it for Jude [Anthany Joseph, the director], I used Hindi words as dummy lyrics.

“But when we tried to replace it with Malayalam lyrics, it didn’t work out. Jude gave me the confidence to go ahead with the Hindi lines and it came out very well,” says Shaan.

The composers agree that Hindi film songs have a sizeable fan following among Malayalis, read youngsters. That is what encourages them to weave in Hindi lyrics and songs.

In fact these days certain filmmakers insist on a Hindi or Tamil flavour to the songs in their movie, says composer Jayachandran. “Some of them have even showed me the video of those songs as reference. There is nothing wrong with using a Hindi song, if it is required for a story,” he says.

Perhaps one of the most memorable songs with Hindi lyrics in a movie is ‘Tu badi masha allah’ from His Highness Abdullah, composed by Ravindran master. Another number that found a place in the charts is ‘Khuda se mannat’, composed by Sajath-Farhad for Keerthichakra . These songs didn’t seem out of place since they were in sync with the storyline.

Deepak Dev, talking about the song in Gangster , says: “The protagonist is in Ajmer, seeking redemption in life and there he listens to a Sufi song. Placing a Malayalam song there would be ridiculous. In order to make it authentic and pure Sufi, we went with traditional instruments we use in such songs. One problem before us was whether people would understand the lyrics. So, we ensured that the lyrics were simple.”

According to composer Gopi Sundar, it is all part of taking music to the maximum number of listeners.

Listeners are flooded with songs and therefore composers have to think out-of-the-box to make their compositions stand out. “Recently a song came in Tamil with lyrics having no particular meaning, but that became a huge hit. Thus composers are exploring new ways to keep the listeners hooked and there is nothing wrong with that,” he says.

Therefore, stay tuned!

Track list

The prelude to the song ‘Mounam chorum neram…’ from Ohm Shanthi Oshaana goes ‘Rabba mujhe kya ho gaya, rabba meinu dil kho gaya…’. Another song from the movie ‘Ee mazha megham…’, starts with the lines ‘O re Sawariya’.

Shaan Rahman, the composer of the movie,scored a Hindi song ‘Ab kya hua hain’ in Praise the Lord . Vidyasagar, meanwhile, tuned a Hindi song ‘Sajna’ for Oru Indian Pranayakatha , and recently, Deepak Dev composed a Hindi Sufi number ‘Allahu Akbar’ for Mammootty’s Gangster . Earlier, M. Jayachandran had scored Punjabi/Hindi numbers in Mallu Singh and a Hindi song in Kalimannu . There were Hindi numbers in films such as Ustad and Mayamohini .

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