On World Music Day, remembering Nazia Hassan, whose recent and sassy musicality was approach forward of its time- Entertainment News, The News Everyday

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The 80s was a whirlwind decade for Bollywood. Sparsely populated by unremarkable movies, it’s only actually salvaged by parallel cinema, and one different unlikely protagonist –  music. While romance, grief and different moralising codes punctuated middle-class anxieties and subsequently the artwork that may be created for them, the 80s would turn out to be the last decade the place music, its restricted sensibilities actually broke free.

Underlined to a big extent by the eccentric, unhinged music of Bappi Lahiri and the piquant voice of Mohammad Aziz, the 80s launched a brand new musical idiom. It was depraved, naughty and boasted a stronger pelvic area, morality-wise. But whereas we attempt to think about the broadsheet of 80s music, it was actually headlined by the debut of 1 diminutive but trendy teenager, Nazia Hassan. Nearly 40 years after Hassan was launched to Hindi listeners, her legend, although sustained, waits to be feted for all of the partitions it helped demolish.

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I found Hassan’s voice as a baby, in Kumar Gaurav’s underrated movie Star (1982). The story of a struggling musician, Hassan’s ‘Boom Boom’ was an oddly playful addition to a movie soundtrack that was in any other case sombre and self-serious. Not that Hassan’s music appeared daft, simply cheeky and in contrast to something I had heard earlier than. Moreover, it was her voice, its untrained sharpness that made it recent. As if the concept of melody had been challenged. It now had verve and the capability to shock. Not simply that, Hassan commanded an interesting stage presence. Her televised performances – obtainable on Youtube – ooze class and class. Consider the truth that this was again within the morbid, over-the-top, pre-liberalisation 80s, and it appears impossibly forward of its time. India embraced Hassan’s aristocracy, and the panache that got here with it. A concession it reserved for sure established households of the movie trade.

Hassan appeared on Bollywood’s radar for the primary time by Feroz Khan’s unremarkable motion movie Qurbani (1980).

Nazia Hassan. Image from Facebook.

The movie marks many firsts for Indian music. It can also be the debut for London-based music composer Biddu Appaiah, who had already made waves along with his disco data, together with Carl Douglas’ huge worldwide hit ‘Kung Fu Fighting’ (1974). Khan listened to a 15-year-old Hassan sing, in London. He one way or the other satisfied Biddu to attain a track that Hassan would sing for his subsequent venture. The sudden introduction of each Hassan and Biddu was allegedly opposed by Kalyanji-Anandji, the well-known unique composers for the movie. Khan, one way or the other, calmed the waters and squeezed in a single. Thus was born the traditional, ‘Aap Jaisa Koi Meri Zindagi’, a track that overshadowed not simply the movie however an album that boasted stalwarts like Kishore Kumar. Qurbani’s best declare to fame grew to become a track carried out by an outsider, composed by an outsider, to an trade that valued solely its insiders.

Born in 1965, Hassan was raised between Karachi and London. Stardom was unanticipated. It was additionally unlikely. Hassan grew to become the primary Pakistani artist to win a Filmfare award for Qurbani. Alongside her brother and common collaborator, Zoheb, she launched the album Disco Deewane (1981), composed by Biddu. The album grew to become a large hit, adored by individuals on either side of the border, in Pakistan and India. The album allegedly offered out on its launch in Mumbai. An adolescent had transcended identification, one way or the other discovered the love of two warring nations that may somewhat have their stars compete. But politics might solely be bypassed not rejected.

Alisha Chinai’s debut track ‘Made in India’, for instance, was composed by Biddu for Hassan. But as a result of they feared the political repercussions of a Pakistani singer singing about India, Hassan, who had by then retired from music, needed to decline. Over the years, Hassan’s voice has been recalled, however by no means politically reclaimed. Even makes an attempt to recreate her music, stripped of context in fact, have largely yielded underwhelming outcomes. The remixed ‘Disco Deewane’ from Student of the Year, sung by Sunidhi Chauhan, for instance, doesn’t possess the rawness of the unique.

Hassan stayed within the limelight for a decade. Her ambitiousness could be confirmed by the truth that she additionally insisted on educating herself effectively. From holding a regulation diploma to working with the United Nations Security Council, Hassan gave as a lot emphasis to emboldening herself all-round somewhat than simply declare the rewards of her stardom. Her function in contemporising music in each India and Pakistan launched what would turn out to be the indie artist motion within the 90s. Biddu went on to launch artists like Shaan, Lucky Ali and Sonu Nigam as effectively. Doors have been opened for the likes of Ali Azmat, Strings, Junoon and lots of others earlier than music too, grew to become an extension of political battle.

Hassan’s rise was as meteoric and transient as her demise was early and extended. Diagnosed with most cancers at an early stage, she succumbed to it twenty years in the past, on the age of 35, forsaking a short-lived legacy and questions on what might have been, had the 2 nations that cherished her in their very own approach, discovered to a option to repeatedly love one another.

Sure there are writers, poets and artists that we share, however Hassan broke boundaries lengthy after the mud on their legacies had settled and lengthy earlier than the gates had have been thrown open. Forty years after the discharge of Qurbani, Hassan’s voice, her pedigree and her socio-political affect on the borderless concept of artwork, requires each, a revisit and a determined encore.   

Updated Date: Jun 21, 2020 16:23:06 IST


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