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Reading the 90’s Indian Pop Music

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Growing up in India in the 90’s was all about watching dubbed English TV shows on Sony and listening to trashy Indian pop(at least for me) Who can forget The Three Stooges, Small Wonder and Different Strokes. On the other hand in stark contrast we had Mehnaz, Anaida and Alisha.

 

90’s Indian pop can be seen as one of the most eclectic period of pop history in India. Pop Stars were churned by the dozen and almost all of them had huge fan following. I can still remember Models, singing ‘Jaana hain Humko Bollywood’ and ‘Mehndi ki Raat’. Both of them were examples of some of the worst and cheesiest lyrics ever written, yet we heard them, loved them, and played them on replay. Two other Pop Stars I can remember are Mehnaz (Banoongi Main Miss India) and Anaida (Oova Oova, Kachi Kali, Hakuna Matata etc) They were the epitome of glamour and youngsters copied them and emulated their actions.

Glamour was a huge quotient in Pop music at this time. There was a clear demarcation between the pop industry and Bollywood music and each thrived apart from each other. Shweta Shetty brought a new sensation with her unique (read hoarse) voice. Her hits included ‘Johhny Joker’ and the very popular ‘Deewane toh Deewana Hain’ (which might I confess I still listen to) the video had a very Kamasutra-esque, feel to it with homoerotic undertones and was Bikram Saluja’s debut on the silver screen. Ofcourse it was the pop industry which made Milind Soman a household name in his ‘shirtless’ debut emerging from a box in Alisha Chinoy’s ‘Made in India.’ Chinoy’s song had no ultra-nationalistic message to give but it did make the Indian man the sexiest male accessory to have! Chinoy was undoubtedly the reigning queen of this era with several other hits such as ‘LoverBoy’ and ‘Dil’

So where were the male singers? Yes we had them too. Shaan made his debut on the singing scene first teaming up with his sister in ‘Aisa Hota Hain’ and then with the hugely popular Bengali boy image in ‘Loveology’ Other male pop stars were Baba Sehgal {Thanda Thanda Pani), Bally Sagoo (Aaja Nachle) and Bali Brahmbhatt among several others, but obviously it was still the songstresses who were the major Pop Stars.

The 90’s pop era slowly disintegrated with many of the pop stars going into playback music (Shaan, Sonu Nigam, Sunita Rao, Alisha Chinoy), others left for foreign shores (Shweta Shetty now lives in Germany, Mehnaz in Canada and Anaida shuttling between Greece, Middle East and India) and some just disappeared off the public radar (Models, Sansara, Anamika, Raageshwari etc). The pop music scene in India is now very much subsumed by the Bollywood culture with most pop stars coming from playback backgrounds unlike the yesteryears (Sonu Kakkar, Shweta Pandit, Shibani Kashyap) and many not living beyond their first or second album (Viva, Band of Boys).

The pop music scene in India today is not something we can write about, we still have some of the 90’s stars going strong like Falguni Pathak, Bombay Vikings and so on, but much of this is very much lead by a ‘Bollywood Culture.’ The uniqueness and Independence of the pop scene of the 90’s is missing The songs might have been cheesy and not one best examples of music, yet it shaped many of our childhoods and adolescence and for some like me it still remains a matter of nostalgia and an era sorely missed.

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Miss it!!

I miss Hindi pop!! was such fun -- good ol' days! I still find myself listening to them even now!

I hope someone out there

I hope someone out there could make a list ( a huge one) of those... hit songs that have many of those good old singers... here's a few good singers / musician,

Lucky Ali
Suchitra
Daler Mehendi
Falguni
Bally sagoo- Remix..

etc

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