Javed Akhtar critiques rap remixes of classic songs

MUMBAI, OCT 30: Renowned lyricist Javed Akhtar recently joined Cyrus Broacha on the talk show, Cyrus Says, to share his thoughts on the trend of recreating classic songs with rap versions. Akhtar expressed that breathing new life into old melodies is a commendable endeavor, but he raised concerns about an excessive reliance on nostalgia for commercial gains.

Akhtar emphasized the importance of preserving the integrity and dignity of classic songs. He conveyed, “There’s nothing wrong with reviving a song; in fact, it’s a positive initiative. However, this increasing dependence on the past for profit isn’t a healthy approach.” He urged artists to exercise discretion when recreating these classics.

The veteran lyricist illustrated his point by stating, “Imagine taking a song with profound lyrics and a meaningful message, and then inserting unconventional and out-of-place verses into it. It’s akin to introducing psychedelic lighting in the ancient caves of Ajanta or blaring disco music at the iconic Taj Mahal. Such actions are inappropriate and disrespectful.”

Javed Akhtar further underlined the cultural and historical significance of these memorable songs, attributing them to the collective heritage of our society. He stressed the need to pay homage to the works of great singers, writers, and composers.

Akhtar suggested a balanced approach to reviving classics. According to him, it’s perfectly acceptable to infuse a new spirit into these timeless compositions. He offered examples like updating the orchestration or assigning contemporary artists like Arijit Singh to reinterpret songs originally sung by legends like KL Saigal. Such adaptations, he contended, honor the classics while adding a fresh dimension to them.

Nevertheless, Akhtar was critical of the trend of incorporating rap elements into classic songs. He asserted that it disrupted the authenticity of the original compositions. In his view, the addition of rap in such instances did a disservice to the essence and emotion of the songs.

Javed Akhtar, a stalwart in the world of lyrics and poetry, offered valuable insights into the delicate balance between preserving the heritage of classic songs and breathing new life into them. He encouraged artists and creators to maintain the sanctity of these musical gems while exploring innovative ways to reintroduce them to contemporary audiences.

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