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Song therapy: Sound of music, vision of stars
New Delhi, Aug 25 - Bollywood heartthrob Alia Bhatt is currently rocking the internet and the music channels with her scorching appearance in the music video of the single titled "Prada". The peppy number is sung by The Doorbeen, of "Lamberghini" fame, with newcomer Shreya Sharma.
Alia's presence has done wonders for the song as well as its singers. It pitches the two-member band, The Doorbeen, as well as their co-singer Shreya, to a league where their names will now draw automatic recall. If their earlier hit "Lamberghini" made The Doorbeen a household name among music buffs, Alia's presence in their new music video underlines the fact that the industry is now taking them seriously.
This year's National Award-winning actor Vicky Kaushal has also taken the "non-filmy" path. In singer Arijit Singh's new single, "Pachtaoge", Vicky plays a passionate man, who is madly in love. Nora Fatehi of "Dilbar" fame also features in the over four-minute video that is more like a movie oozing love and betrayal.
When busy new-age stars as Alia and Vicky take out time to foray the non-film music video territory, it signals a trend. It has been happening for a while now, with a few other GenNow stars going the music video way.
Hrithik Roshan and Sonam Kapoor did it a while back for Yo Yo Honey Singh's "Dheere dheere se meri zindagi mein aana". Tiger Shroff has done it more than once. He was seen with Disha Patani in the "Befikra" video, filmed on the song sung by Meet Bros, Aditi Singh Sharma and Natalie Di Luccio. Tiger also filmed Arijit Singh's non-film hit "Chal wahaan jaate hain" with Kriti Sanon. Shahid Kapoor and Kiara Advani did a peppy dance number to Yo Yo Honey Singh's non-film recreation of "Urvashi". Taapsee Pannu and Saqib Saleem featured in "Tum ho toh", Amaal Mallik's song featuring Shaan. There are more instances.
Why do stars of the big screen get into the world of music videos, which gives them footage of a mere few minutes? The reasons could be varied for different stars. For Hrithik, a hit video during a phase of hiatus between releases let the actor stay in the limelight. Tiger Shroff's videos mostly happened in his early years -- they were a good supplement to his early releases, to endear him to a larger fan base. Shahid Kapoor's video with Kiara Advani strategically came before the release of their film, "Kabir Singh", ideally to whet fan curiosity about the actor's first-time pairing with the budding actress.
But mostly it is about catching instant public attention, as Nora Fatehi of "Pachtaoge", who has carved a niche as a dancer lately, would tell you.
"This year the audience gets to slowly see my acting abilities with projects such as 'Batla House' and the forthcoming 'Street Dancer 3D'! I've been waiting for such opportunities to come my way as I've always wanted to be an actress. With a project like 'Pachtaoge', I got to purely showcase my acting skills to another level," said Nora.
The new generation of stars getting into music videos, however, are merely following the footsteps of older actors. Before bursting onto the Bollywood scene, John Abraham, Shahid Kapoor and Bipasha Basu showed their acting skills in pop music videos. This was in the nineties. Amitabh Bachchan was at the peak of popularity when he appeared in Adnan Sami's music video "Kabhi nahi" in 2002. Sami was a trendsetter of sorts in the early 2000s, casting stars like Govinda and Rani Mukerji in his song videos.
If top stars are at it, lesser celebrities will naturally do it, too. Earlier this month, the "Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye!" actress Neetu Chandra added oomph to the music video of singer Payal Dev's "Ishqa".
Asked what made her take up a non-film song, she told IANS: "In today's time when digital platforms are grabbing so much limelight, I don't think it matters if you do a non-film song or a film song.
"Good content sells on whichever platform you may show it. Payal Dev's voice is wonderful -- it's classy, husky and has a folk-peppy feel which has made the song sound so amazing. Combine it with Mudassar's choreography and Raj Ashu's beats and we definitely have a winner."
Of course, filming a song on a star naturally means there is a chance that the singer -- the real artiste of the creation -- will get sidelined. Ever since "Prada" released, for instance, most of the talk about the song has been around Alia's presence.
The song's budding singer Shreya Sharma, asked if this made her feel a little left out, points at the fact that star power is important, adding that Alia's lip-synching to her voice is more than enough.
"'Lamberghini' was a huge success and it made sense to stick with the same theme. Also, the song is doing really well and Alia Bhatt has performed on my vocals. I don't think I could have asked for anything more," Shreya told IANS.
While some singers might be open to having a Bollywood face fronting their song's video, there are others who wish to be the voice as well as the face of their project.
"It's good to see the importance being given to non-film songs. It would have been better had those non-film songs' videos featured singers instead of actors. There are songs in films for actors, so they get to showcase their skills there. Non-film songs, on the other hand, give facial recognition to composers like us," popular composer Tanishk Bagchi said.
"If you look at previous songs like Silk Route's 'Dooba dooba' or Lucky Ali's 'O sanam', the singers had featured in the videos, too. Those songs were big hits. I hope that phase returns," added Tanishk, who along with actress-singer Zara Khan recently released a single, "Khud se zyada", featuring them.
Yes, there are films for actors but Neetu thinks it is a fantastic opportunity for them to be able to feature in music videos. "They take their own path nowadays and are loved by audiences. There are so many non-filmy songs which are huge hits, have crossed millions of views, and have changed an actor's life," she said.
"Music and dance are essential in our country and along with films, it gives us actors a chance to do different things. It helps us grow in different ways, explore ourselves as dancers and emote on someone's singing," added Neetu.
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