Shreya Ghoshal & Salim-Sulaiman/ Muraliya, Merchant Records/ Sufiscore
Shreya Ghoshal has sung so many gems over the past 18 years. Yet, she’s capable of producing something that emulates her earlier work. ‘Muraliya’, the second song in composers Salim-Sulaiman’s Bhoomi 2020 series, is a perfect example.
The song has everything from a marvellous melody, devotional lyrics for Lord Krishna written by Shraddha Pandit, fabulous production by Salim-Sulaiman and amazing arrangements blending Indian instruments with keyboards, vocoder and a string section.
Picturised by Shakti Hasija as a live concert, it has an outstanding performance by flautist Paras Nath, whose improvisation is amazing. Needless to say, Shreya’s sheer singing quality and use of classical nuances put the song way, way ahead. The line “Baaje re baaje baaje, muraliya baaje” lingers on.
Rating: 10/ 10
Antariksh/ Raahiya, Self-released
Yet another song about the uncertainties of life and the need to find purpose, Antariksh’s ‘Raahiya’ impresses with its easy pop-rock feel and live ambience. Though the theme has been done often before, it’s easy to relate to.
Vocalist Varun Rajput sings, “Musafir tu yahaan, do pal ka carvaan, samay ki aag mein, ho jaaye sab dhuan”. Among the highlights are solos by saxophonist Abhay Sharma and guitarist Shrikant Biswakarma.
Keyboardist Joshua Peters, bassist Gaurav Chintamani and drummer Dan Thomas complete the line-up, and Ishita Singh’s live videography has an authentic feel.
Rating: 7/ 10
Jyoti Kavi/ Dagar Dagar, Self-released
Following the lockdown, there has been a spurt in the number of animated videos. Jyoti Kavi comes up with one more for her song ‘Dagar Dagar’, with animation by robinartfx.
The song is about the yearning for freedom, and Jyoti’s pleasant voice goes well with the theme. The words have an optimistic and bright vibe, going, “Mehki fiza, behti nadiyan, khula aasman, kya pyaara samaa”.
The arrangements are keyboard-heavy, with a strong 1990s Bollywood influence and many effects. Overall, a pleasant piece to tune in to.
Rating: 7/ 10
Neil Nayak ft Varun Jain/ Ek Khayal/ Self-released
After working in Hindi films, music producer Neil Nayak releases his debut independent single ‘Ek Khayal’, featuring singer Varun Jain and video actors Utkarsh Suratwala and Karishma Ranawat.
The song is nostalgia-flavoured, with an infatuated boy talking of his journey of love. Anurag-Deepak’s lyrics go, “Yaad the kab yeh dil mile, sard mein boondon ke silsile”.
The good thing is the song sounds fresh, and Nayak’s composition and arrangements are admirable. Jain’s pleasant and expressive voice is an asset.
Rating: 8/ 10
Goldie Sohel ft. Asees Kaur/ Aaja Ve, TM Music
Singers Goldie Sohel and Asees Kaur get together on this Punjabi song, which talks of how a love relationship should be pure. The song has a pleasant melody, and Ishan Das’s guitars complement the words.
The video, directed by Udit Jawarani, is simple, without any unwanted flashiness. The lines go, “Aaja ve, maahi ve, kuj kehn di lod nahin, nazran mila le ik baar”. The song should appeal to people from the north, or those who follow Punjabi.
Rating: 7/ 10
Snotty Nose Rez Kids & Skinny Local/ Screaming Indian, Snakes X Ladders
Straight out of Canada, this is an interesting collaboration between Snotty Nose Rez Kids, comprising ‘indigenous Iocal’ rappers Yung Trybez and Young D, and Skinny Local, a trapware producer of Indian origin but settled in Canada.
The title ‘Screaming Indian’ is said to express solidarity for the small communities in Canada, including ‘Injuns’ and Indians. The song is produced in the form of a hip-hop interaction, with smooth rapping and a bhangra interlude.
Alfonso Chin’s video features Indian dancers. The song should gel with the NRIs in North America.