The western media has already given this new style of music a name called Pandemic Pop. It refers to the sudden burst of songs revolving around COVID-19 (Corona Virus). Star singer Cardi B did an Untitled rant about hand-washing and London rapper Psychs released Spreadin‘, on the dangers of the virus.
Israeli actress Gal Gadot, and Natalie Portman were joined by others on a version of John Lennon’s Imagine, and U2’s lead singer Bono dedicated Let Your Love Be Known to Italy. Michael Stipe of REM updated his It’s The End Of The World As We Know It. On WhatsApp, a parody of the Beatles hit ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’ is doing the rounds. Not surprisingly, it’s called ‘It’s I Gotta Wash My Hands’.
Naturally, the bug – so to speak – spread to India. First, a YouTube video of an old Lata Mangeshkar song Paas Nahin Aaiye, Haath Na Lagaiye, composed by C. Ramchandra, and written by Rajendra Krishan in Saaqi, did the rounds. Then came Paas Nahin Aana from Aap Ki Kasam.
This prompted others. Baba Sehgal came in out of the blue with Namaste, a song about greeting people in the Indian style of folding hands. Next, he released Janta Curfew, which was on staying indoors. Sehgal has a good screen presence and in both songs, his vocals are neat and the lyrics appropriate.
Palash Sen, of the Hindi-rock band Euphoria, came up with a minute-long number asking people to use sanitizers and Dettol, though one welcomes the message, it didn’t seem his musical style.
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Besides these, there were songs with messages, parodies, humorous numbers, and even some senseless attempts to just join the bandwagon. With restrictions on the movement of people, some were just amateur efforts with videos shot at home or in the studio, and uploaded on social media.
Some parodies were interesting. Tejas Gambhir sang Corona Corona to the tune of Chalte Chalte song Suno Na Suno Na. However, it had new lyrics that talked about religious equality.
Naming Corona as the enemy, Akhil Sachdeva rehashed the tune of R.D. Burman’s Hum Kisise Kam Nahin. Both songs were well-delivered. Rapper Emiway coined up a Corona version of his latest song Firse Machayenge, whereas someone by the name Jamie Lever did Why This Corona Disease? based on the Kolaveri hit.
There were some different takes too. Urging people to have fun while staying indoors, the song Chill Karo Na features Pranav Rajkumar, Mercy John, Shyam Renganathan and rapper SubZero.
Singer Osho Jain, who recently released the EP Wahaan, recited a poem about staying at home and rediscovering oneself.
Classical vocalist Sandeep Ranade used composition in Raag Basant where he sings, na karo na karo, sun mori baat. This is one of the best Corona-related songs so far.
However, not everything was great though. We have Dhinchak Pooja, who in no time got 6 million views for ‘Hoga Na Corona’, which keeps you guessing what she’s trying to sing – off-key. In the video, she’s seen with six others, and while everyone else wears a mask, she doesn’t.
What next? We’re expecting a flood of these songs, mostly by unknown singers and wannabes. Keep a safe distance.