Music composer Amaal Malik is no stranger to remixes. For Golmaal 4 he remixed “Neend Churai Meri” from the 1997 film Ishq. His brother, Armaan, has revamped tunes such as “Pyaar Manga Hai Tumse” and “Ghar Se Nikalte Hi.” The two spoke about the need to retain the original feel of a composition while putting your own spin on it.
Sneha Menon Desai: You said that you lost out on a lot of work when you decided to not do remixes anymore. Is there a right way to do remixes or will it always inevitably end up destroying the original?
Amaal: It all depends. I am just a musician. Trends change, music changes, musicians change. Right now the whole trend of remixes is right there. So it differs from musician to musician. I think we did one single which was “Ghar se nikalte hi.” Not a single person I met came to me and said that I destroyed the original.
SMD: So how do you achieve that?
Amaal: I work very hard on a remake.
Armaan: Actually, he works harder on a remake. What happens is that the original flows out of him. The remake… what happens is you have to do justice to a song which is already a hit and people love it. It’s in their system. For them to accept a new change to that, new lyrics to it, like how we added a new antara in “Par ab wo wahan rehti nahi.” These are the elements that make people want to hear the new version, there has to be something new for the public to listen to.
Amaal: Without spoiling the original feel. You cannot cheat the emotion. The original which Javed saab and Rajesh Roshan made, that song was a cult. People might not remember the movie but they remember the song. For us to do that without tampering the feel and the emotion with which they made that song is very important.
Sometimes, a good remake is a good remake. Anything that is done well, people will listen to it. There are songs like “Ek Do Teen” from Baaghi: I think they could have been done better. If you cannot, if you are going to tamper with the zone, the mood of the original and not live up to it. You can’t beat the original ever. But, at least, reach in a manner that you emotionally don’t disturb the way in which people grow up on that song. Like my dad and I, we have heard it years back, but the younger generation hasn’t not heard it. It’s new, but for people who are here they must have heard the song. So I want to balance it out. If I do about 20 originals, I can do about 4-5 remixes but I don’t want to do 10 remixes in the whole year… so then as a musician my credibility is at question. I don’t want to do that.