When was the last time that a song from a regional language was incorporated in a Hindi film after paying copyright for it to the tune of Rs. 70 lakh? Well, it just happened with COCKTAIL, whose song 'Angrezi beat pe', sung by Honey and Gippy was bought by Saif Ali Khan for Rs. 70 lakh to make it a part of his film COCKTAIL, and the song along with Jugini is indeed the highlights of the songs of COCKTAIL.
Honey and Gippy are now a prized commodity in the world of Hindi film music and the producers and directors are running after them to give music for their coming films. Indeed Punjabi music or the music sung in Punjabi language, which is a part of the staple diet of average Punjabi all over the state, as also amongst the Diaspora all over the world is finding increasing acceptance in Hindi films. As a matter of fact one or two songs in a music album of Hindi film has to have a rustic Punjabi flavor. It serves two purposes on the one hand it provides an element of rustics, it also helps as a catalyst in Delhi and Punjab territory which is one of the biggest territories, and it also helps in bringing the audience from Diaspora around the world into the cinema halls.
Punjabi folk music was an integral part of the Indian film music oeuvre till the time O P Nayyar was around. Feroze Khan, however, was the man who reintroduced the club Punjabi music being played across various dance clubs and bars through his film YALGAAR. In YALGAAR Feroz Khan had introduced the popular music director of London Channi Singh who gave an insight of what the club music in London was all about and how it was shaping the entertainment landscape.
In COCKTAIL (which has entered the elite 100 crore category in Indian rupees- the new benchmark of commercial success ), there are two songs which belonged to a private album but have been introduced into COCKTAIL and have become a roaring hit. The first song is 'Jugni' and the second one is Honey and Gippy's 'Angrezi beat pe'. As a matter of fact Kareena Kapoor and Saif Ali Khan had listened to the song in Dubai and they wanted to buy the song for their film at all costs. In COCKTAIL, another song 'second hand Jawani' again is in the voice of the only female Punjabi Singer who has made her name for herself among her male peers from the land of five rivers, the name behind the voice being Miss Pooja.
It was SINGH IS KINNG which had set the tone in the recent times of using popular Punjabi songs in the mainstream cinema when they picked up the popular music band RDB of London which composed the title song which was sung by Snoop Dogg. The success of the title song of SINGH IS KINNG was a heady combination of rustic voice of Mika from the hinterlands of Punjab and the Snoop Dogg set to the pulsating club music from London which was fused to perfection to address to the Diaspora as also the fellow brothers from the pind aka the native land.
When one talks of the proliferation of songs based on Punjabi themes, and mixed with western tunes and it getting an echo in one form or the other in the world of cinema in Hindi a fact that has to be borne in mind is that London is a very big market for the Hindi films, and therefore consciously or subconsciously such songs find representation in the films that are being made in Hindi. Huge Punjabi Diaspora ensures footfalls and moolahs for the producers and the directors therefore they try to innovate as much as possible to bring the flavor of rustic Punjab.
It could be for this reason only that Arif Lohar's 'Jee Karda Bhai Jee Karda' became such a roaring hit in SINGH IS KINNG and in the same manner Lember Hussainpuri's 'Saadi Galli', from TANU WEDS MANU became the signature tune for the film.
The music directors of the present times are constantly on a lookout to pick up songs from these private albums, which are produced dime and dozens in the by-lanes and dusty village roads of Punjab as also by the Diaspora predominantly in London and use it to create a buzz around their music albums for various films. In the near future with Gippy Singh emerging as one of the biggest actors in Punjabi cinema with two super hit film CARRY ON JATTA and JATT TE JULIET, each doing a business of Rs. 25 crore each, who knows he might play the role of a lead actor? Times indeed are changing times.