Posted: 17 April 2006 at 11:03am | IP Logged
I am not sure whether this was posted before:
Himesh: King of the charts
Priyanka Desai and Megha Mahindru
new Delhi, April 15, 2006
He's just everywhere. Both physically and, well, musically.
His 36 China Town song Aashiqui is hitting the charts; his track Jhoom Jhoom for Deepak Tijori's Tom, Dick and Harry, is riding high on music charts. His tunes play in the back alleys of Mahim; in at the hippest discos and in suburban auto rickshaws.
With his nasal stringed voice, shaggy stubble and trademark cap, he is the music industry's Mr Aashique Banaya himself. Need more signs that Himesh Reshammiya is the music industry's new star?
For one, there's the arrogance beginning to show up. In a throwback to the peak of the Anu Malik's 'I, me and myself ' phenomenon, an air of supremacy surrounds him. The music-director-turned-singer turns up over an hour late for interviews; boasts of being "India's first rock star," and has begun cancelling live performances last minute.
Himesh Reshammiya is the hottest pop musician around, but not everyone is pleased with his records.
Another clear indication is the music industry's response to the 'Himesh phenomenon'. Take the recent MTV Asia Awards that failed to acknowledge his presence, simply calling him "weird", even as his music plays at local baniyaas as well as on BBC Radio.
While Anu Malik and Sonu Nigam have been rubbishing him around town, others in the industry also say they can't understand what the fuss is about. Insecurity rearing its head? Calling his style a marketing gimmick, fellow music director Adesh Srivastav says, "It's 40 per cent capability and 60 per cent promotion. But he is selling well and I am happy for him. He may not have perfect composi tions or be extremely versa tile, but by hammering the music so much, is like forc ing everyone into liking and buying it. Personally, I don't like his music or the way the music industry is heading right now."
Others say that the rise of the singer is a mere flash in the pan, pointing to other 'promising' music careers in the past that went down the drain like Baba Sehgal, Suchitra Krishnamoorthy, Parvati Khan, Suneeta Rao or Jehangir Khan.
But Reshammiya is in an enviable position with the hottest music scores. Even earlier successes show him to be in a bracket above the others. Sonu Nigam's Chan da Ki Doli and hyped-Idol Abhijeet Sawant's Aapka Abhijeet Sawant both launched around the same time as Reshammiya's Aashique Banaya Aapne in 2005.
While Nigam's album sold 230 and Sawant sold 700 copies, Reshammiya's Suroor sold a whopping 1,500 copies. (figures from sales at Crossword and Rhythm House). Shaan, for one, terms Himesh's rise as phenomenal, saying: "He seems to have an eye on what sells, as if he can predict what will work with the masses. From Tere Naam to Aksar, from the dholak tabla to the western tunes, he has constantly refreshed himself. He knows how to play the game and is having the last laugh at all those who called him nasal voiced."
Reshammiya, on a professional high, is predictably in no mood to take criticism lying down either. He says his success is not a one-off, but the consequence of a strategy on his part to carve out a niche that was lacking in the industry.