Every once in a while, people come up and ask me for Hindi songs (aka “Bollywood Music”) to listen to as they feel bored with the current selection of tat that is on repeat on Spotify and the radio. Now, if I weren’t avid listener of Hindi music, I would probably direct them to the generic collection of songs that everyone associates with Bollywood (songs of Khabi Kushi Khabi Gham, Dev D, and Main Hoon Na to name few). The thing is I am huge fan of Hindi music; so the generic stuff doesn’t really fit my style. Most Hindi songs are part of soundtracks for Bollywood movies, but there are also quite a few independent artists out there who get overlooked. So, in order to spread the wonder that is Hindi music to the masses, as well as give lesser-known artists a little attention, I’ve cracked open my secret playlist to share a few soundtracks, and artists from the world of Bollywood.
Yaariyan is Bollywoods attempt at making a spring break movie for the new generation. In short, the movie freaking sucked. But, it did have a few good songs, like “Sunny Sunny” and “ABCD”. Both are high-tempo, party songs, which are pretty fresh in my opinion.
Aashiqui 2 (2013)
A sequal to a classic love story, Aashiqui 2 is one of the few modern day classics of modern Bollywood. The film itself is a tragic love story. A depressing love story. A “I don’t want to be in a relationship, as I wouldn’t be able to handle the pain” love story. It’s sad, but sooooooooo good. Acting, cinematography, and dialouges are great. But what really ties everything together is the excellent soundtrack. All of the songs are superb, sad and depressing yes, but great none-the-less. Ankit Tiwari, Arijit Singh, and my favorite Shreya Ghoshal apply their wonderful vocals to transform words in works of art. “Tum Hi Ho” and “Sunn Raha Hai” are my favorite songs of the album, but honestly all a worth a listen.
Race 2 (2013)
Race 2 is a film that causes a lot of arguments for me. People call me an idiot for saying it’s a good film. They say it’s trashy rip off of American revenge films. I say, no. Race 2 is a totally original, totally Indian take on the issue of revenge. But enough about the movie, to the songs. “Be Intehaan” is a romantic, modern song sung by Atif Aslam. It’s chill, relaxing, and sets the mood…if you can understand the lyrics. “Party on my Mind” is basically about a party, but more complex. “Lat Lag Gayee” is a club banger, and my personal favorite. High tempo, nice vocals, and great beat.
Me Against Myself – Jay Sean (2004)
Now where getting a little vitage. Long before “Young Money, Cash Money” Records and the song “Down”, Jay Sean was actually a superb Hindi singer and rapper. Me Against Myself is in my opinion his best work ever. Songs like “Eye’s on You” and “Don’t Rush” are entirely English songs with an Indian Twist. “One Night”, “Stolen”, and “Dance with You” are Hindi/English mix rap songs which transport you back in time to the late 90s…if only I could actually remember what that I meant.
My all time favorite Hindi film. Dhoom is action drama based on the exciting world of grand larceny. “Dhoom Machalay” is probably the most well known song in the film. But, “Shikdum” and “Dilbara” are in my opinion the best songs of the film.
Yo Yo Honey Singh
Honey Singh is the Eminem of Bollywood right now, mainly because there aren’t any other big Indian rappers out there yet. While some of his new work is crap, his older work is really good. “Brown Rang”, “High Heels”, and “Angreji Beat” are older, previously lesser known songs of Honey Singh which are the bomb.
My personal favorite, Imran Khan songs are in Punjabi, not Hindi. That being said, you can still understand them if you know the basics of Hindi. He’s not that well known, which is a shame because he makes some of the best music out there. “Amplifier”, “Gora Gora Rang”, “Pata Chalega”, and “Satisfya” are my favorites. Great for driving, studying, anything really.
Bade Miyan, Chota Miyan (1998)
Disco never really ended in India, or better yet Indian culture in general. People still jam out to disco music, in loose pants, and brightly colored shirts (need proof just go to an Indian wedding FOR ALL SEVEN DAYS). So I thought it would be appropriate to end on a vintage disco song, from the great film Bade Miyan, Chota Miyan”. “Kisi Disco Mein Jaaye” is my favorite disco song. It’s fun, fresh, and Indian.
I would also like to recommend that the music videos for some of these songs are also really good...so check them out as well :).
Hope you enjoyed this list. Assure you this will not be the last.