'Creative bankruptcy...': Vishal Bhardwaj says remix culture is 'mutilating' someone's creativity

08:09 PM Sep 27, 2021 | PTI

Filmmaker-composer Vishal Bhardwaj on Monday said remixes are nothing less than the mutilation of the original creator's creativity.

Bhardwaj, who has composed some of the most acclaimed soundtracks like "Maachis", "Omkara", 'Kaminey", "Ishqiya" and "Haider", said the remix culture only points towards a "creative bankruptcy"


"I don't like the culture of remix. To barge into someone else's work is like mutilating their creativity. You should never do it. There was a song called 'Laila Oh Laila' and when my son heard it, he said, 'It's such a good song.' "He didn't even know that it's actually a song from an old film, that the tune is somebody else's. People don't even know the source of its originality.


"I think woh thodi si creative bankruptcy wala sawaal lagta hai jo remix ka hai." (I think remix culture points towards creative bankruptcy)," the filmmaker told reporters.

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Bhardwaj was speaking at a virtual press conference, where he announced the launch of an unheard Lata Mangeshkar track he had recorded for a film 26 years ago.

The song, "Theek Nahi Lagta", was written by Gulzar for a film which eventually got shelved.

It'll now release in collaboration with Bhardwaj's label VB Music and Moj platform on Tuesday to mark Mangeshkar's birthday.

Gulzar, who was also present at the press conference, quipped that because the song is coming out today, Bhardwaj has thankfully been "saved" from its remix.

"Vishal is saved from the remix (of this song). It's good that the song which was lost, landed in his hands. Otherwise, it would've ruined the era and the time." Gulzar, 87, explained that every musical piece, from the song to its lyrics, carries with it "an entire era".

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Meddling with it in the form of a remix, Gulzar said, is bound to "ruin" the original.

"Songs of SD Burman, Hemant Kumar, carried with them the culture of that era. If today, you infuse it with voices, sounds which didn't even exist back then, how would it feel? Somewhere it can ruin things.

"Their music represented that time. It has that history and is still relevant. If you interfere with it, of course it'll be ruined," Gulzar added.

The lyricist, who has had a long association with Bhardwaj since "Maachis", joked that may be Bhardwaj's song won't be touched as people are "scared" of him.

To which, the filmmaker said, "No, not really. My work is new, so maybe this will happen later. No one will be spared. Your countless songs have been...," he said giving the example of 'dulhaniya mar jayegi' from Gulzar's 1975 film "Khosboo". The song remixed a decade ago.

"I heard the remix version, which was terrible. The original is my favourite song," Bhardwaj said.

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