Wikipedia learns me some Himesh Reshammiya

As long as you accept that everything is a fiction, wikipedia can be such a great tool for referencing lots of different information. I was talking out of my ass to Anjali about how Himesh Reshammiya came out of nowhere to rule Bollywood. Tonight I pull out 2002’s Humraaz and see Reshammiya’s name on the cover. According to the wiki his music director credits go back to 1998, by 2004 he cranked out 12 in a year, and according to my half-assed, bleary-eyed accounting, he has been credited as music director on a Bollywood soundtrack 36 times since January of 2005. It was also 2005 when he started doing playback singing, and all of a sudden his career and his prolificness just explode. The wiki does a pretty good job of summing him up positively and negatively, from my experience. I totally understand why people would dislike his voice, and his style, and his music. I totally understand how monomaniacal he his in writing a certain song over and over, but amongst all his songs, I can definitely find plenty that I adore, despite all the chaff. (And honestly, a lot of it comes down to Akbar Sami’s techno-house remixes, who despite operating in a style I am not drawn to at all, manages to take melodic songs and consistenty turn them into stompers that I appreciate far more than the originals. Himesh is smart to work so closely with the guy. They’re a great team for electro-techno-pop-vocal-house songs, something that makes me cringe just to write it.

Turns out that he seemed like a mystery to me because he waited until July 2007 to give his first media interview. All according to the wiki, of course. But my favorite part is his commitment to creating a new music school system: “Reshammiya is planning a “Himesh Reshammiya School Of Music”, which will have ten divisions including Rock, Sufi-Rock, Indian classical vocal, instrumental, pop etc. Each division will have three kinds of curricula (professional, amateur, and hobbyists). Reshammiya is planning eight schools, each on a 25,000 sq. ft. premises in the four Indian metros[18].”

People who hate Reshammiya should be terrified now. A multi-city school system devoted to teaching his course in music instruction. He agrees with Ravi Shankar in practice, since Ravi said the traditional student-teacher relationship would have to change if Indian classical music is to survive in the 21st century. He realized most people couldn’t do the whole-life-devotion thing, and would have to study as part of a busier lifestyle. Himesh offers three levels of instruction, based on time commitment. I appreciate the awesome utopian societal transformation education model. Placing something in society that’s functional, that can teach a great many people. Good thing to do with his money. Wonder how the idea will survive the transformation to reality. I hope it results in more songs like “Dekhun Tujhe To Pyar(Akbar Sami Remix),” and less like “Just Chill.”

Despite my cringing at the use of English in his songs (“Shaka Laka Boom Boom”) he will break the English language market in a big way, eventually.

The first is of the launch of the H.R.School Of Music. We have state-of-the-art malls and multiplexes but no such school for music. My father, Vipin Reshammiya, who is the backbone of my success, had dreamt of this way back in the ‘70s when he was a musician and composer and had pioneered the use of electronic instruments in Indian film music. I have been fortunate enough to be in a position to make his vision a reality.”

“When I first came in as an 18-year-old TV serial producer with Andaz they wrote me off saying that a kid like me could not survive among giant producers. But Andaz and most of my later serials were huge hits and they had to eat their words, since I was also the story writer and the music director of their hit title-songs.”

-Himesh Reshammiya


Leave a Comment