The year 2023 has been an interesting year for Hindi cinema in terms of music and songs. Super-hit films like Pathan, Jawan, Tu Jhoothi Main Makkar, Animal, Dunki, Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani and the amazing web-series Jubilee, had excellent songs and all the songs attained immense popularity. Sleeper-hits like Mission Majnu, Sam Bahadur, Satyaprem Ki Katha, Zara Hatke Zara Bachke also had some good songs. Films like Adipurush, Ghoomer and The Archies which did not live up to the expectations also had at least one song which became popular.
Some movies had songs which were marketed very well and their PR strategies made them super-hits with scores of reels being made on the hook steps of these songs on Instagram. Some new voices came to fore as did some new lyricists and music directors lending a fresh appeal. We even had a remastering of an old Iranian song as well in Animal which became a rage among viewers. The golden voice of Arijit Singh dominated the music scene and his phenomenal chartbusters deserve credit for making the movies a big success. Credit for the popularity of the songs also goes to the choreographers for the appealing way the songs were picturized.
Let us unwind and enjoy the music which includes dance numbers, poignant solos, love duets, inspirational songs and even a bhajan.
Film: Rocky Aur Rani Ki Prem Kahani
This film had all the ingredients of a quintessential Bollywood film and with Karan Johar returning to direction after seven years, he ensured that the film would have superb songs. The song ‘What Jhumka?…’ almost became an anthem for many months with KJo’s brilliant promotional strategy ensuring that this song was on every cine lovers lips even before the release of the film. Arijit Singh and Jonita Gandhi’s singing, Alia and Ranveer’s energetic dancing, the fast paced choreography, catchy lyrics by Amitabh Bhattacharya and above all the famous Madan Mohan-Asha Bhosle song from Mera Saaya which provided the base for Pritam, turned this song into one of the biggest hits of 2023.
Song: ‘What Jhumka?…’
The film also had a lovely duet shot amidst picturesque snow-clad mountains of Kashmir reminding us of Hindi cinema of yore. It was KJo’s tribute to the legacy of director Yash Chopra. Once again Arijit Singh is sensational in the song.
Song: ‘Tum kya mile…’
Song: ‘Besharam Rang…’
There was a frenzy surrounding this film much before its release considering it was SRK’s first film after a four-year hiatus. Added to that was the kind of publicity-both positive and negative, garnered when this song was released on You Tube. With the choreography treading the thin line between sensuousness and raunchiness, the song was a deadly combination of Deepika Padukone’s statuesque presence, Shipa Rao’s dignified vocals, SRK’s magnetic charisma and scintillating music by Vishal-Sheykhar which included a lot of Spanish lyrics as well. The song ultimately made it to one of the most loved songs of 2023.
Song: ‘Jhoome Jo Pathan…’
The title song from Pathan also hit the right notes with the charm of SRK-Deepika combination on screen and with Arijit Singh creating magic with his voice once again. Viewers went crazy making reels of the hook steps from this song.
Film: Tu Jhooti Main Makkar
2023 was a great year for Ranbir Kapoor with two of his films becoming hits at the box-office. This one was a rom-com with the fresh pairing of Ranbir and Shraddha Kapoor and had outstanding music by Pritam. The film was a good mix of dance numbers, love songs and sad songs. Ranbir’s amazing dancing skills give the song sequences an additional verve which make it more enjoyable to watch them.
Song: ‘Show me the thumka…’-(Singers Shashwat Singh & Sunudhi Chauhan)
Song: ‘Pyaar hota hota hota kayi baar hai…’ (Singer- Arijit Singh)
Song: ‘Tere pyar mein…’ (Singers- Arijit Singh & Nikita Gandhi)
The film which caught the fancy of the film-goers despite the main protagonist playing a mentally disturbed character also had some fabulous songs which became hugely popular. This solo by Arijit Singh comes in the background when the relationship between Ranbir and Rashmika is going through a tough phase.
Song: ‘Jamal Kudu…’ (Abrar’s entry)
Who expected the remastering of an old Iranian song and that too picturized on the villain of the film to become such a rage on the internet? This song and this role catapulted Bobby Deol to dizzying heights of popularity with every viewer showering him with only love and praise. The song is a traditional Iranian Bandari Music reinterpreted by Harshvardhan Rameshwar. The lyrics and the original tune have been retained but here the song is sung by many female singers including children and women as opposed to the original which was sung by a male singer.
Film: Zara Hatke Zara Bachke
This film released without much publicity yet turned out to be a sleeper-hit owing to its relatable storyline and Vicky Kaushal’s acting. Music by Sachin-Jigar was a hit especially this solo in the voice of a new singer Varun Jain and chorus singing by Sachin-Jigar, Shadab Faridi, and Altamash Faridi. Lyrics were by Amitabh Bhattacharya. The film also had a lovely solo by Arijit Singh-‘Tu hai to bas phis aur kya chahiye…’
Song: ‘Tere vaaste falak se main chand laaunga…’
Though this mega-budget flopped miserably at the box-office and came in for all kinds of flak for its horrendous portrayal of the revered epic, some songs were quite pleasant to hear. The one taken in this blog is sung by Sachet Tandon and music is by Sachet-Parampara with lyrics by Manoj Muntashir. The song has a soothing quality, is pleasant to listen to and reminds us of the bhajan from the film Geet Gaata Chal.
Song: ‘Ram Siya Ram, Siya Ram Jai Jai Ram…’
Film: Sam Bahadur
This biopic on Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw had music by Shankar-Ehsan-Loy and lyrics by Gulzar. There were four songs of which two have been chosen here. The first is an inspirational anthem sung by Shankar Mahadevan and pays tribute to the bravery of Sam Manekshaw , while the second is a soft and pleasant duet in the voices of Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal.
Song: ‘Rab ka banda hai yeh…’
Song: ‘Itni si baat ho gayi…’
The biggest blockbuster of 2023 was dominated by talent from our South industry- Directed by Atlee, it had music by Anirudh Ravichander and lyrics by Kumar. The lovely duet picturized on south superstar Nayantara and Bollywood Badshah Shah Rukh Khan is a soft romantic number sung by Arijit Singh and Shilpa Rao and their soothing vocals make it a memorable number.
The third SRK starrer of the year which released in December dealt with the topic of illegal immigration from India and songs were apt for the situation. Only one song sung by Arijit Singh became hugely popular and had catchy beats which showed Shah Rukh Khan completely smitten by Taapsee Pannu. Lyrics were by Swanand Kirkire and music by Pritam.
Song: ‘Main lut put gaya…’
A heart-warming and inspirational tale of human resilience and dedication, the film made a powerful impact thanks to superb performances from Abhishek Bachchan and Saiyemi Kher. Directed by R Balki, the film had music by Amit Trivedi. The song chosen here has been written by Kausar Munir and sung by Dipakshi Kalita and Altamash Faridi.
Song: ‘Ke ghoom ghoom ghoom ghoomer ghume…’
Film: Mission Majnu
This was a spy thriller set against the backdrop of the 1971 India-Pakistan war which had Siddharth Malhotra playing an Indian RAW agent working as an undercover spy in Pakistan and he ends up falling in love with a blind girl played by Rashmika Mandana and their love story gives rise to many complications. They made a good on-screen pair and this song written by Shabbir Ahmed, composed by Tanishk Bagchi was sung by Jubin Nautyal.
Song: ‘Rabba janda o rabba janda…’
Film: Sirf Ek Banda Kaafi Hai
One of the best films of the year with a hard-hitting narrative also had music which suited the situation. Music by the brothers Sangeet Haldipur and Siddharth Haldipur was apt for the film and poignant lyrics written by them elevates the song to make the scene a heart-warming one. Sonu Nigam’s vocals lend the right emotion to make it a thought-provoking number to relate to when the honest lawyer returns victorious against an entire system of corrupt officials and religious persecutors.
Song: ‘Bandeya bandeya, kis mitti ki tu shaan hai bandeya…’
Film: Tiger 3
A spy thriller in its third instalment of the Tiger series, this one did not hit the bull’s eye but some songs became popular especially this solo by Arijit Singh. Music by Pritam and lyrics by Irshad Kamil suited the thoughts going on in Salman’s mind where he is not sure whether his wife Katrina is his loving wife or a spy doing an act.
Song: ‘Ruan ruan…’
Film: The Archies
This film by Zoya Akhtar was not received well due to its murderous version of the famous Archie comics and lame acting by most of the cast. However, Agastya Nanda became popular due to his affable charm and effortless dancing and this song sung by Tejas, written by Javed Akhtar and composed by Shankar-Ehsan-Loy caught the attention of the viewers and both the choreography and tune are appealing.
Song: ‘Va va voom…’
The blog-post cannot end without mentioning this masterpiece of a web-series set against the backdrop of our cinematic history and the early beginnings of the studio era. Keeping in sync with the theme of the series, the music nostalgically transports us to the cinema of the 1940’s and 50’s and faithfully recreates the music of that era with some superb songs. Music by Amit Trivedi and lyrics by Kausar Munir get all credit for this and the singers Sunudhi Chauhan, Papon, Mohammed Irfan and Vaishali Mhade beautifully bring out the essence of the era. Three songs from the series are posted here which includes two solos and a duet.
Song: ‘Woh tere mere ishq ka ek…’
Song: ‘Dekho na badal…‘
Song: ‘Babuji bhole bhaale…’