Falguni Pathak will perform in Dubai this weekend at the Zabeel Amphitheatre Park
Falguni Pathak will perform in Dubai this weekend at the Zabeel Amphitheatre Park Image Credit: Instagram/FalguniPathak

Indian singer and dandiya queen Falguni Pathak, who will perform at Zabeel Park in Dubai on October 7 and 8, has a bone to pick with all those who attempt to remix original songs.

“I am not saying that you can’t do remixes, but why can’t you all do it well? Sometimes you almost feel that they are all are out on a mission to make the remix as terrible as they can,” said Pathak in an exclusive interview with Gulf News.

Recently, popular singer Neha Kakkar re-created her hit 1999 song ‘Maine Payal Hai Chankai’ and the modern update did not go down well with Pathak or her beloved fan base. Kakkar was slammed on social media for butchering the original composition and making it needlessly risqué. The collective outrage gained momentum when Pathak shared the negative comments on her Instagram account.

“Most times, it’s just an exercise in decimating and destroying the original songs … They are goading us and showing that how far they can push it,” added Pathak. Almost as an afterthought, Pathak says that perhaps it’s not Kakkar’s fault and that music companies often compel singers to make unsavoury changes to a perfectly good composition.

“Whatever the pressures she must have faced, why couldn’t she have done a better job?” asked Pathak earnestly. There was no hint of malice, just bewilderment at why Hindi song remixes are often done shoddily.

FalguNI Pathak(left) and Neha Kakkar (right)
Image Credit: insta/

This self-taught musician, who is known for her festive and family friendly songs that are perfect for doing dandiya, a Gujarati folk dance with sticks and twirls, isn’t the only one who has come down heavily on the trend of remixes in the Indian industry.

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In 2020, Oscar-winner AR Rahman made his displeasure known when his song ‘Masakali’ was given a modern spin and rolled out as ‘Masakali 2.0’. While it was panned universally, Rahman did not let it slide. Taking to his social media, he posted the original song and asked his army of fans to enjoy the real deal.

“No short cuts, properly commissioned, sleepless nights, writes and re-writes. Over 200 musicians, 365 days of creative brainstorming with the aim to produce music that can last generations. A team of a director, a Composer and a lyricist supported by actors, dance directors and a relentless film crew. Lots of love and prayers, AR Rahman,” he wrote on Twitter.

He got massive support, just like how Pathak has been receiving since she took on Kakkar.

“The truth is we also sing well-made remixes on stage during our live performances, so it’s not like all remixes are vile,” said Pathak. She also told us that she doesn’t have rights to the songs, so suing the makers of the remix or going down the legal route isn’t an option. In an ideal world, this singer — who has always dressed androgynously and marched to her own tunes — hopes that the artists and composers who worked on the original will be consulted before it’s given a modern update.

“Even if they don’t consult singers, at least they should consult all those who worked on the song ideally. But I don’t see it happening any time soon,” said Pathak.

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Singer Falguni Pathak is an ace performer known for her live-wire acts Image Credit: Supplied

But this is a tiny bump on an otherwise enjoyable career and reign. Music folklore has it that Pathak’s parents weren’t keen on her pursuing a career as a professional singer.

“Like most Indian parents, my father wanted me to be a doctor or an engineer … I remember getting beaten up when I sang at a concert while growing up but what’s a bit of beating when you can follow your passion,” said Pathak.

Her father, who died a few years ago, came around in good time. Even though he resisted her career choice in the beginning, he was proud of what she had ultimately accomplished. Her songs ‘Meri Chunnar Udd Udd Jaaye’, ‘Yaad Piya Ki Aane Lagi’, and her recent song ‘Vasaladi’ are staples when Indian families gather to celebrate a night of garba and good food. She’s so popular that Bollywood superstars like Hrithik Roshan choose to shake a leg with her onstage to promote their films.

“It was so much fun to show Hrithik our garba dance moves and he taught me a few Bollywood steps. We had a blast together,” said Pathak.

Hrithik Roshan and Falguni Pathak busts a few moves
Hrithik Roshan and Falguni Pathak busts a few moves Image Credit: Supplied

The interesting part of Pathak’s career trajectory is that her popularity as a live performer hasn’t diminished even though she doesn’t try hard to keep up with the times. During her live acts on stage, there are no glamorous back-up dancers in shimmery clothes meant to titillate or to dial up the glamour quotient. Even her lyrics of her festive songs aren’t loaded with double meaning.

“I am not fan of songs that have lyrics that are questionable and filled with double entendre … In fact nobody has ever approached me in Bollywood to write songs that have a double meaning to it,” said Pathak. And the proof is in her music videos that she rolls out. Go back to the videos of her hit songs and you will find actors who talk about love, romance, and longing in the most family friendly manner.

“But that’s who I am and my fans love me for that … My biggest blessing are my fans who have always supported me. I am game to sing every day of my life as long as my beloved audiences want me to sing,” said Pathak.

The 53-year-old singer, who’s always on the road during Navratri and Diwali, claims that the last two years during the pandemic were tough for her.

“For the first time in career, I took a break. While I welcomed that, I lost my elder sister during this time. So it was a mixed bag… But trust me, performing in front of my fans is what gives me the greatest happiness and I can’t wait to meet my fans in Dubai. They are always the best because they know all my songs just like the crowd in Mumbai,” said Pathak.

Don’t miss it!

What: Falguni Pathak Live In Concert

When: October 7 and 8

Where: Zabeel Park Amphitheatre

Time: 7pm (Doors open at 6pm)

Tickets: Dh80 and above (Dh45 for kids)

Log on to: Platinumlist.net