Article Hindi

From 'Dhan Te Dhan' to 'Malhari': Vishal Dadlani’s 10 most rocking songs

The music director has also made a mark as a power-packed singer over the years. His grungy rockstar voice has infused energy into many Hindi songs. On his 45th birthday, we pick the singer’s 10 most rocking numbers.

Suparna Thombare

After starting his music career as the lead singer of the indie-rock band Pentagram in 1994, Vishal Dadlani broke into Hindi cinema as one half of the music composer duo, Vishal-Shekhar (with Shekhar Ravjiani), with 2003's Jhankar Beats (they had composed one song in 2002's Kaante earlier). But apart from hitting the big league as a composer, Dadlani is also a singer who has lent his unique voice quality to create some rocking songs. His rock and electronic influences, merged with his gravelly voice, makes him an easily identifiable singer.

Just getting Dadlani to sing a dance number could instantly lift the track one notch higher. Over the course of a decade and a half, his grungy voice has infused energy into many a Hindi songs.

On his 45th birthday (he was born on 28 June 1976), we take a look at the most rocking songs of Dadlani's playback career that you'd surely love dancing to.

1) 'Dhoom Again' – Dhoom 2 (2006)

The title song of the first installment of Dhoom, was sung by pop singer Tata Young, but composer Pritam changed things up and handed over the reins to Dominique Cerejo and Dadlani. And instantly it went from being a pop song to a slightly more edgy version with disc scratching sounds, African percussion and Dadlani's singing.

2) 'Dhan Te Dhan' – Kaminey (2009)

Dadlani puts his gravelly rockstar voice to good use in this high energy composition by Vishal Bhardwaj. Sukhwinder Singh and Dadlani compliment each other and pack a lot of power in this dance number, which had become a club favourite when it was released nearly 10 years ago.

3) 'Chokra Jawaan' – Ishaqzaade (2012)

While Sunidhi Chauhan sizzled behind the microphone in this dance number, Dadlani added lots of masala to this Amit Trivedi composition with his raw energy. Chauhan and Dadlani are the perfect duo to sing a rustic number like this one – almost in the zone of 'Beedi' and 'Namak' from Omkara (2006) – their voices powering through the clinking bottles, beating drums and gun shot sounds!

4) 'Balam Pichkari' – Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani (2013)

One of the most popular Holi songs of the 2010s, 'Balam Pichkari', composed by Pritam, is a perfect blend of folk and contemporary styles. It is basically a desi Holi song turned on its head to create a club number. And it wouldn't be wrong to say that Dadlani and Shalmali Kholgade's singing took this song a notch higher.

5) 'One Two Three Four' – Chennai Express (2013)

Dadlani and Hamsika Iyer croon this enjoyable composition of Vishal-Shekhar, which is reminiscent of the 1980s Tamil dance numbers, fused with contemporary sounds. There's the Tamil lyrics to create the regional flavour and the Hindi and English portions makes sure it stays relevant to all listeners. There is no letting up in this song and Dadlani keeps up with the break-neck speed of the track.

6) 'Tu Meri' – Bang Bang! (2014)

This track by Vishal-Shekhar, apart from its heavy bass, constantly shifts between a soft romantic tempo to fast-paced dance-worthy beats. The edgy rock and electronic elements of the song are perfect for someone like Dadlani to sink his teeth into and he does. He navigates the changing tempo perfectly - going from breezy to high-energy EDM with ease.

7) 'Tune Maari Entriyaan' – Gunday (2014)

This Sohail Sen composition is a totally filmi desi dance song worth dedicating all your jhatkas and matkas to. Dadlani, alongwith KK and Neeti Mohan make the most of this melodious song, bringing lots of expressions to the table, complete with a desi tadka. It's quite evident that Dadlani had a ball behind the mircrophone when recording this one.

8) 'Malhari' – Bajirao Mastani (2015)

This victory song, composed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and complete with Maharashtrian flavour and heavy dhol-tashe (percussion instruments), is now a regular at Maharashtrian festivals and parties. And who else to be the voice of a brave Maratha warrior than a heavy-weight voice like Dadlani himself.

9) 'Selfie Le Le Re' – Bajrangi Bhaijaan (2015)

Pritam renders a typical Hindi film dance song that lends itself to desi dance steps, and Dadlani seems to be enjoying the change-over from the rock and electronic influences in his singing for this one. Nakash Aziz's rap leading into the stanzas adds some more zing. 

10) 'Gulabo' – Shaandaar (2015)

While the film sank without a trace, this Shaandaar composition from Amit Trivedi became an instant favourite on the dance floor. It's fun and cool vibe was captured beautifully by Anusha Mani and Dadlani, who also used his grungy voice quality for maximum effect.