Article Hindi

Birthday special: 6 songs of composer Viju Shah that bring you to the dance floor

On the music maker’s 60th birthday, we present six of his all-time dance hits.

Photo: Courtesy Viju Shah

Sonal Pandya

Composer Viju Shah, the son of Kalyanji Virji Shah and the nephew of Anandji, began his career with his father and uncle with Tridev (1989). In the 1990s, Shah burst on to the scene, but in the new millennium he faded away. He last composed a song on the 2017 film, Julie 2, while his last full film as composer was Victoria No 203 (2007).

The music man, a whiz on the piano, had a knack for incorporating Western sounds (and instruments) into Hindi film songs. Most of his well-known numbers from 'Saat Samundar Paar' to 'Duniya Haseeno Ka Mela' have endured till today.

We look at some of the composer’s most popular dance hits as he turns 60 today (Viju Shah was born on 5 June 1959).

1. 'Oye Oye' – Tridev (1989)

While this one isn’t entirely credited to Viju Shah alone, we all know that the film has his fingerprints all over the soundtrack. Shah ably backed his uncle and father and conducted the music of the Rajiv Rai film.

The composer instantly made a name for himself with instant earworms like ‘Tirchi Topiwale’ and ‘Oye Oye’. Bringing in a new modern electronic sound, Shah was instrumental in changing the face of Hindi film music at the time.

The female version of this song, which is inspired by Gloria Estefan's 1987 song 'Rhythm Is Gonna Get You', featured singers Sadhana Sargam, Alka Yagnik and Sapna Mukherjee. It was penned by Anand Bakshi. While actress Madhuri Dixit took the lead in the picturization of the song, the number arrived at a crucial moment in the film.

2. 'Saat Samundar Paar' – Vishwatma (1991)

This dance number still has legs today. The number sung by Sadhana Sargam has been remixed and covered time and time again. It was even used in a Cadbury Dairy Milk advertisement.

Once again, the composer had to incorporate 1988 song ‘Heart’ by the group Pet Shop Boys into the number, as instructed by director Rajiv Rai. But combined with a winsome Divya Bharti's dancing and smile, the number written by Anand Bakshi was a breakout hit from the soundtrack.

25 years of Vishwatma: Decoding the anatomy of 'Saat Samundar Paar'

3. 'Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast' – Mohra (1994)

This superhit dance number with stars Akshay Kumar and Raveena Tandon got so big that the actress was given the moniker, ‘Mast Mast Girl’. The duet by Udit Narayan and Kavita Krishnamurthy had lyrics by Anand Bakshi.

It was recently remade two years ago in Machine (2017), but the original version, an inspired rendition of qawwali and dance, can still get us down to the dance floor. The Mohra (1994) album was extremely popular the year it was released and this dance number remains one of Viju Shah’s best.

4. 'Aankh Mare' – Tere Mere Sapne (1996)

A romantic drama, Tere Mere Sapne (1996), inspired by the Mark Twain novel The Prince and the Pauper, featured another solid album from Viju Shah. The soundtrack, which had songs by lyricist Anand Bakshi, had lovely romantic ballads, but the hit song from the film was the duet by Kumar Sanu and Kavita Krishnamurthy.

The lively number was picturized on actor Arshad Warsi and actress Simran (both new faces in Hindi cinema at the time) and had an infectious energy about it. Last December, Ranveer Singh and Soha Ali Khan reintroduced the song to a whole new generation with their recreated version in Simmba (2018).

5. 'Duniya Haseenon Ka Mela' – Gupt (1997)

The twisty thriller Gupt (1997) was yet another musical winner for Shah. He even picked up the Best Background Score trophy at the Filmfare awards for the film. Bobby Deol's introduction song 'Duniya Haseenon Ka Mela' had the actor (and his long locks) in fine form.

Even though the song's intro borrowed heavily from Japanese artiste Kitaro's piece 'Matsuri', it did not deter the Indian audience from taking it to the top of the charts that year. It’s no surprise that Anand Bakshi was the lyricist on this collaboration as well.

6. 'Kisi Disco Mein Jaaye' – Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998)

The David Dhawan film Bade Miyan Chote Miyan (1998) brought Amitabh Bachchan and Govinda together in comic avatars. Viju Shah too delivered many hits in the musical album, one of them being 'Kisi Disco Mein Jaaye', picturized on Govinda and Raveena Tandon.

The pair brought their manic energy to the choreography, making the duet sung by Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik a hit. Unlike the previous numbers on this list, this song was penned by lyricist Sameer.