Is Himesh Reshammiya the guy India hates to love, or loves to hate? Are his tunes everyone's guilty pleasure?
That nasal twang, those jhankaar beats, those gawdy pop videos, the cap, the sometimes-stubble-sometimes-beard, the long coats....this guy is different.
Whatever it is, this dude has India rocking to his beats. Though he had composed random hits in various Salman Khan movies, as well as a surprise hit in the Humraaz OST, it all exploded with 2005's Aashiq Banaya Aapne, a soundtrack that was "inspired" by Arabic and Pakistani originals but which catapulted Reshammiya into the big league. The rest, as they say, is history.
In an industry which is dominated by Anu Malik and AR Rehman, Reshammiya has certainly made a niche for his own kind of music. His compositions for Aksar, 36 China Town, Chup Chup Ke, Phir Hera Pheri and that controversial additional theme song for Humko Deewane Kar Gaye had the country either tapping their feet, gyrating their hips, or running for cover. And then there's his first pop album, Aap Ka Suroor. The word 'suroor' took on new meaning when Reshammiya first unleashed his damning croon and MTV, Channel V, B4U and the rest sent it out to the far corners of the country.
Perhaps the most significant, albeit unexpected, example of his popularity is the story of how his smash hit 'Jhalak Dikhla Jaa' invited ghosts - or incurred their wrath, depending on how you see it - in a village in Gujarat. How many music directors or singers can check that down on their CVs?
His new work in the small-budget film, Aahista Aahista has shown a marked switch from pure jhataak beats to a restrained, passionate touch. The title track and the 'Allah Kare' song are good compositions, really.
I don't think this is simply a phase. As long as this guy can keep churning out hits, banners are going to keep signing him up. People can cringe, crib and complain, but Reshammiya is around for the long haul.
Check out his work here.