Jaani on 'Dekhha Tenu' recreation: Track has Indian elements, but will appeal to Gen-Z

19 May,2024 06:33 AM IST |  Mumbai  |  Sonia Lulla

Having revisited the 2001 track Shava shava for Mr & Mrs Mahi, musician Jaani on creating Dekha tenu for the Janhvi Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao starrer

Kapoor and Rao in Mr & Mrs Mahi

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Asked to tweak the popular 2000s ditty Shava shava to create a bit-sized cover version, musician Jaani found himself so indulgent that he ended up creating an entire four-minute track. "[As we worked on it] we felt the desire to keep listening to the song. We began to contemplate how things would be if we made a full song instead of the cover version we were [instructed] to create," he says of the Mr & Mrs Mahi track, rechristened Dekhha tenu.

The plot of the film, starring Janhvi Kapoor and Rajkummar Rao, warranted the inclusion of the Punjabi language, he says. "The original song also has elements of the Punjabi language, and I didn't want to tamper with the soul of the song. When revisiting a song, if people change too many aspects of it, it begins to sound strange. I feel it is futile to disturb people's experience when remaking a song. I was sure that I wanted to make Dekha tenu a [full-fledged] Indian number with a great melody, and an element of Qawwali. While this number has all these aspects, it is also an urban track. Today, we have to
create a number that appeals to Gen-Z, so, while we need to plan the addition of traditional Indian instruments like the tabla, we also have to ensure that the guitar is in tune with the song."

While the track traces back to producer Karan Johar's Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham (2001), the musician is reluctant to label it a rehashed offering. "There were perhaps only five lines that comprised the original song's antara that we used. We created a new song out of those lines, and in dual languages. So, I wouldn't call this a recreation," he says, adding that his teammate has penned the second song, Tu hai toh, of the film. "Both songs are beautiful. After a long time, we will witness such soulful and romantic numbers in cinema." Dekha tenu has been rendered by Mohammad Faiz.

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