“You know it, so sing it! And throw your hands up and say…Disco Deewane!! Aha!!!” tweeted Karan Johar when the revamped version of Nazia Hassan’s classic song “Disco Deewane” was released. This is a proud moment for Nazia’s admirers all over the world as the widely popular song is to feature in the upcoming film Student of the Year (SOTY). Directed by Karan Johar, the film is indeed a great way to carry her legacy forward today.
Nazia and Zohaib Hassan, along with the legendary Alamgir, have long been considered the founders of pop music in Pakistan. Back in the day, they delivered countless hits that made them household names among desis all over the world — be it Karachi, Mumbai or London.
Nazia’s ties with Bollywood go back to the 80s, when she was just 15 and sang the timeless number “Aap Jaisa Koi” for the film Qurbani and went on to win the Filmfare Award for best female playback singer. This accolade not only made her the first Pakistani to win at Filmfare, but also the youngest recipient of the award!
The original version of “Disco Deewane” was released in 1981 and, as reported by Emirates 24/7, “It charted in 14 countries worldwide and became the best-selling Asian pop record. It changed trends in music across South Asia, where it broke sales records, for instance by selling 100,000 records within a day of its release in Mumbai alone.”
The new version of the song has been revamped by Vishal Shekhar and sung by Sunidhi Chauhan, while some portions of Nazia’s original version have also been retained. The song features the lead cast of the film including Siddharth Malhotra, Alia Bhatt and Varun Dhawan. Alia is director Mahesh Bhatt’s daughter, while Varun is the son of director David Dhawan. The upcoming film also stars Boman Irani’s son, Kayoze Irani.
Shresht Poddar, of Score Magazine, gave the music album of Student of the Year 3.5 out of five stars saying, “It seems to be exactly what Karan Johar wants us to believe it is — his holiday film with a holiday-worthy score. Fantastic orchestration, hummable melodies & quirky lyrics (for the most part) dominate this album — yet something seems to be amiss.”
The film is scheduled for a mid-October release. Based on reviews the trailer has received, it seems that people have mixed expectations. Some believe that the film looks like a pretentious take on college life, while others think that this is what Karan Johar is best at — creating a fantasy world and inviting you into it.
His formula worked wonders in Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, which was based on a college love story back in the late 90s. Student of the Year could possibly be a more contemporary take on the same plot. But the film’s success can only be gauged once it is released. For now, “Disco Deewane” is enough to keep us interested.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 7th, 2012.