A turn of the table: 10 Western Songs inspired by Bollywood

A turn of the table: 10 Western Songs inspired by Bollywood
10 Western Songs inspired by Bollywood
Plagiarism is not a joke but is a word that has been bringing a smile to faces of Bollywood composers since the first decade of the Indian Film Industry. Yes, everyone who has spent any time listening to music from both eastern and western hemispheres knows that Bollywood music has a plagiarism problem. In fact, it is such a common occurrence to hear Bollywood songs that are “inspired” from the west that certain music composers. It is usually a gamble to make a remake. Like you’re betting your money online in the game of poker; if people know about your move, you’d be punished.
But enough making jokes about the serial plagiarizers of Bollywood. It’s time to flip the script and discuss something that really doesn’t get the amount of attention it ought to. Yes, it may be surprising for some to learn but Hollywood isn’t always the older brother that Bollywood tries to emulate and sometimes western musicians turn to India for a note or two of inspiration this is something that Indians should be proud of.

So, let’s have a look at 10 Western Songs inspired by Bollywood.

1. ‘Jai Ho!’ - A. R. Rahman

Okay! Okay! Yes A.R. Rahman is an Indian and so this should technically count as an Indian song rather a western song. However, while A.R. Rahman composed the music of this magnificent, Oscar-winning song, it was paid for and is licensed by a western company along with being a part of the OST of an American movie, hence qualifying it for this list.

2.’ It’s My Birthday’ - Will.i.am, Cody Wise 

A.R. Rahman is a national treasure. Not only is his music loved in India, but it is also passionately revered in the west. Will.i.am is a real pop star back in the united states and apparently a Rahman fan as one only need to listen to ‘It’s my Birthday’ once to recognize exactly which Bollywood song it was inspired by. ‘Urvashi Urvashi’ is a phenomenal song, and while Will.i.am did a good job of imitating it, the original is still the preference of the majority.

3.’Turntables’- Ciara, Ft. Chris Brown

Let’s continue sticking to the absolute legend that is A.R. Rahman and have a look to at another western composer who couldn’t help but sample his song ‘Kehna Hai Kya’ in her song  ‘Turntables’. If you’re a music fan and you don’t like A.R. Rehman, you are in an extremely small minority.

4.‘Don’t Phunk with my Heart’- The Black Eyed Peas

Will.i.am, the man behind the music of The Black Eyed Peas’ really seems to have a knack for using the tunes from Bollywood in his songs and in this particular case he took inspiration from one of India’s all-time greatest singers, Asha Bhosle and her famous classical song ‘Aye Naujawan Hai Sab Kuchh Yahan’.

5.’Mare’-The Black Eyed Peas 

If it wasn’t clear yet just how big a fan of Bollywood music Will.i.am is, it should be now as we look at yet another Black Eyed Peas song that has roots in the Indian subcontinent, using the tune of the song ‘Hai Rama’ from Rangeela

6.’Norwegian Wood’ - The Beatles

Yes, your eyes do not deceive you. The greatest rock band of all time too has taken a note from Bollywood, famously using a Sitar in the beautiful ‘Norwegian Mood’ after being inspired by the legendary Ravi Shankar.

7.‘Toxic’- Britney Spears

While it would be fair to assume that the music of the peerless Lata Mangeshkar and the reigning queen of pop music in America, Britney Spears, couldn’t be more distinct, you would be positively surprised to find out that Queen Britney sampled ‘Tere Mere Beech Mein’ in her record-smashing hit ‘ Toxic’.

8.‘Addictive’- Truth Hurts

Things like cultural separation and national bounders mean nothing to the brilliant music by Lata Mangeshkar as Truth Hurts used her song ‘Thoda Resham Lagta Hai’ as inspiration to deliver the biggest hit of his career.

9. ‘In your mind’- Anggun

‘Jab We Met’ is one of the best Bollywood movies from the 21st century and has an amazing soundtrack. Anggun seems to have enjoyed the songs of this movie quite a lot as her song ‘In Your Mind’, literally has the same music as the awesome ’Ye Ishq Hai’.

10. ‘Naocare’ - Goga Sekulic

‘Dhoom Machle’ might be the most Indian song of its decade but that didn’t stop Goga Sekulic from falling love with it and using it as a blueprint for her song ‘Naocare’.



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