Music can be tricky. While it has the power to connect people across every conceivable boundary, it’s also often fair grounds for people to judge each other. Some songs you can’t loop enough, others are likely to make your ears bleed on first listen.
But standup comics seem to be on a separate mission altogether. Leading by example with their own renditions of your favourite songs, they’re urging you to relearn the way they were actually meant to be.
1. Jesus, Harris and Tam Chris | Alexander Babu
Alexander Babu, fondly known as Alex, is not only a funny guy but is also a trained musician. In this bit, he’s baffled by church music. Also, what’s with Harris Jayaraj a.k.a. the Pritam of South India? While all Tam Chris’ (Tamilian Christians) refuse to work on Sunday, Alex is convinced Jayaraj is taking all his inspiration from churches – the same music, every Sunday, resulting in songs that sound the same.
2. Love Songs (Afreen Afreen) | Anirban Dasgupta
A Coke Studio favourite like Afreen Afreen demands respect. So much so that it sometimes pressurises Anirban Dasgupta to wear a sherwani just to be able to listen to it. While you may have heard this song many times, you definitely haven’t dissected it like Dasgupta has.
3. Bollywood Singers, Coke Studio & ‘Tum Hi Ho’|Kenny Sebastian
In this throwback to a time when Kenny had curly hair and a goatee, he explains and demonstrates (obvs) how singers ruin their own songs in front of a live audience by extending a nice, simple, sweet song with unnecessary alaaps and harkatein.
4. How to write a Tamil Love Song? | Jagan Krishnan
One of Krishnan’s most memorable sets is his guide on creating a Tamil love song, inspired by the likes of Harris Jayaraj and Ilaiyaraaja. He deconstructs the elements of a typical Tamil love song and performs something that he put together based on them. Sing along with him, if you can! Or perhaps come up with your own DIY Tamil song?
5. Stuff About Bollywood | Karunesh Talwar
What is a sci-fi movie without a few alaaps, amirite? Talwar, in this video, is just expressing his “appreciation” for the greatest sci-fi Indian movie ever, Koi Mil Gaya. From Rakesh Roshan’s musical brilliance and innovativeness to kids flying on a basketball court… well, watch.