New Release: "Folk Songs of Bollywood" by Dhaval Kothari

Updated: Aug 29, 2019

India is a vast country with culturally diverse regions, each with its own music. Bollywood films have been borrowing from and popularizing these folk songs for the longest time.

Tapping into the tradition of folk music, Dhaval has taken songs popularized by Bollywood and given six of these seven songs a unique interpretation. In keeping with his musical style, Dhaval has used classic song structures and techniques to augment the commercialized Bollywood versions of the original folk songs.

Apart from their Bollywoodization, most of these songs are culturally significant in some way, typically relevant to a particular festival or ceremony.

"Kon Halave Limbdi" is a Gujarati song that celebrates the bond between brothers and sisters. It is often associated with the festival of Raksha Bandhan (aka Rakhi) when sisters tie an amulet or decorative string bracelet called a rakhi around their brother's wrist. The amulet is symbolic of the faith the sister places in her brother to protect her.

"Madhaniya" is a Punjabi folk song customarily sung during the Bidai ceremony in Indian marriages by the bride’s family. This song captures the bittersweet emotions of a bride as she prepares to leave her parents' home on the eve of her wedding. "Kabira" is the second song in this mashup and was from the film, Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani.

Another traditional Gujarati song, "Ranglo"is the song traditionally played during the Garba folk dance that is performed during Navratri, a Hindu celebration that lasts nine nights and honors Devi, the divine feminine.

"Kesariya" is a mashup of three popular songs, "Kesariya Balam," "O Rangrez," and "Bawra Mann." The mashup starts with "Kesariya Balam," a Rajasthani folk song that celebrates marital fidelity and is linked to the festival of Gangaur during which women worship the Goddess Parvati. It is followed by the other two songs from the films Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, respectively.

"Jai Aadhyashakit Aarti" is a devotional aarti sung in praise of Goddess Amba, who is an avatar of the Goddess Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva. It is sung during the Navratri Festival as is "Ranglo." Aarti is both ritual worship and the songs sung during the worship or puja.

"Kothe te aa mahiya" is a traditional Punjabi tappa melody. Tappas are sung in many languages in India and is a form of semi-classical music. Though rooted in early folk music, it was refined and elevated to become music that was enjoyed by the wealthy and aristocratic classes during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

"Prem No Raas" is the only song on the album that is an original composition. The song reflects Gujarati culture and is intended as Garba music to be performed during Navratri.