Bring Back The Indie Pop Diva Artists Of The 90s. The Music Scene Needs Them Bad




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The only thing which made an otherwise unremarkable 90s livable was the rocking Indie music scene. With their loud make up, permed hair, ill-fitting jeans and great music, these stars blazed their way into the music scene, giving us an alternative beyond Bollywood. Alas, they’ve fallen by the wayside.

All we can do now is sit back, enjoy their music and wish some of these iconic stars made a comeback. We deserve better than “Aa re, pritam pyare.”

1. Baba Sehgal

He didn’t have six pack abs to flaunt but that didn’t stop him from standing infront of that giant fan and doing that strange chest thrust. He introduced us to rap, even before MTV showed us the likes of Snoop Dog and Apache Indian. Baba Sehgal made us skip a heart beat introductory rap song “Dil Dhadke”.

2. Mehnaz

The whole allure of a simpleton lass winning the ultimate crown was captured in the song “Banoongi Main Miss India”. The music video had a story line and Mehnaz always brought about feminine touches in her videos. 

3. Anaida

The “Oova Oova” girl taught many PYTs how to make men swoon at their feminine charms and to keep them in their place too. Anaida with her multicultural background and immense love for belly dance, ballet and Indian classical dance, stunned the nation all through the 90s.

4. Falguni Pathak

Till date there won't be a dandiya occasion without her songs rocking the event. The pop diva of the 90s found a new lease of life as the dandiya queen. One song that comes to mind even now would be “Chudi jo khanke haath mai”!

5. Silk Route

Mohit Chauhan's silken voice made him the poster boy on Indian pop. He later on shifted his focus to mainstream Bollywood singing, but let’s not forget Mohit began with indie pop. “Dooba Dooba” anyone!

6. Apache Indian

He glorified the beauty of Indian women through his song, “Chok There” and became the first Indian born UK sensation with a touch of all things desi, rap and with plenty of dholki beats. His signature quiff-whiff razor side hairdo was an inspiration for almost all men who were teens back then!

7. Colonial Cousins

Sa Ni Dha Pa”, courtesy Hariharan & Leslie Lewis who gifted us many more such epic pieces. The braided one strand look of Leslie was an eye grabber and a fashion statement.

8. Biddu

The song ‘Dil Bole Boom Boom” till date gives us goose bumps. Who can forget that scene in the end where Anupama Verma is running and you realize it was a past life saga.

9. Shaan and Sagarika

Siblings Shaan and Sagarika stole many hearts with their duets, mostly songs which resonated with teenagers and young adults.  Remember the sibling rivalry song “Aisa Hota Hai”, What a rage it was!

10. Devang Patel

“Aish tu kar” was his "my life, my choice" moment, though done better than Deepika Padukone. His album Patelscope was riotously funny. What should be his comeback vehicle? A song spoofing all of Yo Yo Honey Singh's compositions. 

11. Kamaal Khan

Oh o jaane jaana” is perhaps one of Salman Khan's most iconic song, but the voice behind that charming face and brawny bod was that of Kamaal Khan. He really shouldn't have disappeared so soon! Maybe time to make a comeback?

12. Sonu Nigam

Tu” did not only blast Sonu Nigam into stratosphere of stardom, it also made an overnight star of Bipasha Basu. And she really hasn't looked as stunning as she did in that song. 

13. Lucky Ali

“Oh Sanam”, the one song that still gives us the chills. Lucky Ali made us sit up and pay attention to the pop music of mellow notes; quite different from what was around otherwise.

14. Ila Arun

OMG! Now how can we forget Ila Arun who made Rajasthan folk music prominent with touches of pop and glamour. “Nigodi kaise jawani hai”, a sensual sizzling number she belted out and the myriad number of songs showcasing womanhood and feminine power. Enough said!

15. Shweta Shetty

Before she left the country for Germany, Shweta Shetty’s powerful feminist songs and anti-patriarchy notes were quite a rage. “Deewane toh deewane hai” was one terrific number. 

16. Sunita Rao

Every fashion show may have played ‘Pari Hun Main’ back then, and every dandiya event still plays it. But Sunita Rao didn’t stop at female empowerment with one number! “Kesariya hai roop tumharo” and “Dekha dekha hai” were peppy powerful women oriented numbers!

17. Alisha Chinai

Remember Milind Soman popping out of a box in the song Made in India? That song was like a tale from Arabian Nights. Alisha Chinai was a powerhouse performer. 

18. Daler Mehendi

Ho jayegi balle balle” still remains the dance-off party in every alcohol fuelled baraat. Its just that kind of song, with right mix of nostalgia and over the top beats. It can make the dead dance, that’s the kind of power this Punjabi song has.

Those were the days when we recorded songs on cassettes and CDs. And when there wasn’t enough dough we would wipe the old cassettes and CDs clean and rewrite new songs over them. A simple pleasure that the iStore generation won’t ever experience.

Enjoyed this list, did it bring back nostalgia, so much so that you would want to organize a weekend reunion and play these songs? We think you would!

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