He was the perfect showman: DJ Harshit pays tribute to Rishi Kapoor with Ek Hasina Thi remix
The DJ and music producer on his new track with singer Amit Gupta
DJ Harshit remembers the first time he heard Ek Hasina Thi. “It’s one tune that’s vividly etched in my childhood memories,” he says. A few years back, Harshit attempted to recreate the iconic track from Karz (1980). It didn’t work out. Now, with the lockdown easing up his travel-crammed schedule, he’s finally got around to fulfilling his dream. Harshit’s new track is a rearrangement of the classic Laxmikanth-Pyarelal number, originally voiced by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle. Sung by Amit Gupta, the song was released by Saregama Music as a tribute to Rishi Kapoor, who passed away last month.
Harshit says he took care to retain the magic of Ek Hasina Thi. “Whenever I sit down to do a remix, I make sure the original essence isn’t lost.” Instead of moving around the core elements, he tried to fuse them with Brazilian bass, a type of sound he’s come to admire. An offshoot of EDM, Brazilian bass uses a techno-infused deep house beat and a heavy bass. It was popularised by the tracks What Gives (2016) and Hear Me Now (2017) by Brazilian DJ and producer Alok. The musical duo Cat Dealers and DJ Lukas Ruiz (Vintage Culture) are other savants in the genre.
“It’s my continuing effort to introduce EDM fans to yesteryear classics,” says the Kolkata-based artist. “It’s not an easy mix because electronic music or bass wasn’t a thing in 80s Bollywood, when these tracks were made.”
Earlier in March, Harshit had collaborated with Punjabi singer Sukhbir on a remixed version of Sade Dil Vich. His other popular remixes include Roop Tera Mastana (also released by Saregama Music) and a recent version of Genda Phool.
“I am composing right now for a film under a big banner,” Harshit shares. “Normally, I’m too caught up with my live events and shows. But because of the lockdown, I’m getting to make new music.”
The soundtrack of Karz keeps inspiring new artists. Besides Ek Hasina Thi, the hits Om Shanti Om and Dard-E-Dil have endured beyond their time. Harshit credits a lot of it to Rishi Kapoor’s electric persona. “He was the perfect showman,” the DJ says. “Along with him, his music also lives on.”