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  • 10 Western Songs inspired by Bollywood

    Some of our favourite mainstream songs have sampled the best of Bollywood. DESIblitz presents 10 popular Western songs that were inspired by Bollywood.

    10 Western Songs inspired by Bollywood

    It seems as though 'Black Eyed Peas' member Will.I.Am is a huge fan of Desi hits!

    In musical terms, sampling is taking a portion or sample of a song (vocals or instrument), and reusing it in a new song.

    Royalties are paid to the original creator of the sample. It’s something that is common within the music industry, and surprisingly in most hit singles.

    Over the years, Bollywood songs have taken a lot of influence from the West.

    But did you know that mainstream artists have also been influenced by the ethnic vibes of Indian cinema?

    See how many of these popular Western songs you can recognise that have originally been sampled from Bollywood songs!

    1. will.i.am Cody Wise ~ ‘It’s My Birthday’

    American music producer and the gentleman behind the Black Eyed Peas features several times in our list of Western songs inspired by Bollywood.

    This particular track with Cody Wise has been heavily influenced by A R Rahman’s ‘Urvasi Urvasi’.

    The eclectic pop beat with an ethnic feel scored will.i.am with a UK number 1 single with ‘It’s My Birthday’.

    10 Western Songs inspired by Bollywood

    2. Bombay Bicycle Club ~ ‘Feel’

    You can instantly hear what part the band has sampled from Lata Mangeshkar’s classic tune, ‘Man Dole Mera Tan Dole’.

    The lead singer, Jack Steadman, said in an interview: “We accidently sampled one of India’s best known tracks!”

    3. Black Eyed Peas ~ ‘Don’t Phunk with My Heart’

    This is certainly not the first time Black Eyed Peas have taken inspiration from the Desi world.

    Another will.i.am special is ‘Don’t Phunk with My Heart’.

    From 0:09 onwards in Asha Bhosle’s ‘Aye Naujawan Hai Sab Kuchh Yahan’, you can hear that the beat and melody that has been transferred into the Black Eyed Peas’ song.

    10 Western Songs inspired by Bollywood

    4. Britney Spears ~ ‘Toxic’

    Did you know that Britney Spear’s smash hit track, ‘Toxic’, took a sample from Lata Mangeshkar and S. P. Balasubramaniam’s duet, ‘Tere Mere Beech Mein’?

    The famous violin strings that you hear in Britney’s ‘Toxic’ have actually been taken from ‘Tere Mere Beech Mein’ at 0:06 and 0:26.

    Watch and listen to our playlist featuring all the Western songs inspired by Bollywood here:

    5. Truth Hurts feat. Rakim ~ ‘Addictive’

    We’ve all heard the cult hit song, ‘Addictive’ from the early 2000’s. The song actually takes to chorus of Lata Mangeshkar’s ‘Thoda Resham Lagta Hai’, originally from 1981.

    The classic Bollywood track sees a revamp with R’n’B vibes, creating a cool contemporary sound.

    6. Black Eyed Peas ~ ‘My Humps’

    It seems as though Black Eyed Peas member will.i.am is a huge fan of Desi hits! Their track ‘My Humps’ which was a huge 2005 anthem, took samples from Asha Bhosle’s ‘Kisi Ki Jaan Lete Hain’.

    The original song was used in the 1968 film, Jhuk Gaya Aasman, which starred Rajendra Kumar and Saira Banu.

    10 Western Songs inspired by Bollywood

    7. Bombay Bicycle Club ~ ‘Overdone’

    Black Eyed Peas are not the only group to sample multiple Desi songs.

    Indie-Rock band, Bombay Bicycle Club, have also sampled Bollywood songs on numerous occasions.

    Their song ‘Overdone’ takes influence from Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar’s, ‘Apne Pyar Ke’.

    Used in the 1981 film, Barsaat Ki Ek Raat, the strings at the start and at 2:30 have been incorporated throughout the modern song ‘Overdone’.

    8. M.I.A ~ ‘Jimmy’

    The London singer and rapper, M.I.A. is well known for eccentric appeal and cult following.

    Inspired by her Desi roots, the Sri Lankan recreated one of Bollywood’s most iconic Disco songs, ‘Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja’, sung by Parvati Khan.

    The classic track featured in the 1982 film, Disco Dancer, starring Mithun Chakraborty in the lead.

    10 Western Songs inspired by Bollywood

    9. Jay Sean ~ ‘Stolen’

    The British Asian R’n’B singer may have taken over mainstream music with songs like ‘Ride It’ and ‘Down’, but his track ‘Stolen’ used the chorus of the big Bollywood number, ‘Chura Liya Hai Tumne’.

    Sampling an Asha Bhosle and Mohammed Rafi classic, ‘Stolen’ reached number 4 in the UK charts.

    Jay also had a very famous Bollywood actress joining him in the music video, none other than the sultry Bipasha Basu!

    10. Jai Paul ~ ‘Str8 Outta Mumbai’

    The British ‘beatmaker’, Jai Paul took influence from Vani Jairam’s ‘Bala Main Bairagan Hoongi’, for his track, ‘Str8 Outta Mumbai’.

    Jai Paul has sampled vocals and beat from the song, ‘Bala Main Bairagan Hoongi’ (2:33, 2:40, 3:04). The original song is from the 1979 Bollywood film, Meera, starring Hema Malini and Vinod Khanna.

    Without a doubt, Bollywood has had a huge influence on the Western world for decades, and the golden oldies of Indian cinema have made their way across to the West.

    How many of these popular Western songs did you know that had taken inspiration from Desi songs?

    Hanifa is a full-time student and part-time cat enthusiast. She is a fan of good food, good music, and good humour. Her motto is: “Risk it for a biscuit.”

    Images courtesy of Bombay Bicycle Club Official Facebook, Black Eyed Peas Official Facebook, Britney Spears Official Facebook and M.I.A Official Facebook


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