The Ajay-Atul Phenomenon

With the Chikni-Chameli song getting popular(thanks to Katrina Kaif) composers Ajay-Atul have finally managed to get noticed in Bollywood. They have done work in Bollywood like Gayab, Singham & My Friend Pinto but this is probably the first time they have belt out a popular track which actually has the same tune as their Marathi song Kombadi Pallali. But they have been giving music in the Marathi film industry for quite a while now and have composed a number of good songs of wide variety. This post is not a review of their music, as my knowledge of music is pretty limited, but it is just an attempt to explore the music composed by them over the years which has made them hugely popular in Maharashtra.

  • Malhar wari

This is a song from Ajay-Atul’s first album ‘Vishwavinayak’.  Also sung by both of them the words of the songs are traditional folk. Ram Gopal Verma helped them launch this album as they were also giving music for his Gayab then. Kedar Shinde has very nicely used it in his enjoyable film Aga Bai Arechya which was an adaptation of the Hollywood film ‘What Women Want’.

  • Man Udhaan Varyache

The duo also composed original songs for Aga Bai Arechya which was their ticket to fame. This song is easily one of their most loved songs. Soulfully sung by noted singer Shankar Mahadevan and the beautiful lyrics are written by Guru Thakur. The song has been nicely shot too.

  • Kombadi Pallali

The original version of Chikni-Chameli. A completely crazy track. This showed that they could compose wacky tunes too. The absolutely wild lyrics by Jitendra Joshi is in my opinion what makes the Hindi version pale in comparsion to this one. Interestingly, Jitendra Joshi has also written the deeply romantic lyrics for the Sonu Nigam song Cham Cham in Striker. Also, Anand Shinde’s voice is quite helpful in adding to the craziness in Kombadi Pallali.  In the hindi version Sunidhi’s voice might have been more effective. Notice the crowd going wild.

  • Navri Ali

This one is an apt example of their composing talent. The indigenous use of various sounds is very impressive. Wonderfully written by Guru Thakur, the song is supposed to be a ‘lagin geet’ the type of songs which are sung during wedding ceremonies. This live version probably enhances the beauty of the song.

  • Cycle Ekki Sitekotti

This is from their Telugu film album Shock which is reportedly very popular in Andhra Pradesh. The song indicates how nicely they have adapted to a sound which is so typical of filmy music from the South. A catchy tune for sure!

  • Gojiri

Ajay-Atul proved from this song that sweet ‘Dil Hain Chota Sa’ type numbers are also not out of their reach. This upbeat number from the Rajshri film ‘Gojiri’ has been sung by Vaishali Samant and the charming lyrics are written by Soumitra(Kishore Kadam).

  • Aata Vajle Ki Bara

Natrang soared Ajay-Atul’s popularity to gigantic proportions in Maharashtra. Ajay also developed a reputation as a singer by crooning songs like ‘Khel Mandala’ in the album.  Zee also helped their cause by going all-out on the promotion of the songs and the film. This song fits into the traditional lavani song which is loved by all in Mahrashtra. The naughty yet rustic lyrics by Guru Thakur played a major role in the popularity of the song. ‘Mala Zau Dya Na Ghari, Ata Vajle Ki Bara’ can be roughly translated to ‘Let me go home, as the clock has struck twelve’. Again, the live version here is more enjoyable.

  • Lallati Bhandar

Jogwa won the duo critical acclaim in the form of a national award for the best music directors. This song is a ‘gondhal’ which is a traditional folk form of dramatic narration of mythical stories.The song is about the Goddess Yellamma which is being sung by the ‘devadasis’ in the film. Ajay himself has lent his voice to the song.

  • Jeev Rangala Dangala

Sung expertly by Hariharan and Shreya Ghosal this is probably Ajay-Atul’s finest song. The sensuality and the gorgeous cinematography by Sanjay Jadhav take it to an altogether different level.

The depth, the diversity, the ingenuity and most importantly the passion for their music that Ajay-Atul have is very clear from the above. One only hopes that they keep composing such wonderful music for years to come.

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