Cruel 2020 is at it again taking away yet another amazing talent from the world of entertainment. The sad passing of Wajid Khan is truly heart breaking! The hugely talented half of the Sajid-Wajid duo not only was brilliant with his compositions but also brilliant behind the mic as a singer and also with his pen as a lyricist. It must be devastating for his family but more so for his brother Sajid Khan who he has done some amazing work with. The duo are renowned as the talent behind a lot of actor Salman Khan’s hit work.
We pay tribute to him today remembering some of his amazing work as a composer and as a singer.
Brothers Sajid-Wajid started their journey in 1998 with Salman Khan’s ‘Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya’ (1998) and since then the Bhai of Bollywood hasn’t parted ways with them. Perhaps their best work a music directors came early in 1999 and was not a Bollywood soundtrack. Sonu Nigam’s album ‘Deewaana’ is the absolute best of Sajid-Wajid with romantic songs who even established Nigam strongly in the Bollywood world with this album. Songs like Deewana Tera and Ab Mujhe Raat Din were the biggest hits that year and still work like magic on the listeners ears. Is Kadar Pyar Hai and Kuch Tum Socho Kuch Hum Sochein also have an intensely beautiful melody that really established them in the music scene.
They went from romantic songs to the street party genre later making that their main defining sound that has stuck with them till now. ‘Partner’ (2007) was the point when these two went big with smashing it with every song! Soni De Nakhre, Do You Wanna Partner, You’re My Love, Dupatta Tera Nau Rang Da all smashed it on the charts with Soni De Nakhre becoming a cult classic that still plays at parties today 12 years later. The cheezy dance music style was unique to them that made them appeal to masses effortlessly! What better way to start his singing career with Wajid voicing the huge number Soni De Nakhre and Do You Wanna Partner on this album.
They established their mass appeal sound over the next couple years with ‘Wanted’ (2009) and ‘Dabangg’ (2010) being tow of the biggest soundtracks of their career.
Jalwa, Love Me Love Me and Tose Pyaar Karte Hai are some big hits that made ‘Wanted’ an album for the masses in India. They bought the Mumbai crudeness mixed with tons of attitude to the music that made this a perfect soundtrack for that movie. Wajid’s vocals work perfectly for Salman Khan on Jalwa and Love Me as he adds his trademark style of fun vocals.
Already on a high, Sajid-Wajid took it to the next level with ‘Dabangg’, an album that delivered a chart topper after another. This movie had a well-rounded defining sound that had something in every genre to appeal to all kinds of music lovers. Tere Mast Mast Do Nain is still regarded as one of the most romantic songs ever while Munni Badnaam Hui is one of the coolest item numbers ever! Wajid sang Hud Hud Dabangg and Humka Peeni Hai that are other great songs on the album making this the highlight album of their career. His energy on the vocals on Humka Peeni Hai has a different edge about it making it one of the best drinking songs in Bollywood in recent times.
2012 was a great year for the duo with a number of super-hit albums to their credit. ‘Dabangg 2’ (2012) brought back the success of the original movie in a big way this year. Fevicol Se and Dagabaaz Re proved that be it an item number of a romantic song, Sajid-Wajid are not one trick ponies and can repeat the success formula again and again. Wajid’s vocals resonated through the speakers again on two of biggest party hits of the year Pandeyjee Seeti and Fevicol Se in his trademark style for the Bhai of Bollywood. The pleasure that he delivers in his vocal comes through that made these two songs really easy to enjoy!
But better than ‘Dabangg 2’ and their best work that year came with ‘Teri Meri Kahaani’ (2012). They went back to their roots of romantic music and delivered some amazing music for this Shahid Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra starrer. Allah Jaane is perhaps one of the most soulful songs written by Prasoon Joshi while Mukhtasar has this amazing romantic club vibe that defined the evolving club scene that year. This was perhaps Wajid’s best sung song where he went off from his usual fun and party numbers to take on a romantic song for a chage which he delivered to perfection! The duo still brought their trademark masti to this album with Humse Pyar Kar Le Tu that was brilliant at every level and could make anyone dance. It was Wajid’s vocals again that brought tons of excitement to this song. The classic retro vibes on Jabse Mere Dil Ko Uff were also worth a listen on this amazing soundtrack!
‘Housefull 2’ (2012) gave them an opportunity to bring their mass-appeal music style to the comedy genre. The item number Anarkali Disco Chali was a rage on the music scene while Papa Toh Band Bajaye had a funny edge to it fitting with the movie.
Another album that deserves a mention is ‘Rowdy Rathore’ (2012) is where they brought the unsophisticated street sound for the masses with songs like Chinta Ta Ta Chita Chita, Aa Re Pritam Pyare and Dhadang Dhang Dhang. Wajid brought his street masti style so effortlessly to Chinta Ta Ta that helped make this song an instant hit with the masses.
This was also the year Wajid delivered another hit for Sallu bhai with his song Mashallah rocking the charts. The single from ‘Ek Tha Tiger’ (2012) is yet another of the best sung songs of Wajid as he effortlessly brings the persona and style of Salman Khan to the vocal.
The club style became huge for Sajid-Wajid in 2014 with the song Raat Bhar on ‘Heropanti’ (2014) while ‘Main Tera Hero’ (2014) delivered a cheeky and fun Besharmi Ki Height and both were huge hits for the duo. Palat Tera Hero Idhar Hai and Shnivaar Raati kept them connected with the masses with the cheeky street party vibes.
Their flavour of mass-appeal party music continued with ‘Dolly Ki Doli’ (2015) where they took on the wedding party music genre with songs Phatte Tak Nachana and Fashion Khatam Mujhpe that brought a strong female lead to the wedding party scene. They also brought back their flavour of romantic music with an amazing ghazal Mere Naina Kafir Hogaye that is so smooth and easy to fall in love with.
The music scene changed after that with Punjabi music and remakes taking over where Sajid-Wajid perhaps fell out of trend. Sajid-Wajid remained pure staying away from remakes and stayed true to original compositions. But Salman Khan brought them back last year with ‘Dabangg 3’ (2019) where the duo demonstrated that they are still connected with the streets they represented the music of and have what it takes to deliver hits. Habibi Ke Nain, Yu Karke, Naina Lade are all great romantic songs to listen to and have a dejavu melody about them as they remind one of the great number of romantic hits they have produced over the years. They even took on to doing a remake of their own original to deliver the big party number of the soundtrack with Munna Badnaam Hua that became an easy hit for them in 2019. The overall soundtrack is perhaps their last major commercial work and it was a good one to sign off with for Wajid.
Wajid had the ability to deliver music for the masses like none other and as the voice of Salman Khan he delivered party tunes one after the other over the years. His style was unique and his ability to give what the audiences wanted to hear is a talent now lost. We pay our tribute to the music icon.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.