While scrolling through my Instagram feed this morning, I came across yet another cover of a Bollywood song. NBD, right? That was only till I read the name of the artist—former One Direction rocker and breaker of a million hearts, Zayn Malik. I clicked play hoping to listen to a fine rendition of the Sufi-style song Teri Deewani. But the moment Malik started singing my eyes popped out and my ears furiously thanked the existence of auto-tune. It was so terrible that he became a little less good-looking in my head.
Then I came across multiple articles about it on the internet, which promised goosebumps, when in all honesty it only ruined my already dreadful midweek. Everyone else, however, especially Indian Directioners, couldn’t stop raving about it… and still can’t. For a few hours, I doubted my own taste and decided to dismiss the idea that it was bad altogether—maybe it’s actually great, and I’m just in a bad mood. But the pleasure of being right didn’t seem worth random hate—which can mean from anything to a nasty comment to losing a vital organ—from a Directioner. So I kept to myself for most of the day, hoping nobody would ask for my opinion on this disaster of a cover.
Meanwhile, the video became so popular that Malik decided to do another cover of the same artist, Allah Ke Bande. And I kid you not, when I played it, a colleague of mine looked so horrified that I felt a little sadistic pleasure in inflicting the same damage on her ears that mine had gone through. Then there was also the solace that followed in knowing I wasn’t the only one who thought this cover could’ve used multiple layers of at least a thousand background singers balancing his off-tune vocals out.
Poor Mr. Kher was caught off-guard in an interview, when he was asked to react to the young popstar’s covers. For starters, Kher not aware of Malik’s existence in the first place. When he was made to hear the cover and comment on them, he politely suggested that Malik take lessons for correct nuances. He did appreciate the attempt though. And hey, so did we. Good on him to have tried something out of his comfort zone. A for Effort etc, but let’s face the facts here: It sucked big time. The poor guy probably doesn’t even know he’s sung terribly because of all the praises showered in his direction. I mean, honestly, my ‘direction’less puns are better than his covers. But before you start trolling this piece, have a listen first. What do you (really) think?