In 2011, one of the Bollywood music megahits was the song "Chammak Challo" from the science fiction superhero film Ra.One. The song was composed by the music director duo Vishal-Shekhar, who also composed the music for the 2013 film Chennai Express.
The lyrics for "Chammak Challo" include a mix of English, Hindi and Tamil. The female vocals were provided by Hamsika Iyer while male vocals were provided by Senegalese American R&B and hip hop recording artist Akon. It was his first musical collaboration with Indian artists and according to Shekhar Ravjiani he quickly learned the Hindi portions:
"It was really easy for Akon. When he came to the studio and we told him that he would have to sing in Hindi too, he got really excited. Once he heard the lines, he started singing fluently. It took him only three-four hours to learn...he picked up everything so well," said Shekhar.
Here's the "Making of" video featuring Akon and the music duo Vishal-Shekhar posted by T-Series:
The RA.One soundtrack features five versions of the song - the version used in the film along with Punjabi Mix, Club Mix, International (featuring Akon only), and Remix. The music of "Chammak Challo", the playback performances, and the choreography won a variety of awards.
The song was picturized on Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor with choreography by Ganesh Hegde. Earlier in the film, superstar Rajinikanth appears as the android robot Chitti from the Tamil science fiction film Enthiran (2010). According to Shah Rukh Khan, that was reflected in his choreography for this item number:
“When I dance on 'Chammak Challo', I wear a scarf, the movement...walk and all G.One learns, adapts from Rajnikanth’s character Chitti. It is a tribute to Rajini sir,” he said.
Here's the "Behind the scenes" making of video (including choreography) posted by Eros Now:
"Chammak Challo" is a slang term used for a girl who is flashy in appearance, makes jingling sounds with her jewels while walking, and shows typical girly attitude. All these elements were incorporated into the item number in a seamless fashion. Speaking of which, Kareena Kapoor wore a red chiffon sari which started a fashion craze. According to an October 2011 article in FirstPost Bollywood:
Samidha Wanganoo, a fashion stylist for Bollywood films ... patiently hears out people requesting her for the Kareena red every day. “The way Kareena carries off the red sari, it makes people want to wear it more. Red is a fiery colour and a very bold one too, so it is not an easy colour for anyone and everyone to pull off. Every day, since the "Chammak Challo" song came out, I am asked by women to make them look like Kareena in the song! They ask me to either get them an outfit just like Kareena’s in the exact shade or get them anything in that shade of red. It is insane how Kareena has caused a sort of fashion hysteria with her little red sari in the song. Everyone wants to wear red! It makes the haute black look so redundant now,” says Samidha.
If you like this, check out our other Music Monday posts.