Anu Malik – Popular Bollywood Music Composer of 1990s and early 2000s

Anu Malik is a very successful Bollywood music composer who is active in the industry since year 1980. Though he joined Bollywood in year 1980 with the movie, Hunterwali 77, it took more than a decade of struggle to establish himself in the industry. He got his first major break through Shah Rukh Khan starrer Baazigar in 1993, for which he earned his first Filmfare award. After that he remained one of the most sought music composers of Bollywood for more than a decade. He is a recipient of National film awards for best music for Refugee (2000), two Filmfare awards for Baazigar (1993) and Main Hoon Na (2004). He also received special mention at celebrity judge associated with Sony TV’s Indian Idol, and has also showcased his talents as a singer for movies and private albums.

anu malik

Anu Malik belongs to a family with both filmy and music background. He was born in 1960 in Mumbai as the son of Sardar Malik, Bollywood composer of yesterdays. Both his brothers – Abu Malik and Daboo Malik are associated with the field of music. His family is related to Ghulam Hassan Shaggan, Pakistani classical music singer of the Gwalior Gharana. He was initiated to formal training in music by his father. As a composer he joined film industry in 1980, and composed music for Sohni Mahiwal, Ganga Jamuna Saraswati, Aasman, Love Marriage, Mujrim, Jeete Hain Shaan Se, Mard etc. Yet he gained attention only in the early 1990s. Till then he struggled in Bollywood, and also composed tunes of B-grade films of other regional languages. In the early 1990s, he composed the tunes of Mahesh Bhatt’s Sir and Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aaye, and both got noticed. It was followed by one of the early releases of Shah Rukh Khan, Chamatkar, followed by Baazigar. Baazigar became the highest selling album of the year and offers came pouring in.

Very soon he turned a busy composer, with hits back to back. Some of his best works in the 1990s include – Border, Akele Hum Akele Tum, Soldier, Kareeb, Mein Khiladi Tu Anari, Vijaypath, Baazi, Hum Aapke Dil Mein Rehte Hain, Imtihaan, Naraaz, Virasat, Ankhon Mein Tum Ho, Himalay Putra, Suraksha, Hamesha,Badshah, China Gate, Duplicate, Jaanam Samja Karo, Ishq, Aarzoo, Gambler, Diljale, Takkar, Prem Aggan, Judwaa, Biwi No: 1 and Haseena Maan Jayege.

mehfil mein baar baar

The very popular ‘Mehfil Mein Baar’ from Soldier 

Some of his best works in 2000s include – Josh, Refugee, Fiza, Mujhse Shaadi Karoge, Fida, Main Hoon Na, Yaadein, Murder, Kambakkht Ishq, Jaan-E-Mann, Mein Prem Ki Diwani Hoon, Asoka, Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai, Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega, Chori Chori Chupke Chupke, Indu Sarkar etc. With mid-2000s, his career witnessed downfall, and now he is not regular in Bollywood. Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Paltan, Begum Jaan, Sui Dhaaga, Indu Sarkar, Yamala Pagla Deewana, Welcome Back and Batti Gul Meter Chalu are among his works in 2010s.

Anu Malik’s most popular composition, ‘Moh Moh Ke Daage’ in the recent past

Anu Malik – Some interesting and less-known facts

mein khiladi tu anari songs

Churake Dil Mera from Mein Khiladi Tu Anari

1. He is the nephew of famous Urdu poet and lyricist, Hasrat Jaipuri. His mother is the sister of the popular poet.

2. Anu Malik’s younger brother Daboo Malik is also a musical composer, screenwriter, singer, actor and TV host of musical shows of Doordarshan in the late 1990s. Thus Amaal Mallik and Armaan Malik, both related to the field of Bollywood music now, are his nephews.

3. Anu Malik’s daughter Anmol Malik, representing the third music generation in Bollywood industry is a budding playback singer.

4. Anu Malik is the only music composer from Bollywood to win Filmfare Special Award. He won the honour at Filmfare awards conducted in 2001, for the compositions of Refugee.

‘Panchi Nadiya’ song from Refugee released in 2000

5. The title track of Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saathiyo with 15 minutes duration is the lengthiest Bollywood song. The song was composed by Anu Malik.

6. Among all established composers of Bollywood, Anu Malik has been accused of plagiarism most. He has lifted and got inspired from western tunes most. But he has added his own flavours to make a desi version of most of them.

7. Since Kareena’s debut film Refugee in 2000, Anu Malik composed songs of 5 Kareena movies in a row, and all her movies released in 2000 & 2001, except Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham. The other movies are Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai, Yadein, Ajnabee and Asoka. In 2003 also, Anu Malik composed three of her films in a row – Khushi, Mein Prem Ki Diwani Hoon and LOC Kargil. Isn’t it a strange co-incidence? He recorded maximum songs in Alka Yagnik’s voice, followed by Chithra and others.

chithra anu malik songs

Kasam ki Kasam – A lovely rendition by Chithra and Shaan

8. Anu Malik composed music for one B-grade Malayalam movie in the late 1980s named Kalpana House. The movie starred less-known actor Kapil Dev, and also featured a Hindi song recorded in Alisha Chinai’s voice – Jawan Dil Hain.

9. His very popular ghazal of Aawargi sung by Ghulam Ali was recorded by R. D. Burman. Later he completed the unfinished works of R. D. Burman for Gang and Ghatak, following his unexpected death.

10. He was one among the film celebrities who was accused of sexual harassment as a part of ‘Me Too’ movement in 2018. Many singers came forward with revelations. He was fired from Indian Idol too, where he was one of the celebrity judges. Alisha Chinoy has also accused him of sexual harassment in the 1990s.

11. The composer is known for his association with J. P. Dutta films and has also composed music for Border, Refugee, LOC: Kargil, Paltan and Umrao Jaan. After Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Anu Malik is the only composer to work with J. P. Dutta. Border is the first and only commercial hit film of this association.

12. Among all female singers, he recorded maximum songs with Alka Yagnik. She has been nominated 9 times at Filmfare awards for the rendition of Anu Malik songs, but never received any trophy.

13. Kumar Sanu’s first western song, Yeh Kali Kali Ankhein composed by Anu Malik earned him Filmfare award for best male singer. The composer provided the back vocals.

baazigar songs

14. He has been one among the celebrity judges of India’s first singing reality show, Indian Idol since 2004, till he was forced to quit in 2018 following ‘Me Too’ allegations. He was a jury member of Sony TV’s Entertainment Ke Liye Kuch Bhi Karega.

15. He has received a total of 14 nominations at the Filmfare Awards for Best Music Director category, and won twice.

16. He has been nominated at Zee Cine Award for Best Music Director 10 times, and won it twice for Main Hoon Na and Dum Laga Ke Haisha.

17. Anu Malik has highest nominations at IIFA without a win. He has received a total of 7 nominations.

18. He is a recipient of Star Screen Award for Best Music Director once (Main Hoon Na) from 14 nominations and was honoured with Star Screen Award Special Tribute – Artist of the decade in the year 2004.

19. Farah Khan offered her debut film project, Main Hoon Na, almost at the same time when there were talks for judging the first season of Indian Idol together. Initially she wanted to recreate some of R. D. Burman’s tunes. But after the release of ‘Dil Vil Pyar Vyar’ the decision was changed, but she asked the composer to do it in Burman style. The album accumulated numerous musical awards including Filmfare. R. D. Burman’s ‘Chand Mera Dil’ was used in the film as a tribute to the composer.

mein hoon naa

20. “Gori Gori”, “East Or West India Is The Best”, “Oonchi Hai Building”, “Janam Samjha Karo”, “Garam Chaye Ki Pyali”, and “Meri Jane Jigar” are among his songs for which he rendered his voice.

21. Dekho Barish Ho Rahi Hai is his most popular album song. He also appears in the song.

22. He composed music for more than 350 films.

23. Though Anu Malik frequently worked with Asha Bhosle in the 1980s and 1990s, he rarely worked with elder sister Lata Mangeshkar. ‘Kehni Hai Tumse Do Batein’  from Aapas Ki Baat – a duet with Shailendra Singh was one of the early recordings of Anu Malik with Lata. Sajan Mere Us Paar Hai from Ganga Jamuna Saraswati is one of the hit solos. Nachegi Saraswati also belongs to the same movie. All these songs were recorded before he established as a leading composer in Bollywood. 

24. Anu recorded all songs of Radha Ka Sangham initially in the voice of Mangeshkar, and later re-recorded a few of them in Anuradha Paudwal’s voice. However original Lata songs were released prior to Paudwal’s dubbed version, and Gulshan Kumar was pressurized by Balasaheb Thackerey for doing so. 

25. The surname ‘Malik’ was inherited from maternal side by his father. 

26. His younger brother Abu Malik is a composer best known as a businessman and an organizer of live shows in India and abroad with more than 10000 live shows to his credit. He has penned a book named ‘Rantings of a Madman‘ and is a contestant of Sony TV’s Bigg Boss Season – 13 in 2019.

27. His nephew Adaar Malik (Abu Malik’s son) is a standup comedian.

Please go through Anu Malik page, to get some of the best topics written about the composer.

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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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