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Trending Soundtracks: Why so Viral?

A new trend emerges everyday on social media. However, some exceptional ones manage to rule the reign for a longer period of time. The song ‘Badaam Badaam’ has got a huge buzz around it, since the first day of its appearance on Instagram. It is sort of puzzling how songs such as this or last year’s ‘Baspan ka Pyaar’ gather such popularity, and others remain forgotten, alike Bilal Saeed’s melodious ‘Dil bale puch dene kya’. The real reason behind these isn’t sheer luck or timing, but rather the presence of psychological factors as well as the social media algorithms.

Let’s acknowledge how these are the not the raw actuals that get viral, but the altered jazzed and DJ versions are the ones to gain popularity. This happens because there exists a theory of ‘earworm’ music which rules this effect. To explain in layman terms, earworm music is that music which is moderated systematically so as to easily capture the ways of natural cochlea fluid movement. Such music are often created with a perfect tune and balance so that it is easily conveyed, and further gives no fatigue effect. These songs exactly relate the tune to the lyrics. To summarise, these are mere arrangement of sudden alternate musical sequence coordinated with lyrical segments that attract us enough to lead us to hear it again and again.

There exists the sad social reality of classist divide and the opportunistic disappointment to which the mass relates. We relate to such music due to two causes. Bhuvan Badyakar, Sehdev Dirdo, Ranu Mondal come from the deprived classes of the society; hence their presence on the viral platform instigate a feeling inside the people that talent is not present in the right hand and place. This sheer feeling flashbacks one’s thoughts that these individuals in the hypothetical time frame had a very initial stage of presentable talent but due to circumstances they could not pursue it then; hence when they take such minimal effort steps and get viral, people involuntarily begin sympathizing with them, which further makes the masses appreciate the dramatic odd tuned lyrics they produced.

Another accompanying thought which people get is that the trending of these particular deprived classes’ people would definitely create a feeling or belief that talent exists in every niche of the society, and this way the old belief of having the presentable acts of music, dance, or theatre, reserved for a certain group of society, would break. Also, there is no denying of the presence of nepotism. Hence such talents need support and accommodation. Thus all get appreciative when Badshah approached Sehdev and Himesh Reshammiya came to Ranu Mondal. This also serves as a stand out USP for the music label that accommodates them and creates a free good will marketing.

Credits: Instagram @badboyshah

Such music gets boosted further by the computer algorithm as it trends in both ‘music’ and ‘popular’ categories. These moreover get filtered as the most viral objects, thereby making it to the trending page. The inter-linking of regional circles also contribute in increasing their reach. If any of it reaches a popular celebrity, then it becomes available to his/her entire fan-base. Therefore, the circle of visibility keeps on increasing.

This all have in a much radicalized way influenced the music industry. Rather focusing on the genre or the relation of lyrics, they tend to create non-sense pieces which contain the chances to get viral. Vocal qualities get altered with EDMs, and there exists common usage of slangs to put punches which their melody lacks. Although these pieces have a separate fan-base, they cannot replace real music.

Dibya Jyoti Tripathi is a student pursuing Economics from Jamia Millia Islamia.

Edited by: Zaina Shahid Khan

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