Metal Makeovers for Yo Yo Honey Singh, Raftaar and Hrithik Roshan
Musicians Karan Katiyar and Jayant Bhadula are choosing unsuspecting targets for their Bloodywood parody series, and they’ve only just begun
Last April, New Delhi-based metal musician Karan Katiyar stumbled upon a “spectacular” Yo Yo Honey Singh video in his YouTube suggestions that got him thinking about the possibilities of a remix. “You take a look at it, and it looks like the perfect video for a metal track,” explains the mastermind of behind metal parody project Bloodywood. “So I thought ‘Of course the music sucks, but just for fun I’m going to put some metal over it.’” With a little help from [New Delhi rockers] Kraken frontman Vipul Verma on vocals, Katiyar reworked the slavery-themed video for Singh’s “Satan (Weed Pila De)” into a Whitechapel-style rager, complete with relentless guitars and growls. After he posted it online, he soon found his video achieving mini-virality; currently at over 38,000 YouTube hits, Bloodywood’s “Honey Singh-Metal” still holds the maximum number of views amongst all their metal makeovers.
While Verma left shortly after to focus on Kraken’s upcoming debut EP, Katiyar teamed up with his friend and vocalist Jayant Bhadula to take on more pop music and Bollywood singles. In the year and half that followed, Katiyar, 25, along with his new vocalist have reimagined the likes of Kaho Na Pyaar Hai’s “Ek Pal Ka Jeena” to Raftaar’s “Swag Mera Desi” to Fergie’s prurient pop single “M.I.L.F. $” that released this July. And though the latter earned them a good number of followers from the US—“Overnight our page got 1500 likes and now there are more foreigners on our page than Indians,” he explains—Katiyar plans to pick music that’s closer to home.
Watch “Honey Singh-Metal” below.
While a typical Bloodywood parody sees Katiyar and Bhadula work djent/deathcore style riff attacks and formidable growls into an originally pop tune, the duo recently stepped things up with a short film-style satire that pokes fun at a bunch of “Indian metal scene” tropes—the reluctant/swindling gig organizer, the tribute gig-triggered Indian musician, the gig-parched metal band and the freeloading friends of the band, to name a few. Inspired by Bhadula’s daily “gossip” about local acts, the musicians play off Aashiqui 2’s “Sun Raha Hai Na Tu” and follow, as Katiyar describes, “what almost every band goes through unless you’re a Sufi band,” in their “Indian Rock/Metal Rant.” “We got really deep in these conversations (about local acts) and it got us to the point of depression, to the point of thinking ‘Yeh kya scene hai?’ he explains. “But there’s always a funny side to it as well, so we thought, ‘Why not just show that side of it?’”
But the metal rant is an exception—Katiyar and Bhadula are usually risking copyright infringement when they take up parody material. After settling on a song (“If we feel that the song is catchy enough and the original video is engaging enough, we make something,” explains Katiyar), the musicians re-record the entire track with appropriate music and sync it with the original video before uploading to Facebook or any other platform that evades copyright issues.
From here on, Bloodywood are plotting their own in-the-studio style music videos based on existing popular songs to fix the plagiarism issue. Original music, however, isn’t on the cards just yet. Says Katiyar, “Jayant and I have been in several bands and released original music also, and no one really gives two shits about it. It’s really hard to make it that way.”
Now that Bloodywood is gaining ground with the Indian metal audience, Katiyar plans to take the project live with his band—comprising Bhadula and fellow New Delhi-based metal musicians Paras Khanna on bass and drummer Vishesh Singh—in the near future. He says, “Once you’ve tasted blood you can’t let go of it.”
Watch “Sun Raha Hai Na | Indian Rock/Metal Rant” below.