Tag Archives: akon

Pandora Goes To Bollywood


You know you’re in the bowels of summer in the South’s hell when you suffer your first heat-related problem. That happened Tuesday after the afternoon run.

I’m working on an internal employee video at work and spend a few hours Tuesday afternoon outside shooting B-roll in temperatures that hovered in the mid-90s. Couple that with a 5-mile run a few hours later, and I was left spinning and exhausted the rest of the night.

My savior!

My savior!

A couple of hours under the ceiling fan and about five Flavor-Ices — next to sno-balls, the greatest flavored ice supplement on the market — later and I was feeling fine.

Still, heat strokes, even if they’re mild, suck. So stay safe, stay hydrated and file a complaint with HR for your bosses forcing you to work outside in mid-90s heat all afternoon.

As for the soundtrack to that run, Pandora played Bollywood, and it was amazing.

Love Aaj Kal — “Twist”

Full disclosure: I know nothing about Bollywood entertainment — music, movies or otherwise. I saw “Slumdog Millionaire,” and that’s where my Indian culture knowledge ends.

I landed on the station because I hit the wrong button twice when trying to find the station and this is what came up. It was hot and I was ready to go, so instead of messing around with my iPhone more, I just went with it.

This was my introduction to Bollywood music and OH MY GOD BOLLYWOOD MUSIC KICKS ASS!!!! No, seriously, listen to the song. It’s got arguably the highest energy levels out of any song that has been on the Pandora challenge. Plus, about half of the lyrics are in English (which I wasn’t expecting), creating the awesome “We’ll be singing dancing hot romancing/Sone mone, mallo malli kar gaye talli” transition.

Song Energy: 9/10
Run Motivation: 8/10
Overall: A

Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi — “Dance Pe Chance”

Hopefully I have this right because I’m no Bollywood expert, but these songs all come from soundtracks to Bollywood movies. Bollywood artists don’t make singles like Eminem or Justin Bieber. I found this interesting.

A.R. Rahman — “Jai Ho”

I’m one mile in and starting to feel like shit. This probably would have been a good time to turn around, but nothing about this run was smart.

Billu Barber — “Love Mera Hit Hit”

At least the playlist seemed fitting. The crazy hot temperatures and Hindi beat make you feel like you’re in India.

Akon — “Chammak Challo”

Wait, seriously? Akon? The guy who sang “Smack That?”

In the song info, Pandora included that Akon was born in St. Louis but grew up in Senegal before his family moved back to the United States when he was seven. He’s best known for his rap music (Konvicted is one of my favorite rap albums that I own), but he started doing Bollywood music in 2011.

Like every other song in this playlist, the energy is ridiculous, the lyrics you presume are great because you only understand 50 percent of them and it makes you want to keep moving. But it’s by Akon, which just puts this song above all the others.

Song Energy: 9/10
Run Motivation: 9/10
Overall: A

Panjabi MC — “Beware of the Boys”

One mile left, and it would be the slowest mile I’ve run in more than seven months since moving to Baton Rouge.

Sonu Nigam, Javed Ali — “Nagada Nagada”

I wasn’t in any danger of passing out or needing medical attention (in case my mom is reading this and freaking out) but it just sucked out there. You want to stop, but then you realize you’re still a half mile from the house and you have to get home someway. You might as well keep running and get out of the heat as soon as possible.

Robert Uhlmann — “Say Na, Say Na”

Like other Pandora stations have done, I was halfway expecting Bollywood to play high energy songs throughout the run and then end on a slow ballad — if there are even any Bollywood ballads. But that was not the case. The energy stayed consistent throughout the entire 40-plus minute run, even during the final 9:23 mile.

Unlike the other songs, this one has almost no English, save for a couple of lines in the chorus. More English would have been nice, but this isn’t music sung for English-only speaking people. I’m a guest in their cultural realm, so I can adapt to it.

And why the hell didn’t I get married in a white suit and pink floral shirt?!?

Song Energy: 8/10
Run Motivation: 7/10
Overall: A-

Bollywood music rocks! It’s not something I’m going to put on at work, but my first experience with it was eye-opening and exciting. This weekend I might have to browse Netflix and see what movies I’m missing out on.


Filed under Pandora, Running