ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Taking Cringe Pop Seriously

Cringe pop is posing a challenge to the social and cultural status quo.

The relatively new music genre known as cringe pop, notorious for its jarring, often discordant tunes and barmy texts, has been particularly prolific in South Asia in recent years. Among many others, YouTube sensations such as the Pakistani Taher Shah and the Hyderabadi Vennu Mallesh gained considerable fame not only among the website’s community, but also in national and international media. However, it is only in the past year with the sudden rise to fame of Delhi-based Dhinchak Pooja, whose songs “Selfie maine leli aaj” and “Dilon ka shooter” quickly garnered millions of views, that the outreach of cringe pop expanded from the fringes of popular culture and towards the echelons of mainstream pop culture in India.

While commentaries on Dhinchak Pooja, Vennu Mallesh and Taher Shah’s artistic productions abound, what I wish to do here, rather than focus on any artist in particular or on any of their songs, is to reflect upon the phenomenon of cringe pop and the hidden motives that govern its distinctly unfavourable reception across large sections of the audience.

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Updated On : 9th May, 2018

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