Best Bollywood songs of 2018, from Manmarziyaan's 'Daryaa' to Veere Di Wedding's 'Tareefan'

Bollywood saw a year populated with rehashes of old songs, but 2018 also witnessed the rise of music composer Amit Trivedi and his unrivaled versatility.

Devansh Sharma December 30, 2018 10:03:17 IST
Best Bollywood songs of 2018, from Manmarziyaan's 'Daryaa' to Veere Di Wedding's 'Tareefan'

In a year where music maestro AR Rahman (barring 'Ruby Ruby' in Sanju) and Pritam took a backseat, music composers, old and new, took over and churned out songs that ranged from evergreen to forgettable, groundbreaking to routine.

While 2018 saw T-Series belt out rehashes of '90s songs and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan ghazals, it also witnessed Amit Trivedi rise as the man behind the maximum number of standalone albums this year.

Here is a list of the top 10 songs of this year:

Naina Da Kya Kasoor

With Sriram Raghavan's thriller Andhadhun, Amit Trivedi reintroduced to Bollywood the musical instrument of all seasons, the piano. The piano was a motif in the retro era of Hindi cinema but the subsequent electronisation of music made the Western classical instrument a tad defunct on screen in Hindi films. But Trivedi blended the unique voice of the Ayushmann Khurrana-starrer with the piano to display the wide range of moods that the film traverses. While there were other gems like 'Wo Ladki' and 'Laila Laila', 'Naina Da Kya Kasoor' was particularly compelling, thanks to Trivedi's full-bodied vocals and Jaideep Sahni's layered lyrics.


Before Andhadhun, Trivedi already established his supremacy with Anurag Kashyap's romantic drama Manmarziyaan. Shellee should get the primary credit for his lyrics of 'Daryaa', which hits you like a turmoil. It starts as a love lullaby leading to the chorus, at which point it goes full throttle. By introducing the rosy and thorny sides of love one-by-one, and then mixing up the two, Shellee and Trivedi come up with a soothing yet soul-stirring concoction. Shahid Mallya's combustive voice only serves as a catalyst.

Theher Ja

Abhishek Arora's composition and Abhiruchi Chand's lyrics captured the essence of Shoojit Sircar's autumnal tale October. Armaan Malik's exceptional vocals acted as the bridge between the pacey music and melancholic poetry. His voice was replete with both poise and power, thus evoking a bittersweet feeling among the listeners. There was reflection in the briskness of this slow burner.

Halka Halka

If Amit Trivedi does not compose remixes, it is not because he lacks the ability. It is purely a function of choice. And he proved the same with 'Halka Halka' from Atul Manjrekar's musical Fanney Khan, adapted from Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan's timeless ghazal 'Ye Jo Halka Halka Suroor Hai'. Trivedi scored full brownie points in choosing his singers. Sunidhi Chauhan's heartfelt yet powerful vocals jammed organically with Divya Kumar's textured voice. Trivedi jazzed up this jugalbandi and created a rare rehash that does justice to the original.


Vishal Bhardwaj went 'glocal' with this fun, peppy number from his film Pataakha. He incorporated Rajasthani folk instruments into this desi jugalbandi, sung by his wife Rekha Bhardwaj and Sunidhi Chauhan. With this intimate, foot-tapping affair, he presented an ideal case of folk pop, the way ahead for the music of Hindi cinema, given India's rich folk culture. Vishal also reunited with his longtime collaborator Gulzar, who designed the lyrical arrangement in the traditional 'kahasuni' format.


Arguably the smoothest party number of the year, 'Tareefan' boasted of a musical arrangement as audacious as how Shashanka Ghosh's buddy film Veere Di Wedding looked on paper. Badshah used his expertise to build on Qaran's irresistible composition and put together a track that was impossible to enjoy without dancing to its beats.

Lae Dooba

Every year, there is always a flop film with a hidden gem of a song. This year, it was Neeraj Panday's spy thriller Aiyaary. An immersive composition by Rochak Kohli, it was accompanied by Manoj Muntashir's beautiful lyrics that celebrated the helpless, often self-destructive feeling of falling in love. Sunidhi Chauhan dove deep into the melody, making the song completely her own.


By no means is 'Saansein' only a Prateek Kuhad song. But since Akarsh Khurana's road film Karwaan marked the popular indie singer's Bollywood debut, the listeners must welcome him with open warms. His stimulating composition, impassioned vocals and philosophical lyrics made for a unique voice that the audience crave for in a road movie.

Tere Yaar Hoon Main

Arijit Singh sings over a dozen songs every year, but there is always one that stands out. 'Tere Yaar Hoon Main' from Luv Ranjan's buddy comedy Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety stood out not only in an album populated with club numbers but also among Arijit's discography this year. There were other strong contenders like 'Ae Watan' from Meghna Gulzar's espionage thriller Raazi and 'Aa Jao Na' from Veere Di Wedding, but Rochak Kohli's easy melody and Kumaar's relatable lyrics allowed Arijit Singh to drive this song.

Aankh Marey

Another rehash that makes it to the top 10 is 'Aankh Marey' from Rohit Shetty's cop drama Simmba. It tiptoes (while dancing without abandon) the fine line between paying tribute to the original song and reinventing it with fresh elements. Tanishk Bagchi, who regurgitates over half a dozen songs every year, does get it right once in a while. This is his first successful reinvention after 'Tamma Tamma Again' from Shashank Khaitan's romantic comedy Badrinath Ki Dulhania.

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