Rahat's 'Zaroori tha' Universal Music India's 1st non-film track to get 1bn views (Lead)
Zaroori Tha Sung By Rahat Fateh Ali Khan Released In 2014 (Pic credit: Song Still)

When the popular Rahat Fateh Ali Khan song Zaroori tha crossed one billion views mark on YouTube, it became the first non-film song from the label of Universal Music India to reach that milestone.

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Universal Music India (UMI) has always been at the forefront for promoting and supporting artistes from the non-film music community.

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The video features former couple Gauahar Khan and Kushal Tandon, who rose to fame following their appearance in the reality TV show Bigg Boss.

Produced By Salman Ahmed, Zaroori tha was released six years ago, with the music video directed by Rahul Sud.

“It’s an overwhelming feeling reaching a milestone of one billion views on YouTube. ‘Zaroori tha’ is a song that was part of the ‘Back 2 Love’ album released in 2014 by Universal Music India and majestically produced, marketed and showcased more like a movie than just an album by Salman Ahmed. Along with Salman Ahmed, my dear friend Devraj Sanyal, MD and CEO of Universal Music India believed in non-film music and our combination was admired by the world,” said Rahat.

“The credit equally goes to the lyricist Khalil Ur Rehman Qamar for inking such beautiful and meaningful words of ‘Zaroori Tha’. Composed by Sahir Ali Bagga, with the video directed by Rahul Sud, the on screen chemistry of Gauahar Khan and Kushal Tandon was loved by everyone. It’s a big achievement for all of us involved,” he added.

Speaking about this achievement, Universal Music India and South Asia Managing Director and CEO Devraj Sanyal said: “What an incredible way for us to start 2021 by joining the Billion View Club on YouTube with Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan’s ‘Zaroori tha’. A song that’s transcended age, genre and time over the past few years to become a love ballad of the ages.”

He sees it as a big win for “non-film music to be counted in a stronger and more revered category of commercial music in India. Big ups to my old friend and one of the best singers of all time Rahat, the amazing Salman from PME Management, who’s as responsible for this as any of us and my teams who’ve now firmly planted the flag for non-film music in the glocal streamscape.”

Commenting on the milestone, producer Salman Ahmed said: “It is a dream come true for any producer. ‘Zaroori tha’ and the ‘Back 2 Love’ album for me was not just another album. It was a belief, and it was knowingness that the world will love it. I recall that most of the top labels loved the songs but wanted them for movies.”

“I believed in non-film music and the magic of Ustad Rahat Fateh Ali Khan along with tie up with Universal Music India was an icing on the cake. Devraj Sanyal was instrumental in making this happen as he equally believed with me that non-film music is the best way forward. I launched this album at the IIFA Awards in 2014 at Tampa Bay, something never done before. Then it was released in Dubai by Universal in the presence of Mahesh Bhatt. As an independent producer, it is great to be part of this milestone. Yeh bhi ‘Zaroori tha’,” he added.

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