BY SONA MOHAPATRA
Indian music is a vast ocean, but all of our attention seems to be focused on the one little pond that is Bollywood Music. It is time for a change.
I have always been amazed by the popularity of non-cinematic songs by Punjabi artists that are part of all the festivities. Songs like “Taarey gin” are great examples of non-cinematic songs that have become a rage across India and have endured the test of time. These were then appropriated by Bollywood, which shows you that you don’t need the marketing influence of Bollywood to make a superhit song.
Over the past two decades, Bollywood has devalued the Hindi film song, abusing its creators and offering short-term returns. This led to its logical end: Bollywood is now simply regurgitating music from its past.
He lost all of his creativity and cultural credibility. It is not the incubator of the next, Gulzar, Majrooh or even Amitabh Bhattacharya, or Madan Mohan, Vishal Bharadwaj or the next Shankar Mahadevan. Instead, it is a demoralizing shredder of talent.
So where will the next AR Rahman, Amit Trivedi, Ram Sampath, Shaan or even Divine emerge from? The answer is, from the same place where Lucky Ali and KK or even I, Sona Mohapatra, emerged. The indie scene.
As a culture, we need to look to the source of creativity, not the hollow images provided to us by a rabid and poisonous celebrity culture. We must encourage artists and creators to collaborate and create timeless melodies and lyrics that inspire us for generations to come. Each generation has its own voice and perspective. We must create space for these diverse voices to be heard. Music streaming can do that if they are ready to fight the reductive bully that is the Bollywood music mafia.
Much of this falls to the public who cannot accept nursery rhymes or remixes as standard fare. The public must question and reject the artists who also synchronize on the stage.
Each artist has an ally in the fields of technology, the Internet and social networks to disseminate their own music and build an audience. We can’t wait impatiently for Bollywood to enlighten you. India is quite large and able to reproduce and have a music superstar in each mohalla. We have to stop looking to Bollywood for any talent validation.
The new and upcoming artists deserve our attention and even in my short term as a judge on a national reality show where I met and decided not only to support and help connect a rap group from Dharavi, ” M Town Breakers, ” to a talent agency, and helping them out with a hymn to Ram Sampath and Virat Kohli, but they did it with several other candidates who I thought deserved attention.
We cannot wash our hands by playing a role in training future talent and giving back from where we have gained so much.
Most importantly, we must remember that the music of India is truly a treasure of great depth and breadth. We have so many genres of music that deserve attention, not just film music. The film music scene is actually the stinking swamp in the music garden which includes bhajans, ghazals, classical, folk, pop, sufi, qawwali, desi hip-hop and so much more. ‘other genres.
Why do the public and the whole ecosystem, including radio and the media, treat non-cinematographic music as inferior music? There seems to be a caste system at play and it is sad. Good music and artists should be encouraged and celebrated, regardless of their source.
As a society and a culture, we will benefit aesthetically and even increase the size of the music industry in many ways if we look beyond Bollywood.
(The writer is a famous singer, composer and lyricist. The opinions expressed are personal)
mohapatra / vnc / pgh
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