13 November,2014:The versatile singer Sonu Nigam gets candid about today’s lyrics and films.
Sonu Nigam has never been one to remain silent about issues that concern him or his profession and says that he has suffered consequences for this. His comparatively lean year, he believes, was a direct result of him raising his voice against the Copyright Act. His songs were being distributed for redubbing by composers – something he has always refused to do for other singers. When he visited Delhi for a recent event, he spoke about the things that went wrong in the last few months, his take on the ‘getting respect versus singing hit songs’ concept and his take on lyrics and films, which, according to him, are getting worse by the day.
I will never sing a song that my son can’t
People ask me how I feel about lyrics and chhichhora songs and who should take responsibility for them. Sadly, it is the directors and producers who’re responsible. Ab woh chhichhora gaana mangenge, toh composer aur singer kya kar sakta hai? Humein gana padta hai. But uski bhi ek limit honi chahiye. There was a song that used the G word in it (G**** mein dum hai toh band karwa lo, party all night) Now, I don’t have a problem with the person who sang this, if that’s what the producer wants. I was at a kid’s birthday party and this song was playing and my son was singing along. That angered me so much. I will never sing a song that would embarrass me if my son sang it too.
Solution ki baat pea aye toh, independent music ko fir aana padega. I am releasing an album next month jismein kisi producer ne nahi bola ki chhichhora gaao ya item gao. Apni pasand se music banaya hai. Ab agar radio station ya TV channels usey nahi chalayenge, toh fir kaise kuch badlega? Logon ko sunna padega online jaake. During the last few months, we’ve had bakwaas films doing well. I have taken a stand. Main nahi dekhunga yeh bakwaas picture, nahi dunga unko power aur apna paisa. Aise hi toh paisa kamati hain woh films. Sab dekh ke aatey hain ki kitni gandi hogi. We have to stop doing that because otherwise these filmmakers will keep thinking that they’re so good. They serve us shit because they think we will take shit. We’ve got to stop that in films and in music also. Ganda gaana hai, mat suno. Ganda singer hai, mat bhaav do saale ko. West mein aap karke dikhao, gande gaane ko bada banake dikhao. Waha ke bure gaano ka mazaak banta hai. We don’t do that here, but we should.
Auto-tuning software ne Salman Khan ko bhi singer bana diya
When people ask me about the new musicians and whether they have it easy, I say the whole music-making process has become easier. It’s not like the 70s and 80s, when everybody would be in one recording room together and performing. Singing is easy now. There are two softwares, Melodyn and Antares, which are being used extensively in the industry. You won’t believe it, if someone simply speaks a song’s lyrics, usko bhi main sur mein laa sakta hun. Aise thodi Salman ne gaya hai Hangover. Yeh softwares kisi ko bhi singer bana sakte hain, aur yeh Salman khud bolta hai. Everything that a singer like me does naturally can be achieved through these software.Issi liye, there are so many new singers in the market now. Composers have a wide choice of voices now, and unko sur mein lana koi badhi baat nahi hai. Antares aur Melodyn toh hai hi.
Aaj ke singers ko utni mehnat ki aadat aur zarurat nahi hai
Gaana aaj kal bahut easy process ho chuka hai. Do-teen din mein, software ke saath, a song can be completed. Because of which, singing has become easy. They aren’t even in the habit of doing riyaaz, the way our seniors did. Ab live concerts mein bhi, not everyone can pull off a three-hour concert. Sab ek ghante mein thak jaate hain. But again, this is something that matters to me personally. I have always maintained the image of being someone who works hard. There are other singers in the market who’ve had lots of hits, but ab unko koi achcha gavaiya nahi bolega. Respect doesn’t come from the number of hits you have. Aaj kal songs aate hain, kuch mahine baad sab bhool jaate hain unko. Mujhe woh nahi karna.
Nobody understood the copyright controversy, but I bore the brunt
Months after the amendment came into place, people still didn’t know what we had been fighting for in the Copyright Act. Sab mujhse poochte hain, “Toh aap music composers se royalty le rahe hain?” No singer can take royalty from a music producer or composer. The new amendment that came out in 2012 says that if a singer’s song is being played in a public place, like a restaurant, lift or plane, then the singer should get performance royalty. Even that, a singer doesn’t get directly.
We have a society, India Singers Rights Association (ISRA), which will collect this money on our behalf. Agar music composer ka paisa hai, usey tum rakho apne paas. Main kisi aur se le raha hoon aur composer ko usse bhi problem hai. Ab yeh mere samajh nahi aati. It’s just an ego issue.Everybody is afraid of the contracts and the legal issues that follow. Koi na koi clause daal denge jiski wajah se hum singers, composers and lyricists get stuck in a net. This is something everyone argued, but I became the face because main chup nahi raha. And as a result, mere gaane dub hone shuru ho gaye. My recorded songs were given to others to redub. Baat rahey they Sonu ke gaane market mein. Yeh Hangover jo Salman ne gaya hai, woh pehle maine gaaya tha. I was okay not singing, but I didn’t want to sign contracts that were illegal and made no sense to me. Thankfully, now the contacts are being changed, and I’ve sung two songs recently.
Source:The Times of India