Veteran singer Abhijeet Bhattacharya seems to have been in the music industry for far too long to refrain from mixing his words. With some rather strong opinions, the Bollywood singer talks to Radioandmusic.com's Dhairya Ingle about Bollywood, piracy, reality shows, the new generation of singers and more.
What do you think about today's Bollywood music?
Almost all the composers make the same kind of music today. All of AR Rahman's compositions sound the same today. Rahman started off very well, but instead of concentrating on music, he worked on a lot of software. This has made it easy to compose music, as one line is produced in ten different ways. Today, every singer is a composer and vice versa. But in our era, not all composers were good singers. However, they knew their job of music direction well. They also had the freedom to choose singers who they knew would sing the song well. You can even auto tune the howling of a dog and make it sound good.
What is your take on piracy?
Today music companies are not really into music. Labels earn money from licensing and moreover, from our songs. Physical sales are nil and content is being consumed digitally. No one buys music, everyone downloads music for free, and it is very good if people indulge in piracy. Labels companies do not give us royalties, so why bother. Why would I talk against piracy?
Who are the new upcoming talents/singers you are looking forward to working with?
The new generation is good, but the new composers think they can sing all their songs well with the help of auto tuners. Thus their longevity has reduced, and composers have stopped composing everlasting songs. Ten years ago, the songs were sung by evergreen artistes. Songs today, however, lack finishing. They are released before the films and fade away as soon as the film goes out of cinemas. They need to be told that they are ache besure singers'. Also, the pronunciations are bad. This generation does not have musical stars like Rajesh Khanna and Kishore Kumar. Shahrukh Khan and I were musical stars. Maybe these composers are successful, but no one knows them. Press photographers click our pictures.
Any plans to judge reality shows?
I get a lot of offers. But when you judge a show you are either criticising or appreciating a singer, so people will either love or hate the judgment. Today all you need to do is sit in a chair and just say good things about the singers, and you are paid to do that. The worst part is when they say the singer's version of a song is better than the original. It is odd to see lyricists and choreographers judging singing reality shows. That is why I completely refused to judge reality shows. It will be like Sachin Tendulkar saying something and the commentators not agreeing. Also I am doing very well in life.
Any special gigs?
Yes, we did a show at NCPA recently, wherein Sonu Nigam designed the show and there was no host for the gig. It was done to raise funds for ISRA and SAI. We intend to perform for the same cause in some other countries too.
How important is the digital space for an upcoming artiste?
The space as a concept is open to everyone who thinks he or she is an artiste. It is not a stage where only the best artistes are given a platform. I also belonged to the same space, but the concept could not work. I think I am too big for a space like this. The digital space is good for someone who is a zero, but it is not necessary that a zero becomes a hero, unless the artistes put in cheap lyrics with bad words. Artistes who wish to become great will have to work hard without a platform.
As a lot of artistes today release their songs digitally, do you intend to release your music in the digital space?
A lot of players in the digital space have cropped up and I have been approached almost every day. I am yet to decide which of these are suitable for me. I appreciate their efforts for starting something like this but I am yet to figure out if it is good for me.
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