Musicians call out for the revival of independent music

Bollywood music has been ruling the music charts in India for years now. As this genre continues to dominate, the independent music scene of the country lies in a sad state, raising concerns among musicians all over. And on this World Music Day, composers and singers want this age-old pattern to change. Giving independent music a chance, they want their audience to explore new genres of music.

“I want independent music to come in the forefront in India. Previously we had an era, where singers like Lucky Ali, Alisha Chinai, Shaan, the Colonial Cousins and KK had made a name for themselves with their own music, independent of Bollywood’s recognition. I’d love to see that era again,” says singer Anusha Mani who has sung the song Gulabo (Shaandaar, 2015).

Expressing similar views, music composer Clinton Cerejo says, “I would like to see the Indian music industry look beyond Bollywood and labels should wake up and support diverse musical styles. In the West, you have mainstream artists, such as a Taylor Swift or a Justin Beiber, but you also have a Dave Matthews Band, who can fill a Madison Square Garden with their progressive music.”

Cerejo believes it is important that music labels encourage a healthy ecosystem where profits from mainstream artists can support the fringe industry. “Only then can we see a musical evolution,” he adds.

However, the Jabra Fan (Fan, 2016) singer, Nakash Aziz is optimistic about India’s music scene and feels that it is the correct time to revive the industry. “We tend to focus a lot on Bollywood music but the Indi-pop era of 90s, should be revived. With the advent of YouTube, and the emergence of new independent singers, the time is perfect. Also I’d love to see more single music composer films as it will help churn better music,” feels Aziz.

Sukhwinder Singh, the singer who has sung many hit songs including Jai Ho (Slumdog Millionaire, 2008), Ramta Jogi (Taal,1998), and (Chak De! India, 2007), says, “Things will happen. Nowadays, songs from the ’90s are being rehashed and sung again. Who thought remixes would be back? Independent music too will shine, if there are proper artists to take the genre forward. There are a very few gifted artists, who can hold the industry together. If we find such artists for independent music, that genre will also stay.”

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