Mainstream musicians are second class citizens in Bollywood: Sona Mohapatra – music

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Singer Sona Mohapatra hopes successful musicians come together to “built a thriving independent music industry which isn’t dependent on Bollywood”.

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Updated: Jun 26, 2020 10:54 IST

Sona feels it is disrespectful to the process of creativity when the creator of a song doesn’t even have the right to choose the singer.
Sona feels it is disrespectful to the process of creativity when the creator of a song doesn’t even have the right to choose the singer.

In the midst of the raging discussions around nepotism and the music mafia in the industry, singer Sona Mohapatra feels the whole musical eco-system needs to be re-hauled from the ground up. Known for her frank, outspoken views, the singer shares that the industry can grow only by nurturing “new and genuine talent” of many hues and investing in them.

Elaborating on her views, the Ambarsariya (Fukrey; 2013)singer says, “The fact that we don’t have a real music industry in a country as big as India, should bother all of us. It’s a mere subset of the film industry with a few interconnected families calling the shots. There is more than enough talent, music and enormous love for music for all of us to have built a thriving independent music industry, after so many years of independence. Music sells almost everything in this country including election campaigns, toothpaste, sporting events and big budget films, but is sadly the most undermined commodity.” 

Mohapatra feels it is disrespectful to the process of creativity when the creator of a song doesn’t even have the right to choose the singer. “It is the reason why so many people are dubbed for ‘scratches’. My belief is that ultimately, the song suffers. It is akin to it being ‘flogged’ in a sense. Mainstream musicians are second class citizens in Bollywood and go through a miserable and humiliating ‘rejection’ and ‘ragging’ process while making a soundtrack. While it is critical to have a discussion about music label monopolies and the lopsided clique driven power structure in the film industry, it is equally a time for all of us to self reflect,” she says.  

She adds, “Award shows continue to give lip-sync acts by actors precedence over actual musical performances. It is important that even audiences start rejecting such mediocrity and aspire for world class standards in entertainment, which comes from being more demanding of authenticity and integrity from our entertainers.“

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