Following actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s death, singer Sonu Nigam posted a seven-minute-long video on Instagram on Thursday. He requested top music labels to be “a little sensitive” towards young talents so that the latter may not end up facing a fate like Rajput.
Explaining the motivation behind the video, in which he said that people will “soon hear about suicides in the music industry”, Nigam tells us, “What I’ve conveyed is a heartfelt request to the power bearers to be a little kind to artistes.”
In the video, he, without naming any label, claimed that “two” music companies control the entire music scene in the country and are not letting newbies sing in films, because the latter are not the label’s artistes. “I’ve had so many young singers come up to me, literally crying. They say that the composer and director want them to sing, but the music label doesn’t want them, simply because they are not that label’s artiste,” he said in the video.
Nigam, 46, who has been in the industry for nearly three decades, also called out actor Salman Khan, without naming him, for not letting him sing in his films— just as, in 2016, singer Arijit Singh had alleged that his songs were being “vetoed” out of Khan’s film because the former made fun of the actor during an awards event. “Mere sath bhi wahi actor, who is in question these days, didn’t let me sing for his films. He did the same to Arijit Singh as well,” Nigam said.
When asked to confirm if the actor he referred to was in fact Salman Khan, the singer neither confirms nor denies it.
He further revealed that he has often been asked to sing by music composers, but later “unhone woh gana kisi aur or se gavaya”. “I’d understand if I had approached the makers… But they called me and then didn’t use my voice,” he added in the video.
Rajput’s death has caused an uproar among people, who have blamed a section of Bollywood for ignoring talented ‘outsiders’ and endorsing nepotism. And Nigam says that, through his video, he wanted to warn music companies against “disregarding” younger musicians.
“It’s a serious issue. If you are accusing so many people for Sushant’s fate, who didn’t even have a direct connection, then, in this case, there is a deep, direct and brazen disregard for people’s careers,” he tells us, adding, “The business has changed. But there has to be equal opportunity for talent. Too much power in limited hands will create more stories like Sushant’s… The scene out there is not very encouraging. The amount of thank you messages I have received after this video is scary.”