NEW DELHI: Ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas, who has launched his single Khwaabon Ki Kahaani, feels Bollywood doesn’t pay due importance to music, which seems to have brought its standard down.
“Bollywood pays no importance to music. The importance of music has become practically zero in the industry,” he said. “The songs in movies are only there to promote the film. They aren’t an integral part of the movie or the script,” he added.
“Earlier, we got to listen to some good music and poetry because the songs had been woven into the script and used to be relevant to the script,” stated Pankaj. He lamented that songs in films these days aren’t relevant to the storyline. “They’ve brought the standard of music to the pedestrian level and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
Udhas has hit film songs, such as Chithi Aayi Hai and Jiye Toh Jiye Kaise, to his credit. His latest single Khwaabon ki Kahaani was launched on hungama.com, a digital entertainment storefront, in hopes of reaching out to a larger audience and as an attempt to revive ghazals.
He holds that lack of revenues in the music world is hampering the quality, but there’s hope due to the online platform. “Most audio labels have absolutely no revenues out of the music they produce, unless it’s produced by Bollywood, as Bollywood has the money to spend. Owing to lack of revenue, there’s no new stuff coming out,” he noted. “The only hope is a digital platform, such as Hungama, which can take your music across the world. So, I hope that we’ll bounce back through digital sources,” Udhas said.
Of his new single, the 64-year-old said he liked the ghazal since he first heard it from lyricist Aalok Shrivastav, and recorded it within a week. “What’s exciting for me is that this is my first ghazal single. I’ve done albums all my life. It was during the recording of a television serial title track I was composing that Aalok narrated a ghazal he had written. And I really liked it.”
“I told him let’s record it. Within a week’s time, we recorded the ghazal and decided to make it a single. We tied up with Hungama so that we have a worldwide digital presence. We also shot a video for the song so we can connect with the younger listeners and reach a larger audience,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 14th, 2015.
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