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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014

I have to carry on: Chitra Singh

Roshmila Bhattacharya, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, August 11, 2012
First Published: 15:37 IST(11/8/2012) | Last Updated: 17:32 IST(12/8/2012)

Chitra Singh breaks her silence after 22 years, plans to open a foundation in city showcasing music, memorabilia of ghazal king-husband, Jagjit Singh.

The Master and His Magic releases on October 10. Will his album of eight original, unreleased compositions, be the only tribute to Jagjit Singh on his first death anniversary?
I’m also planning a homage show and I’d like to organise two every year, on his birthday and death anniversary. As long as people keep listening to Jagjitji, he’ll be alive, and my job is to ensure that his music doesn’t die.
 
There are also plans of a foundation in Mumbai where his music, memorabilia and photographs will be showcased, with a section devoted to children’s education. But I’d require help from a lot of people and a government grant for the space.

What about an album every year?
I’d need recording companies like Sony to come forward for that to happen. There are plenty of songs to package, many from his concerts down the years. But they have to be restored and the noises and voices in the background need to be removed. I’m very particular about the tonal quality and his tone is what made his voice special. He was often asked why he never sang for films. That’s because his voice didn’t match any actor’s, so the songs usually played in the background.
 
Will we hear you sing again?
I doubt it, after 22 years it would be hard to match my earlier tonal quality and do justice to my music. When I hear elderly singers, I wonder why people can’t remember them the way they were.
         
Do you think this is the end of ghazals?
Yes, Jagjitji kept the genre alive. You need his soul to produce music like that. I may sound arrogant but I’m arrogant as far as Jagjit Singh is concerned.
   
The families of singers and musicians often complain about being deprived of royalty…
His was a unique case. He made his career without films and wrote, sang and composed his music. As a singer he wasn’t entitled to any royalty, but he didn’t get his dues even as a composer. I’ve often pointed out that a lyricist writes beautiful poetry, a composer sets it to music, but till a singer lends his voice to it, it doesn’t become a song.
 
Yet, he doesn’t get a ‘phuti kaudi’ (penny). Jagjitji, along with Javed Akhtar and some members of the film fraternity, brought this up with Kapil Sibal and the draconian Copyrights Act was amended but I feel that the singer is still to get anything.

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