The late singer Jagjit Singh’s wife Chitra is feeling disheartened with the way people from the music industry have changed since her husband’s death two years ago. Now, ready to bring out seven unreleased songs by her husband on his second death anniversary, she talks about the music fraternity, lack of support and her determination to dig out Singh’s unpublished songs.
Jagjit Singh with wife Chitra.
It must have been tough to source unreleased songs by Jagjit Singh.
We searched for the recordings and found some in the hard disks of various recording studios. We worked hard at unearthing these songs as we were unaware of who possessed them. There are many people in the music industry who have songs sung by him (Singh) but aren’t parting with them — not only composers, but even friends and acquaintances, who he interacted with and recorded songs with. But now these people are not giving me these tracks.
Can you share a few names?
I don’t want to name anyone. Perhaps they think it’s a feather in their cap to keep these recordings with them, like a valuable possession.
You sound very upset about it.
I’m upset and disillusioned. No one else can produce or own his unpublished songs. Instead of keeping them in their cupboards, why not allow the entire world to enjoy them? What’s the point of sitting on the songs?
What do you plan to do now that people aren’t parting with Jagjitji’s compositions and recordings?
What can I do? I have to sit and tolerate this. People have video and audio recordings of him, but they don’t want to give them to me. In fact, some of them have even asked me for exorbitant prices in exchange. I tried coaxing them and even came up with an amount that I can afford, but I can’t match their prices. Besides, on principle, this is a wrong thing for them to do. They should honour his memory by doing the right thing and this is sad. These are people who have no claim to fame in life. They just consider this a good
opportunity to promote themselves. I am angry. I want Jagjitji’s songs to get a proper release.
Tell us about the new album.
It’s called Voice From Beyond and will be released on his second death anniversary (October 10). I have put together seven unreleased songs that I’ve found from various sources. Deepak Panditji (composer) gave me two — he had arranged one and the other song he had composed and recorded with Jagjitji in 2004. The Jagjit Singh Foundation that I founded will present the programme and singers, like Anup Jalota, Deepak Pandit, Vishwa Bhanu Bhatt and Sanjeev Abhayankar will also perform at the event.
What do you have planned next?
I will continue this endeavour of looking for his songs. I want his legacy to live forever. If I give up, there will be no one to carry it forward. People have been waiting impatiently for his songs. No one commands the kind of love he does.