British-Indian musician, Biddu, who recently announced that he was done with music, is back to what he does best. After a hiatus of eight years, the 67-year-old will lend a helping hand for Luke Kenny’s yet untitled zombie film.
For the upcoming film, the artiste has agreed to experiment with his ’80s hit album, Disco Deewane (1981). “It was out of the blue. Luke contacted me, saying he wanted a song Aao Na Pyar Karein… that Nazia Hassan sang in my album, Disco Deewane,” says Biddu, whose last music album was Diamond Sutra (2004). Always in favour of encouraging fresh talent, the artiste adds, “Since the song belongs to me, Luke asked me if we could do a new version of it and I agreed.”
Best known for his song, Kung Fu Fighting…, Biddu has managed to bring home thousand of pounds each year from royalties from this track alone. The artiste, however, is miffed with the no-royalty system in India. “Money is very little in India. In the west, there is a proper system around royalty. If the song becomes a super hit, everyone makes money except the music people,” he feels.
Comparing our thriving Bollywood music industry to that of the west, Biddu says, “Here only the actors keep minting money, but the people who created the song, get nothing. In the west, every song you compose, the producer, writers, and singer have a percentage that they keep getting for life. People like Paul McCartney earn over 4 million pounds a year on songs they composed in the ’60s from the Beatles days. When I wrote the songs for Dhoom (2004), I got R2 lakh and that’s it. Nothing beyond that.
Why should I work for Rs 3 lakh or Rs 4 lakh only?”
Biddu, who refuses to call this his comeback album, admits that his new project, a modern disco album titled Guilty Pleasures will be out in April. Ask him whether he managed to convince Luke Kenny to pay him his royalty for this track, and he reveals, “Luke offered me a very fair deal, that’s why I did it. They are ready to give a royalty on that soundtrack.”