Music albums are passé. Today, singles and independent music have become the rage among Indian singers, music composers and music labels. Singles such as ‘Main rahoon ya na rahoo’ to ‘GF BF’, for instance, became chartbusters in no time. And getting Bollywood actors to star in a song’s video garners the attention the track requires. Celebrities also lend the song better recall value.
‘Befikra’, which was sung by playback artiste Aditi Singh Sharma, released a few months ago. The video featured Tiger Shroff and Disha Patani, and it was a hit. Talking about the trend, music producer Bhushan Kumar says, “B-Town stars are keen to be part of these singles, as doing so keeps them in the limelight even when their films are not releasing.”
Because singles are available on digital platforms, they are easily accessible. This, in turn, results in high listenership. Composer-singer AR Rahman says, “Many people don’t buy CDs. They listen to songs and watch their videos on YouTube. So, the Internet helps spread a track faster.” Composer Sulaiman Merchant agrees, adding that singles are doing increasingly well because of the consumption pattern of listeners. “The trend of singles has come in because consumers are only buying music online,” he says.
Watch: Tiger Shroff and Disha Patani’s Befikra
Releasing solo tracks also allows artistes to experiment with their content. “I believe in non-film music. In the west, artistes get the kind of exposure and popularity they have because of their singles. Singers in India are not used to that. But I am all for this movement,” says singer Armaan Malik, adding, “There’s creative freedom as well.” A single is not bound by the demands of a script. Aditi feels this aspect is “a big boost for any artiste as they’re not dependent only on film music”. “Singles help showcase various talents and singers get more opportunities,” she says. The trend is creatively liberating for song producers too. Bhushan says, “Singles allow complete creative freedom — be it for the directors, actors or music composers. A film does not allow that. A movie song is based on a certain situation, and the music and the video has to be in line with the film.”
Watch: Emraan Hashmi and Esha Gupta’s Main Rahoon Ya Na Rahoon
Perhaps, most importantly, the trend is profitable for producers. Bhushan says, “The views of our singles are greater than the views we get for Bollywood music. The trend will only grow now as audiences love it too.” Sulaiman, too, asserts that the trend will last. “You make one song, promote it well and it becomes a big hit. The total number of views goes up to millions. So, there is life beyond film music,” he says.