Although it’s now confirmed that actor Sonakshi Sinha won’t perform at Canadian pop star Justin Bieber’s May 10 India concert in Mumbai, the speculation was enough for singer Kailash Kher to express his displeasure about actors being preferred over musicians as opening artists for an international musician’s gig.
“Agar aap kisi cricketer ko bologe kit tum jaake football khelo aur hume match jita lao toh kya who yeh kar paega (If you ask a cricketer to play football and win the match, will he able to do it?) I don’t understand why musicians aren’t treated with respect. If we want to improve our music scene then it’s important that musicians also get the similar recognition which other stars get,” voiced Kher, starting an actor vs singer debate, with support first pouring in from singer Armaan Malik, who then got into a war of words with Sonakshi.
“A secure artiste would encourage another artiste to grow their skills and follow their dreams,” tweeted Sona, who went on to clarify that she is “not performing” at the Bieber concert, but was “approached” for it. The actor added that Armaan wanted to sing with her for the recently released film, Noor.
As for Armaan, he maintains that actors end up singing songs for film promotions, but that doesn’t mean that they are good singers. “When it comes to getting an opportunity to perform on a big international platform or show like Coldplay/JB, then a SINGER should get a chance not an ACTOR. Ask any normal person or fan they would say the same,” he says.
I Agree with u sonakshi.. but I voiced what I felt about how singers are shunned in our country & given lesser importance than actors!! https://t.co/Gnwshe01GP— ARMAAN MALIK (@ArmaanMalik22) April 24, 2017
What do others in the film and music frat think about the debate? The industry remains divided on the issue. Singer Kumar Sanu agrees with Kalaish kher, and feels actors will do anything to gain mileage. “ Yeh sab actors, mileage lene ke liye muh utha ke kahin bhi aajate hain. (These so called stars will go anywhere to gain mileage). They should realize that they are stars, and shouldn’t go anywhere just to get footage,” he says.
Subir Malik of the Delhi-based band Parikrama, adds: “Yes, ideally a musician should open for an event like this, but that’s not the case. Even when Coldplay performed, not a single rock band was inviterd to perform. Everyone is in it for money.”
Popular music festival creator Nikhil Chinapa doesn’t want things to get compartmentalised. “Music for me is sacred and in my opinion, if you can sing - you must sing; whether on stage or in the shower. However if you can’t sing and use auto-tune or lip-sync, you should stay home,” he says.
Last year Coldplay’s concert, too, saw performances from popular actors. Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar says: “Sonakshi Sinha is a big star, and if the organizers want her to perform, what’s wrong in that? It happens in the West as well, where a Hollywood star sometimes perform at concerts along with the musician. Last year Coldplay’s event was even bigger because so many Bollywood stars performed. Everyone knows in this country films and cricket sell.”
Filmmaker Pritish Nandy sees no right or wrong in this. “It’s simply a matter of choice. The organizers think audience will enjoy Sonakshi’s performance, and that’s why they have asked her to perform,” he says.
Ask filmmaker Prahlad Kakkar about it, and he says Indian musicians don’t focus on the “entertainment aspect” of a concert. “If Kailash wants to perform at such events, then he needs to focus on the entertainment aspect of it. Then he should be like Michael Jackson, with the dancers, the pyrotechniques, the lightings. Musicians are not doing their job 100 percent and then they are calling out organizers for taking short cuts, which is happening because of them,” he says.
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