Veteran singer Talat Aziz holds a respectable place among the senior lot of ghazal artistes in India. He is one of the few who got the opportunity to learn the genre from the legendary singer, late Mehdi Hassan. Apart from performing in concerts across the world, Aziz also sang ghazals in films like Umrao Jaan (1981) and Bazaar (1982). Ahead of his performance in the city, we caught up with him to talk about music and more.
While ghazal used to be an important part of Bollywood music in the past, it barely finds space in film music today. How do you feel about it?
I feel that film music has become poorer now because of lack of ghazals. It’s a genre that evokes many emotions that are meaningful. It can be easily incorporated in any situation that a film demands. All they (the composers) have to do is to encase it in the sound that is currently prevailing.
Many senior composers feel that the younger ones are afraid of experimenting, and that’s why they are unable to take up the challenge of incorporating classical genres, including ghazals, in film music today.
I don’t think that the younger composers are afraid of experimenting with ghazals. I think they are handicapped by the trend that’s prevalent in the film industry today. If they could, I am sure they would compose amazing ghazals, and enrich today’s generation with its beauty.
How do you think ghazal has changed over the years? Is the future of the genre safe?
There are many youngsters, who sing ghazals, and they are keen to carry the tradition forward. But, they are hampered by the lack of platforms. Music companies do not encourage newcomers, and without a fresh repertoire, how can they get recognition?
Are there any projects in the pipeline?
I am looking forward to a concert tour of the US with Asha Bhosleji. It starts from August 28.
Listen to Talat Aziz's music here