Salim Merchant alleges big music labels manipulate awards: 'They make sure that they have the best music award'

Salim Merchant talks about the importance of regional music, claims most big music labels manipulate awards in their favour.
PUBLISHED ON MAR 26, 2021 07:27 AM IST
Salim Merchant

Musician Salim Merchant is not one to mince words and he has now slammed "big music labels" for manipulating and rigging the music awards in the country. Salim is one half of the music-composer duo Salim-Sulaiman,

In July last year, the duo launched their own independent music label. Merchant Records started as a venture for their own songs, but they have expanded horizons and have been working with many regional artists now. For their recent outing, a Holi song, they collaborated with Bhojpuri star Pawan Singh.

“Awards are sponsored by all the big labels. One of the most popular music labels has it in their contract, saying that ‘I’m going to give the Best Music Award.’ Where are we going? What are these awards? You’ll never find the best music by any individual who is worthy of it really, but it has to be someone from that particular label. They make sure that they have the best music category award,” Salim told News18 in an interview.

He also expressed his displeasure over the lack of support for regional and new artistes in the current music scenario. He told the news channel, “A lot of people from the Hindi film industry think that collaborating with regional artistes is not such a great thing, but music is about different cultures and people and we are so blessed to have so many cultures and traditions. There are so many great artistes in the regional space."

"We have created Merchant Records to empower good music by good musicians, lyricists, and creators without it having any pressure for hit stuff. We are releasing all kinds of stuff—be it pop, Ghazal, or thumri. Music has no language, especially in a country like India which is so diverse. It is really sad that we focus on Hindi music. It should be open to more cultures, languages, and genres. Why is only Punjabi-type of music promoted?” he added.

Also read: When Prakash Kaur defended Dharmendra for marrying Hema Malini

Around the launch of their label, Salim had told Hindustan Times in an interview, "There’s this word these days that people talk about these days and it’s ‘content’. I don’t like that word, content. My point is that in that aim to create ‘content’ people are trying to make hit songs rather than making good songs. I am not saying good songs means they are boring songs, or anything like that. But I mean it’s good to create music that has a commercial feel to them. But a song should be created so that it can last."

Musician Salim Merchant is not one to mince words and he has now slammed "big music labels" for manipulating and rigging the music awards in the country. Salim is one half of the music-composer duo Salim-Sulaiman,

In July last year, the duo launched their own independent music label. Merchant Records started as a venture for their own songs, but they have expanded horizons and have been working with many regional artists now. For their recent outing, a Holi song, they collaborated with Bhojpuri star Pawan Singh.

“Awards are sponsored by all the big labels. One of the most popular music labels has it in their contract, saying that ‘I’m going to give the Best Music Award.’ Where are we going? What are these awards? You’ll never find the best music by any individual who is worthy of it really, but it has to be someone from that particular label. They make sure that they have the best music category award,” Salim told News18 in an interview.

He also expressed his displeasure over the lack of support for regional and new artistes in the current music scenario. He told the news channel, “A lot of people from the Hindi film industry think that collaborating with regional artistes is not such a great thing, but music is about different cultures and people and we are so blessed to have so many cultures and traditions. There are so many great artistes in the regional space."

"We have created Merchant Records to empower good music by good musicians, lyricists, and creators without it having any pressure for hit stuff. We are releasing all kinds of stuff—be it pop, Ghazal, or thumri. Music has no language, especially in a country like India which is so diverse. It is really sad that we focus on Hindi music. It should be open to more cultures, languages, and genres. Why is only Punjabi-type of music promoted?” he added.

Also read: When Prakash Kaur defended Dharmendra for marrying Hema Malini

Around the launch of their label, Salim had told Hindustan Times in an interview, "There’s this word these days that people talk about these days and it’s ‘content’. I don’t like that word, content. My point is that in that aim to create ‘content’ people are trying to make hit songs rather than making good songs. I am not saying good songs means they are boring songs, or anything like that. But I mean it’s good to create music that has a commercial feel to them. But a song should be created so that it can last."

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