Sona Mohapatra on Neha Kakkar vs Falguni Pathak remix feud: Please protect artistes better

Published on Sep 30, 2022 08:07 PM IST

Singer Sona Mohapatra opens up about the Neha Kakkar vs Falguni Pathak remix feud, saying it is time to initiative conversations, instead of resting a hue and cry

Sona Mohapatra is not averse to the idea of recreating old songs
Sona Mohapatra is not averse to the idea of recreating old songs
BySugandha Rawal

Singer Falguni Pathak has made crores off the live circuit with Maine Payal Hai Chhankai, but what about the composer-lyricist of the original song, Lalit Sen? That’s the question singer Sona Mohapatra wants to ask everyone amid the ongoing remix feud between Pathak and singer Neha Kakkar. She says the feud shows why creators need better acknowledgment and a push to get the tunes of the music industry in sync with the changing times. She also looks forward to a “more nuanced conversation about such matters”.

Ever since singer Neha Kakkar came out with her version of Maine Payal Hai Chhankai with O Sajna, there has been a growing chatter around the blurring lines of originality with focus on recreations, especially after Pathak expressed her disappointment with the song.

“There’s nothing wrong with recreating and repackaging an old song for a new generation but the least you can do is acknowledge the brilliance of the original creators. That way, you take a glorious piece of your past into the future with real respect,” Mohapatra says.

She goes on to give an example of her own sharing, “Before I performed the folk classic hit Rangabati on TV in a fusion platform with my band, I did connect with the original folk singer Jitendra Haripal to seek his blessings…So, I do hope that we too learn to celebrate our past an the shoulders of the legends we stand upon”.

Here, the singer asserts that most labels are after “short term gains and cheap wins”.

She says, “They were never curators of great music. In India A&R was done in the film industry by great producers collaborating with visionary composers & lyricists. The music companies were always just the money bags. Now they’re dictating commercial trends by pumping money into whatever they think is ‘hot’. The truth is, they haven’t created a single successful artist on their own. It’s still a film song that breaks the next big musical star. We desperately need good A&R & labels joining forces with the creative community instead of talking down or sitting on the high horse on opposite side of the fences . This would go for a much healthier eco system . Fortunately I have found a couple of such partners this year. So I’m optimistic . It’s not all doom & gloom “.

However, she doesn’t want the important issue to get in the noise of the controversy. She says she looks forward to a “more nuanced conversation about such matters & not just the hullabaloo around a 24 hour controversy around one singer pitted against the other , personal attacks & no discussion around what matters most, a change in the current attitude amongst both labels & audiences alike”.

“The former need to be held accountable by the latter to push for better music , quality songs & not just be happy with the short cuts of mediocrity . Also hoping for a policy change at the higher levels where artists are protected better . In this case Falguni Pathak has at least made crores off the live circuit with this hit , been adored by the audiences who tend to notice the face / voice of a product . Does anybody know the composer , lyricist of this song , Lalit Sen ? I can bet you my house that he didn’t even make a couple of lacs from this song & no one , be it the label or audience even cares to acknowledge that without him the song would not exist . Creators need to be encouraged, paid & celebrated better for us to have the best songs . Without that, we will continue to slide lower in the quality of music surrounding us,” she says.

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