Music producers don’t care about social consciousness: Ustad Shujaat Khan

Ustad Shujaat Khan, who will be playing in the Capital says that classical music has reached amazing heights and the demand for vulgar lyrics will always continue.

music Updated: Feb 06, 2017 12:20 IST
Nikita Saxena
Nikita Saxena
Hindustan Times
Ustad Shujaat Khan,Sitar,Music Producers
Ustad Shujaat Khan says that nominations and awards are fleetingly exciting things.

Classical music may have a niche audience, but it is this very aspect that adds to it’s fine quality––says Ustad Shujaat Khan. “Places like the Carnegie Hall are specifically for fine arts. To see the height that classical music has reached, one has to see the venues. There are so many people ki hilne ki jagah nahi hoti, jitney andar hote hain, utne hi baahar hote hain. Bollywood and other forms of Hindi music have travelled all over the world but only those who know Hindi can understand it, unlike classical music,” he says.

The artist who, who follows a unique style of playing sitar, says that the credit belongs to his father alone. “At one time, Sitar was heavily based on stroke pattern. It was my father who included gayiki in sitar. His style tries to bring the instrument as close as possible to the human voice in terms of replication,” he explains. “It is more tiring and difficult for the fingers of course, but it has so much melody that every instrumentalist follows gayaki ang. If you move away from it, you lose the romanticism.”

Ask the Sitar exponent what he thinks of Hindi songs with racy lyrics, and he touches upon the double standards that exist in the society. “If someone likes songs where the lyrics are ‘maa baap bahar gaye hain, and chewing gum se chipkenge’… how would you feel If your sister was singing the song at the dinner table? Double standards mat karo,” he adds. However, he does feel that there are a lot of producers who shy away from social responsibility. “There are producers who don’t care about social consciousness. The demand for something horrible will never stop; its upto you what you want to choose.”

Not known to many, Khan’s album The Rain was nominated for the Grammys in 2004 for Best Traditional World Music Album. The artist, however, is humble as ever. “Things like nominations and awards are fleetingly exciting things; they’re not enough for me to become complacent. The creation of music should continue,” he says, adding that he is extremely grateful for where he is today. “There’s a beautiful adrenaline boost to know that people all over the world care about your music so much.”

Catch It Live
  • What: Ustad Shujaat Khan and Ustad Zakir Hussain in Concert
  • Where: Modern School, Barakhamba Road
  • When: February 13
  • Timing: 7pm onwards
  • Nearest Metro Station: Barakhamba Road Metro Station on Blue Line

First Published: Feb 06, 2017 12:19 IST