Our industry has been at the forefront of pain for some time: Raghav Mathur
Canada-based singer and songwriter Raghav Mathur, known for the 2005 hit Angel Eyes, talks about technology’s impact on musicians, and warns people to be wary of mediocre content.Updated: May 19, 2020 18:17 IST
It is a testing time for performing artists all over the world, as the battle against Covid -19 rages on. However, the silver lining to all this lockdown and social distancing is the fact that, many of them have got the chance to connect with their families in a way they could never before. Singer-songwriter Raghav Mathur has been on the move for the “last 15 years” of his life, feels “blessed” that he is able to spend time with her four-year-old daughter, Riya.
“I’ve been spending as much as possible time with my four-year-old daughter, Riya. Being a musician in Canada who tours globally means a lot of planes and hotels these last 15 years, and a lot of time away from home. Making up for it now is a blessing. She is everything I could have ever hoped for in a kid. I’m blessed,” says Raghav who has recently released his single, Sufi, on the music streaming platform Jio Saavn.
The 39-year-old, feels that the immediate future looks grim for musicians because of lack of live shows, and feels that the Internet will remain the only way for artists to interact with their fanbase, which has not been as lucrative as other platforms have been in the past.
“This is going to be yet another transitional time for music, our industry has been at the forefront of pain for some time in terms of how technology has impacted the various income sources for artists, yet through it, all artists have remained resilient and used our creativity to adapt. The income lost now in touring income, and the danger of how that looks for the foreseeable future is a cause of great concern,” he says, however adding that he has “no doubt” that the respect for artists will go up after the crisis ends.
“I have no doubt, however, that through all this, as we sit in our homes, listening to music and watching movies to help us all cope with the situation, the collective value of music and art has never been higher, and perhaps artists will benefit in the future from us all being reminded of that value it has in our lives,” he says.
The Toronto-born singer is also happy that the Internet has helped musicians to release their music, but remains wary of content which is “mediocre art that we are told is excellent”. “It’s going to remain complicated but the power of what works in music will always remain with the listener. The internet has played a significant role in both introducing us to things we would have no access to before and also inundating us with mediocre art that we are told is excellent,” says Raghav.
Known for his hits such as So Confused (2003), Can’t Get Enough (2004) and Angel Eyes (2005), Raghav feels lucky to have been able to create a space for himself in the industry, and feels that in his 15-year-long career, he has succeeded only when he has made music that comes from his heart.
“ I know I have a unique place as an artist and it’s been important to me to be true to that. It’s both created a lane that has given me much adulation and also been an encumbrance in the eyes of those who would prefer to pin me down to one more marketable but culturally ambiguous product. I know this for sure though, when I’ve made music that I love and feel proud of I’ve been happier and when I’ve ever wavered from that, I’ve been less convinced of the artistic result. It’s a learning process. If you are trying to keep up with something or chase a sound, you’ve already lost the race,” he signs off.
Interact with the author on Twitter/@sammysamarth