Palash Sen slams musicians for promoting stars over music: ‘These days, they are either crying or partying’
Palash Sen talks about the situation of musicians and the music industry in India, what he believes can change things and more.Updated: Jun 03, 2020 17:53 IST
Singer Palash Sen, who recently came up with a new single featuring his own son, Kinshuk, is angry with the way musicians are treated in our country, especially in the Hindi film industry.
Speaking to Hindustan Times, he said, “Everything happens for a reason. I feel this reset happening in our society will rejig the entire system for the poor people, the migrants. Perhaps the sector will be more organised. What will bring back the migrant from their native villages? There has to be more security for them. It is just our country where we are so unorganized in so many sectors – music, for instance, is not a proper industry. I understand musicians are better off than daily wage workers, but many musicians work on a project to project basis, what about them? Where do musicians go and ask for help?”
Reminded of the indie pop genre that ruled the charts in the 90s, Palash added, “Why does this country not have a music industry? We call it music industry but is it really an industry? The problem is that music is dependant on film industry right now. What they (film industry) realised by the end of 90s and early 2000s is that they need to end the supremacy of musicians. We had Lucky Ali and Daler Mehendi who were all stars in their own right. That era was so beautiful, there was film music and there were these people making their own music. Film industry got a little insecure, I guess, and thought they must not allow musicians to grow as stars.”
He further blamed the ways films are promoted and said, “Bollywood films are promoted on the wheels of music and where do you see the musician? You only see an actor in his mid-50s and a young heroine, at the most the director. Where is the musician promoted?”
Asked if the situation is so dire because musicians do not voice their dissent enough, the Euphoria founder said, “We now have musicians making so-called independent songs where the biggest thing is the star featured in them. Look at Badshah, for example. Recently I saw a song where two TV stars were the biggest thing about the song. Some Bigg Boss guy featured in it -why is he a star? It is independent music, why not promote your work. I don’t say actors should not be promoted, but why should music rely on actors for popularity?,” he wondered.
“This is why I have always ensured I worked as a band, you get to see each musician. Bollywood is not talented enough – except, perhaps, for Ayushmann Khurrana, Vicky Kaushal, Rajkummar Rao. However if you watch reality shows, you will get to know that there is no dearth of talent in music. I also believe musicians are too scared to command and demand respect. They fear loss of work and relevance in the industry but they fail to see the long-term repercussions. Even our kids will continue fighting for significance,” he said.
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He also condemned the kind of music being created both in films and outside. “There is folk music, rock, classical pop, there’s all kinds of singers and music in this country but if you are not in films, you will not be promoted enough and people won’t listen to your work. In films, what variety do you see in music? People like Harbhajan Mann, Lucky Ali – everybody had their own style. Now, you hear the same music, words and arrangements. All the songs...Either they are crying or partying, (there is no third type). How much will people cry? So much damage has been done that people are only making remixes. It is not right that Bollywood is the only thing we have in the name of our culture,” he said.
About his latest song with Kinshuk, Palash added, “The challenge was to make a song and story in just one minute. After doing feature films and music albums, I realised it was the toughest part – to tell my story in a minute. The whole video was shot remotely – I directed it from my Delhi house, the crew was in Mumbai, an actor shot it in his house in Chennai, Kinshuk shot it in his house in Los Angeles. I can literally call it a nightmare- we shot through the night. The whole shoot lasted for 15-16 hours, coordinating across timelines. It was difficult but a true lockdown video! Hope this works out for Euphoria and Likee. I really didn’t realise it will be so difficult. By the end, I think artists will now be able to handle more stuff than they usually do. If actors become their own DOPs it will be fun.”
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