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Shankar Mahadevan: Don’t listen to music for free, pay for it

Music composer-singer Shankar Mahadevan, who has a Bollywood career spanning two decades, feels people are slowly buying digital music legally.

music Updated: Oct 30, 2017 16:17 IST
Samarth Goyal
Samarth Goyal
Hindustan Times
Shankar Mahadevan,Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy,Bollywood
Shankar Mahadevan will be releasing independent music soon.

Music composer-singer Shankar Mahadevan urges fans and listeners to “buy” music instead of listening to it for “free”. The 50-year-old feels that listeners need to “support” musicians, especially those who are not associated with a big record label or Bollywood.

“An artist puts in a lot of effort to make that one song. It’s not just a four-minute or a five-minute number that you listen to. There is an elaborate model that goes into planning the song. People who are associated with big record labels or films might not feel it’s that important. But there are many artists who put in their own money in writing and producing a song. They shoot their own videos, and that’s why they need money,” he says.

Shankar, who is part of the popular music composing trio Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, wants audiences to appreciate the “efforts” put in by musicians. “The audience need to realise that there’s a lot of effort that’s put in. They need to appreciate that. People should pay for the content that they are listening to. There needs to be a sense of motivation for the artist as well, and they (audience) need to appreciate that,” he adds.

However, Shankar is not entirely dismissive of the listeners, and feels that they are slowly learning to “pay” for the music. “I won’t say that no one is paying for music at all. That’s not the case. Now times are changing. Slowly with the legalisation of downloads, people are now paying for music. Especially digitally, people are going to streaming sites, and paying for that service. That’s a good thing and shows that times are changing,” he says.

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First Published: Oct 30, 2017 16:12 IST