Tough to take the plunge… Tougher to stay afloat.
In a country like ours, if someone creates a new way of doing things and succeeds, then many others will start emulating that “formula” blindly, and eventually spoil the system! Remember the NBFCs mushrooming in the 1990s and failing even faster in a matter of just a few years?
Has the “music industry” in India trapped itself in a downward spiral too? Try humming songs from the last 4 years and chances are you won’t be able to win an Antakshari competition with them; in all likelihood you won’t remember more than the first line of these recent “hit” songs. We now get to hear things from film producers like, “I want a club feel bro”, “make it in the Arijit template”, “what was that last hit? make something similar…” etc. while musicians work on new tunes or interludes. And some people now complain for not being thanked when their own lifted tune is re-created!
In the film “Secret Superstar”, it is shown that an unreleased song composed by the music director in 2007 is being re-created in 2017. The new version is a “remix” only because he feels that this version will “work” today. And he justifies his act saying that the producer is interested in a quick ROI and won’t appreciate the slower melody. It was just like how the protagonist was interested in keeping track of her video’s views on YouTube more than anything else (like say learning, practicing or listening to new music). Everything is now about getting “famous” online it seems.
One good take-way from the movie was: Keep your old session files safely stored and backed up. You never know when you will find them handy!
Musicians are no less than entrepreneurs. i would say they risk even more than a typical entrepreneur – their money, time and overall social acceptance as well. They go through a lot of practice (and pain) every day. It is tough to take a full-time plunge into the world of music making today. And its getting tougher to stay afloat.
Getting an award from some magazine or in an opinion poll or being seen on TV is no guarantee that you will get a song to sing or compose the very next day. Or maybe not even after 10 years of winning an Indian Idol title. Topping iTunes charts with your song doesn’t help get more work either! The struggle begins again after all the “likes” and “views” are done with.
Then what can get musicians work today? Well, i have no answer to that. Do you?