The performers were awed by how Doha has undergone a complete makeover in a few years. The musical soiree was part of the Darb Lusail Festival…reports Asian Lite News
Celebrated names in Bollywood music regaled excited fans most of whom drove in heavy traffic to reach the Lusail stadium – the venue of the final match of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 to be played on December 18.
While Salim-Sulaiman entertained audiences and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan regaled them, a vivacious Sunidhi Chauhan electrified the fans.
The 80,000-capacity Lusail stadium on Friday looked resplendent in its golden hue while performers inside put up a scintillating show to entertain international audiences, a chunk of which came from South Asian countries.
The Bollywood Music Festival, organised by Qatar2022, was kicked off by composing duo Salim-Sulaiman, who along with their troupe brought the crowd to its feet as they belted out popular Bollywood numbers.
The close to 35,000 spectators that came to watch the show had bought tickets despite the condition that only Haya card holders were allowed to attend the event. Another condition allowed tickets to be bought only on the FIFA website.
The performers were awed by how Doha has undergone a complete makeover in a few years. The musical soiree was part of the Darb Lusail Festival.
Salim-Sulaiman are popular composers and Sunidhi Chauhan is a famous playback singer, while Rahat Fateh Ali Khan is a top name in the music scene in Pakistan. Khan is also a popular playback singer in Hindi cinema.
On Friday 4th Nov morning (IST) at 8.30am or Thursday evening (PST), Livdemy (global musical platform) is hosting a virtual launch of Naada Instruments, reports Rahul Laud from Asian Lite.
Ace musician Mahesh Raghavan will host Jordan Rudess, keyboardist/multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire for platinum-selling Grammy-nominated prog rock band, Dream Theatre, to talk about journey of his creation – GeoShred.
Mahesh will be accompanied by Madan Pisharody, rising GeoShred players from India, Siddhiie Kapshikar student from London and other players who will be on the session of Jordan Rudess.
While GeoShred previously has worked with sounds from SWAMEngine, that are sampled, with this release, they’re releasing 14 new sounds that are prepared through rigorous Physical modelling of the instruments. This is the brainchild of Suthambar, a PH D in Computer Science from IISc Bangalore. These new sounds, termed Naada Instruments, include traditional acoustic instruments like Carnatic Violin, Shehnai, Sarangi, Veena, Banbury (Flute) and more.
Initially created as an iPad based effects processor unit, GeoShred is an app on iOS devices. GeoShred brought the touch gestures to slide between notes. Mahesh Raghavan applied his own learnings of Carnatic classical vocals and Western Classical piano was able to use the app to express the Indian melodies, that typically uses bends and slides also known as gamaks and meends. Over the years, Mahesh has pioneered playing both Hindustani and Carnatic classical music on iPad while keeping the Indian intonations and expressions intact, and has gathered a worldwide following.
Mahesh’s concerts with Shravan Sridhar on violin have attrcated the youth in India and their gigs held at unassuming places have triggered huge interest towards Indian classical music among the youth.
It goes without saying that GeoShred sees a huge potential audience in India with Mahesh who is perceievd as one of the brand ambassadors of this app. There are very few professional players today in India . But the sound it creates is soulful and thats probably what has touched millions of hearts.
For someone trained in classical music, that base has been instrumental in shaping him. Adding that he cannot claim to have a deep study as he wanted to create his own music, Harpreet says Dhrupad always leaves him mesmerised…writes Sukant Deepak
From Pash to Bulleh Shah… from redefining the extraordinary in ordinary lives… Of constantly searching for lost simplicity to an ode to people’s power. He ensured that a peculiar calm enveloped everything while he performed. And that was perhaps something that overrode the excellent music he produced.
Singer and musician Harpreet, who performed at the ongoing Jodhpur RIFF (on Saturday), much active on the independent music scene in the country has been a busy man lately — from making an album on Nanak Singh’s immortal ‘Khooni Vaisakhi’ on the Jallianwala Bagh massacre to doing the background score and songs for the movie ‘Sehar’, his first outing in cinema.
“The work on the book is very close to my heart. I recently performed a part of it at the India International Centre in New Delhi and it was such a spiritual experience for me. I have never felt that emotion before and I did not feel like ‘me’ during the entire length of the performance. The voice was coming from someplace else, someplace deep.”
While he feels that there are a decent number of music festivals in the country, but points to the lack of platforms for young independent artists. “We must understand that it is the young independent artists who have just started out who need all the support in the world. We need festivals that are not looking for big names to splash on their line-ups.”
For someone trained in classical music, that base has been instrumental in shaping him. Adding that he cannot claim to have a deep study as he wanted to create his own music, Harpreet says Dhrupad always leaves him mesmerised.
During the pandemic-induced lockdowns, the singer started learning the piano. “You know I started out with a keyboard, but never practised it enough. Lockdowns gave me the chance and space for studying it deeply.”
While the lockdowns proved to be an opportunity for him to work on himself, he says that after a time, the absence of live gigs was quite depressing. “The magic that an audience facilitates is unparalleled. No digital performance can come even close to that. Every live performance is unique and the artist takes away something from it.”
Even as some major corporates have started supporting music as part of their CSR, Harpreet points out the work done by Mahindra in the field of music. “They have really supported me. But more companies need to realise their social responsibilities towards the arts, just like abroad. Young artists need people to invest in them so that they can focus on their work.”
Looking back at his journey that started in 2007, the singer says that his biggest success has been the moment he decided he would do only music. “And my journey, well it has just begun,” he concludes.
Sleep experts list two things that matter a lot when it comes to understanding what kind of music helps a person in falling asleep – individual preference and tempo…writes Prakriti Poddar
Listening to music at bedtime can help in slowing down our heart rate and breathing, and in bringing down levels of stress hormones, easing us into the sleep mode
A good night’s sleep is a vital component of holistic wellbeing, providing a strong foundation for our physical, mental, and emotional health. And yet, roughly 62 percent of adults globally feel that they don’t sleep well at night. This epidemic of sleep deprivation is fueling a growing global industry of sleep technology and aids. A recent report pegged the global sleep tech devices market at USD 15 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow to USD 67 billion in 2030. But don’t lose sleep over this, help is hidden in your playlist.
Science says, to tune in to tune out
A growing body of research is demonstrating how listening to calming music improves sleep by inducing favourable responses such as reduced anxiety, lowered blood pressure, slower breathing, and lower heart rate. In fact, research shows that music stimulates the entire brain including the parasympathetic nervous system which signals the body to rest, relax and sleep.
A meta-analysis of ten different research studies involving a total of 557 participants came to the same conclusion, stating that music is effective at helping sufferers of both acute and chronic sleep disorders get better sleep.
But what kind of music helps us sleep? Slow tempo, fast asleep
Sleep experts list two things that matter a lot when it comes to understanding what kind of music helps a person in falling asleep – individual preference and tempo.
A person’s individual choice in music is a vital factor in determining how the music will affect him/her. So, create a customized playlist that includes songs that have helped you fall asleep in the past or have helped you relax.
Tempo refers to the speed at which the music is played and is often measured in beats per minute (BPM). Some scientists hypothesize that since the human heart normally beats between 60 to 100 BPM, listening to music with a tempo in the range of 60-80 BPM may help in sync with the body’s own rhythms, thus, helping us unwind, relax and fall asleep. But of course, this doesn’t apply to everyone.
Sleep is highly personal and so are music preferences. Some people may experience relaxation – slower breathing and heartbeats – by listening to heavy metal or hard rock. “So, whether it’s hard rock or heavy metal or Bach, find what makes you feel relaxed in your body and what helps you get out of your head,” says Vago. Tapping into the brain’s rhythm for sound sleep
As it happens, there’s plenty of music in the human body. Just like the heart, the brain too has its own rhythms and certain rhythms are best suited for sleep. Cognitive neuroscientist and RoundGlass Research Lead, David Vago, PhD, says that alpha waves, which are around eight to 12 hertz, are what you would see in the brain of someone quietly relaxed, perhaps lying in the bed with their eyes closed. (Also, coincidentally, during meditation.) If you’re searching for music to help you fall asleep, Vago suggests looking for songs that can activate that alpha frequency. How do you find such a piece of music without actually measuring brain waves? The answer lies in listening to your body. Be mindful of what your body is telling you by drawing your attention to your heartbeat, breath and emotional response and how they change on listening to music.
Using technology to sleep better
When it comes to sleep, technology is a double-edged sword. It can inhibit rest as well as enable it. If you have to use your hand-held device at bedtime, use it to sleep more soundly. There are plenty of well-being apps that offer curated sleep playlists and bedtime stories that will help you drift into a restful slumber. Make them a part of your sleep hygiene to sleep better, optimize your well-being and lead a healthier and happier life.
(Prakriti Poddar is Global Head, Mental Health and Wellbeing, RoundGlass, a global Wholistic Wellbeing organization where she is actively involved in creating an integrated platform for Wholistic Wellbeing.)
Shazia Bashir is a young woman from a remote south Kashmir’s militancy prone Achabal area. So passionate she was about singing that she left school midway to follow her dream of becoming a singer…reports Asian Lite News
Lanes and bylanes of Kashmir valley, not long ago filled with smokes and sounds of battles, are stirred by lilting tunes and mellifluous voices drifting in from young men and women heralding a new future for their home.
Music, and Kashmir has a long tradition of music, is the new voice of Kashmir today. Young men and women are no longer misled by false ‘azadi’, they are creating the new tunes of an azadi which is unheard of in Kashmir, a freedom of lyrics and ideas that recalled the Sufi traditions of the Valley.
There is a new storm on the horizon in the new Kashmir, led by young women with guitars and men with voices that rustle the leaves of Chinar and caress the alpine meadows. The valleys and forests, deafened by gunshots, are reverberating with songs and music inspired by Kashmir’s rich ethnic culture. A music event organiser, Asmat Ashai put it lyrically — “The moment you listen to your music, it just brings mountains and valleys right into your heart.”
Shazia Bashir is a young woman from a remote south Kashmir’s militancy prone Achabal area. So passionate she was about singing that she left school midway to follow her dream of becoming a singer. She began to sing at public functions quite young, but it was her performance at a TV show, ‘Milay Sur’ broadcast by DD Kashir, that her voice became a regional sensation. She performs light music, ghazal, sufi besides kirtan, bhajan and lila. She is a member of an all-girl ‘Pragaash band’. In 2016, she was nominated for the Bismillah Khan award by the Sangeet Natak Academy.
Yawar Abdal, from downtown Srinagar, has a different take off as a singer. His love for singing began quite early when he would spend hours writing songs and practising imaginary tunes. He was fired up by the music of eccelsiastical Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and popular music band, Junoon. He wanted to sing like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the lilt of sufi lyrics and the breathtaking pitch of the great master enveloped him. But his family was not keen on his singing; they wanted him to pursue more regular professions. He took a degree in computers and began working in Pune where he also found cafes which invited him to sing. Soon after, he left his job and began singing full time. His first album was a hit, not the second one. He is now working on his third which he believes will go some way in fulfilling his dream, of connecting Kashmir youth to their culture, of Sufi songs and mystical lyrics.
Today he is a confident singer, he knows what people want from him. In his words: “Today, when I look at the number of people wanting to listen to me, my eyes can’t reach to the end and I feel I can’t take a count of it. That love, passion in the eyes of my supporters keeps me going. Greeting the audience in Kashmiri at any place I go to makes me feel that I belong to the land of strong people.”
Like Abdal, Ali Saffudin is a singer-songwriter from Srinagar’s Hassanabad area. Ali’s inspiration are poets like Faiz Ahmed, Faiz, Mehjoor, among others. He was not unaware of happenings around him. In the summer of 2016, he began writing a song about hope and yearning. Militancy was brewing around him, and then in July, Burhan Wani, a militant commander, was killed, sparking protests and violence in the valley. Saffudin could not go beyond the first line for months and it took four years for him to release the music video in May 2020. His love for music and hope trumped the violence around him.
Isfaq Kawa from militancy prone Bandipora had escaped to Hyderabad to work as a waiter where luck turned. He spent his childhood singing publicly but could not continue due to poverty caused by violence and mayhem. In 2015, when he sang out of blue, on request, while working as a waiter in a hotel, luck smiled upon him. The standing ovation at the hotel propelled him to become a singer and gone was fear and hesitation as singing took flight. He soon became a popular singer of Kashmiri folk songs — a hit on the Internet and most-sought after artist in various cities, including Mumbai, Delhi, Chandigarh and Hyderabad. He is a powerful writer and is broadening his genre of music with his first album. He is called the Arijit Singh of Kashmir.
It is amazing how music ebbed and flowed as militancy rose and fell in Kashmir. If a single thread were to tie the young group of singers like Saffudin, it would run parallel to the bloodied trail of militancy. But it is music and its devotees which is today taking Kashmir to a world, as great singer Led Zeppelin sings, of lilting grace.
The music industry is a very fast-changing sector being a mom of two kids, how you manage the business…writes N. LOTHUNGBENI HUMTSOE
Deepti Gupta, a woman who has worked in corporate for ten years and is a mother of two, founded the new age music label company “Treasure Records” in her spare time. Having a woman in the band helps narrow the gender gap in India’s extremely fast-growing and crucial music industry.
Founded in 2021 by Deepti Gupta, CEO, along with her husband, Deepak Gupta, Managing Director, Treasure Records released its first music video, “Mean”, featuring Sameeksha Sud and Avinash Mishra, in March 2022, and its Second Music Video “JAANIYA” featuring Ankit Tiwari as a singer in August 2022 on their official YouTube Channel. The video received an overwhelming response with close to 2 million views. The power duo also owns a production house, “Treasure Tales Media Pvt. Ltd.” for the production of films, web series, and music videos.
Deepti walks us through her career in the music business with the goal of ushering in a new era of concepts, viewpoints, performers, and content for their audience.
Coming from a corporate background and starting a music label company, what are the challenges you faced as a women entrepreneur in this segment?
Deepti: Coming from a corporate background and launching a music label is not that simple for me, as being a mother of two made starting a business difficult. I lost my communication skills and confidence over a 5-year period because I was totally cut off from the corporate industry where I used to meet people. During Covid, I was so involved with my family that I completely lost my confidence and communication skills, which was the main challenge that I faced as a female entrepreneur in this industry. Because, as we all know, this industry requires a person to be very outspoken.
No one in my family or relatives has any prior entertainment industry experience that can assist me in this business. However, I am extremely grateful to some of my friends who have connections in the entertainment industry and helped me find the best music composer, singer, and director. Siddhant Sachdeva is a famous director who helped me out with the best singer and team for Treasure Records. I must say that having 10 years of corporate experience aided me in planning, plotting, and executing the plan. In this journey, I owe everything to my husband, who encouraged me to face the challenge and return to the business.
There are very few women entrepreneurs in the music industry in India. what made you start a music label company- Treasure records?
Deepti: Not just a few, but I believe men and women have equal opportunities in this field. I believe that this industry is equal in that women receive equal recognition and there are many women who have broken this taboo in the Entertainment industry, including female producers, to name a few Ekta Kapoor, Gauri Khan, Twinkle Khanna, and director Deepa Mehta. If there is an actor, there is also an actress, and if there is a male dancer, there is also a female choreographer. Women work in a variety of fields, not just the entertainment industry. When we look at scientists, the army, the navy, and the air force, as well as businesses with remote workers, we see that women work everywhere. Because of the social media capability, they had also established their business there too.
The music industry is a very fast-changing sector being a mom of two kids, how you manage the business.
Deepti: Yes, the music industry is a rapidly changing industry. People enjoy music, and they change their playlists on a daily basis based on their preferences. Music/entertainment is not a 9 to 5 job where you work on the same process every day. Every day there is a release of a new song or campaign based on occasion, and celebration because India is a country of festivals where we celebrate everything. There is so much creativity. It is not difficult, but it is an interesting and creative process, and if I talk about myself as a mom of two kids and managing the business, it is quite challenging, and my kids will always be my first priority, so I need to follow a routine to manage both equally as I believe if there is no discipline and routine in one’s life you can’t achieve anything.
How YouTube is helping new-age production houses like treasure records to reach the target audience?
Deepti: Yes, YouTube is assisting new-age production houses, but it is not limited to the music or entertainment sectors, but in every sector/segment. We live in a digital world and YouTube has become a source of livelihood for many families. If we can see who is cooking, dancing, and educating, it helps them to grow and show their ability to their target audience. As noted previously, television is the only medium available, and it is very expensive. Now, YouTube is the simplest, least expensive, and most accessible option. We can see that not everyone is not comfortable with technology and the majority of the ladies who have no idea how to run or upload video are now managing their channels with the assistance of their family while sitting at home, spreading the message they desire. YouTube is the most popular and accessible platform for startups. Reach is excellent. It is a complete transformation. Previously, we used physical cassettes to reach our intended audience. But now we see that the internet and social media platforms have made it simple for us.
What do you think is the future of Women’s entrepreneurship in the Indian music industry?
Deepti: Lata Mangeshkar is an excellent example of how women in the music industry always have a bright future. Other females in the creative sector, such as producers, cinematographers, directors, actors, and business owners, have come a long way and accomplished a lot. There are women all over the place. I believe that women will have a brighter future in the coming years.
A romantic relationship might flourish amid the soft cold of an overcast sky with a brief downpour. A unique series on PocketFM will feature stories of love, friendship, retribution, and joy. The top five audio series to recommend to your loved ones are:
Silent Love: An innocent 22-year-old girl-Tiya is going through intolerable levels of hardships. She is ill-treated by her step-mother and elder half-sister. One day, Tiya realises that she is sold to goons and feels helpless until Ashwath Aryan, the weapons king enters to rescue her. His entry brings a new twist to Tiya’s life. Ashwath is willing to do anything to save Tiya, so he presents a blank cheque to the goons and rescues her. Listen to this audio series and get to hear the rest of Tiya’s tale and seek answers to the questions.
Ek Ladki ko Dekha To: Anika, an 18-year-old who has never looked at men, suddenly realizes she is pregnant. The whole village of Manali begins to mock her for getting pregnant out of wedlock while Anika is startled at how it happened. Humiliated, Anika leaves Manali and relocates to Bengaluru and lives with her aunt. She gives birth to twins, while one gets abducted. Anika’s search for her six-year-old ends up with her landing up in Manali. Surprisingly six years later when Anika returns to Manali, she is loved and welcomed by everyone. While she is on the Listen to find out what changes the minds of the villagers of Manali.
Hukkum Rani Sa: Nikhita a Delhi girl who dreams of becoming an IAS officer visits her village to attend her cousin’s wedding when life takes a sudden turn. Her cousin elopes and puts Nikhita in a tough spot by forcing her to marry the groom who was chosen for her. To uphold the family’s respect she agrees to marry Ranvijay (groom), ending her dreams. Ranvijay, an angry young man was keen on marriage only to adopt his niece, whose parents died in an accident. The hatred between Ranvijay and Nikhita turns into love soon. Listen to the tale to find out how this love blossomed and what changed his mind. Kashi: Set in the backdrop of Rajasthan the story is about a vivacious and bold girl Kashi who marries the guy of a Royal family Abhay Pratap Singh. The royal heir has been known for his pride and arrogance. Relationship drama ensues throughout the story but there is an element of thriller wherein Kashi foils the conspiracy of enemies who are plotting against the royal family. Will Kashi succeed in defending her family, and winning their trust and love? Tune into the show and find out Kashi’s tale.
Mistaken Identities: Neha’s step-sister dies three months before her wedding. Myra (step-sister) was married to Saransh, but due to her sudden demise, sister Neha was forced to re-marry Saransh. However, Neha was always in love with Saransh since childhood but never tried to intervene in her sister’s marriage life. This sudden development in her life has made her look evil with selfish motives. Will the truth be unveiled, will Neha find love? Listen to the show and find out more about it.
For someone who has worked with a genre-bending filmmaker like Q besides Raju Margin for ‘Gypsy’, and has broken multiple boundaries in music and fused different traditions, she says that sometimes one does not know boundaries are there until she/he has broken them…reports Sukant Deepak
Like other South Indian diaspora kids whose uprooted parents wanted them to retain something of their heritage, she may have started learning Carnatic music as a child. However, her teenage years meant that Susheela Raman could not connect with it anymore… It was old R&B, Motown, and getting touched by the great African-American female artists like Bille Holiday, Aretha Franklin, Nina Simone.
“I was also drawn to old blues like Howlin’ Wolf and Skip James as well as 60s psychedelic rock like the Doors, Jimi Hendrix and the Beatles. I formed a band when I was 16- years – old and we used to perform covers of all the above. My parents were quite shocked when told that I was going to do concerts at local venues. However, looking back now, they were quite accepting and did not stand in my way, allowing me space to follow my curiosity in music,” she tells.
Raman, who moved back to London, where she was born, in her early 20’s rediscovered a new passion for music from the subcontinent. Particularly struck by the sound of qawwali as Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan had begun to become known in the west, she was fascinated by the work of British Indian artist, Sheila Chandra who combined Indian rhythmic and melodic ideas with English folk influences. “It helped set me on my own peculiar musical journey experimenting, combining Western and Indian influences,” remembers the singer.
Someone who has been doing striking conceptual work for years now with her life and musical partner Sam Mills since 1997, says that it has been during this time that was able to reimagine the Carnatic songs of her youth which provided the bedrock for the first album ‘Salt Rain’ alongside songs they wrote ourselves. “‘Salt Rain’ was released in 2001 to significant acclaim. In the end, my parents were very happy and proud that those musical adventures had found an audience,” she smiles.Talk to the singer, who performed with Kanai Das Baul as part of ‘I Believe Art Matters’, an initiative by Teamwork presented by Sheela Kanoria Foundation, about her enchanting ‘Ghost Gamelan’ film series which was a recording, live and film project which began in 2015 after a trip to Indonesia and ran up until the pandemic put a lid on travelling, and she says that hearing Gamelan music in that country was otherworldly and magical.
“We fell in love with these beautifully dissonant-sounding metallic orchestras. We ended up in Solo
in Central Java and it was intriguing to discover that the South Indian connection with Javanese culture runs deep. We met some excellent musicians who experiment with music as a way of life and worked a new style of working with this music combining our own songs (in English) with the gamelan. It is quite a unique sound,” she says.
For someone who has worked with a genre-bending filmmaker like Q besides Raju Margin for ‘Gypsy’, and has broken multiple boundaries in music and fused different traditions, she says that sometimes one does not know boundaries are there until she/he has broken them.
“Perhaps being a child of the diaspora meant that I have to create my own mix of things else how would my life make sense? Collaboration is always with individuals not traditions. People represent themselves and we all mix with who we want to and are able and welcome to mix with. Making music is part of being human. It travels and it will always evolve and change. Perhaps creation is sometimes destruction. I am not sure there are really any ‘purists’ who frown at any experimentation. That is a caricature, but we have had blowback from cultural conservatives who claimed we were ‘mixing the unmixable’ or showing disrespect, which was never the intention,” says the musician who believes that music is in the body and of the body, whether performing or hearing — but the ‘physical’ does not mean things are not spiritual or magical or transcendent.
Icon Star @alluarjunonline ‘s #PushpaTheRise is the First Album to hit 5 BILLION VIEWS ????”…reports Asian Lite News
Pan-India blockbuster ‘Pushpa – The Rise’ may have released more than a year ago but the Allu Arjun starrer continues to set new highs in the popularity stakes. The movie has achieved yet another record by becoming the first ever album in India to hit 5 billion views.
Taking to social media, the makers of the film shared the poster and wrote “The Biggest Ever Feat In Indian Cinema ?????
Icon Star @alluarjunonline ‘s #PushpaTheRise is the First Album to hit 5 BILLION VIEWS ????”
From the time the first poster of the film was dropped to the time the film lasted in the theatres, ‘Pushpa’ became a rage across markets.
From ‘Sammi Sammi’ to ‘Eyy Bidda Idhi Naa Adda’, Indians grooved to the movie’s lyrics. ‘Oo Antava Ooo Antava’ went on to became the biggest party anthem of the year.
‘Pushpa: The Rise’, directed by Sukumar, broke several box office records and even entered the Rs 100 crore mark in the Hindi belts. It went on to mint Rs 300 cr worldwide.
Believing that it is important that young and upcoming singers do not look for shortcuts, he says that consistent riyaaz is paramount…reports Sukant Deepak
At the age of 13, he ran away from home to Gorakhpur in search of a guru after listening to a voice on the radio. Training under Ustad Rahat Ali Khan of Gorakhpur and imbibing the Patiala Gharana style of singing, singer Daler Mehndi, one of the very few Punjabi musicians who continue to be relevant decades after he took to the mic, says that his commitment to music is like what breath is to life.
“It is my highest truth and the sole purpose of my life. It is the art form in which I have found my oneness,” he tells .
The singer, who recently released his single ‘Apna CM’ dedicated to Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, admits that social media has completely changed the music scenario, with singles ruling the roost and albums becoming a thing of the past.
“This is a great time for all performing artists. In this age of fast consumption, variety is the key. One can now work on tracks according to how she/he is feeling and not wait for an entire album considering the latter would sometimes take years or months. It is a great feeling to be able to continuously work on your music and ensure that it comes out timely and regularly,” says Mehndi, who has to his credit evergreen numbers like ‘Ho Jayegi Balle Balle’, ‘Dardi Rab Rab Kardi’, ‘Tunak Tunak Tun’, ‘Zor Ka Jhatka’ and ‘Nach Baby Nach Kudi’.
At a time when in face of Punjabi singer Moosewala’s recent murder, there has been much debate about the lyrics in contemporary Punjabi songs, Mehndi says he has always been extremely conscious about the lyrics he uses.
“As an artist, our art has a capacity to bring about behaviour change in society. I believe each one of us should strive for that. It is extremely important for artists to be conscious about what we are doing,” says the singer and lyricist who has been instrumental in making Bhangra popular worldwide, as well as Indian pop music independent of Bollywood music.
Believing that it is important that young and upcoming singers do not look for shortcuts, he says that consistent riyaaz is paramount.
“Humility is important and staying away from alcohol and drugs will benefit them greatly.”
Mehndi, who recently started a series ‘Jewel of Music’ that involves looking for talents who have not been able to get their due owing to lack of exposure, financial conditions, family restrictions or other reasons, says, “We are releasing albums and singles of such talented artists.”
Ask him what comes first –lyrics or the music, and he says that it all depends on the creative flow. Stressing that most of my songs are created extempore, he adds, “The famous ‘Namoh Namoh’ was created in Islamabad while performing on stage and ‘Kudiyan Shehar Diyan’ came together with words and music while performing live on stage in Nagpur.”
Adding that the government and large corporates must patronise musicians and artists as they are the custodians of values and art culture for future generations, he concludes, “They need to be financially comfortable, give them tax and health benefits.”