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Features |  12 Aug 2017 17:42 |  By RnMTeam

Bollywood saga: Words are valued, but the ones who pen them are not

MUMBAI: When one talks about the people involved in the song making process of a hit track the only mentions are composers, singers and actors. There is only one in ten who states the name of the lyricist. It’s a sad state but it’s very much present and this demotivates many from entering the profession.

It’s the lyricists’ words that give a track its meaning. We definitely can’t remember the beats of a track and sing them. It’s the words that we sing but there is no value for the words or the wordsmiths of the Bollywood music industry.

Radioandmusic.com spoke to some of the well-known lyricists and asked what they feel about the current situation. The answers came straight from within and we just hope they reach a million other hearts.

Prashant Ingole who has written lyrics for films like Bajirao Mastani and Mary Kom compared the current times with the old days and stated, “Importance was given to lyrics, words, poetry and the story telling of the song back in the days. Now the focus has shifted to the hook lines. Your song gets selected provided you have a catchy hook line. Nobody is concerned about the antara or the mukhada of the song anymore.”

When asked about his thought on the issues that lyricists normally face, he told us, “In India, lyricists have no value.”

He further added, “When a song becomes a hit, people either remember the actors or singers and composers, people hardly know the lyricist of the song. Even in the trailer, the singer and composers name comes first, and lyricists name is the last credit that comes in the order.”

Action Jackson, Khiladi 786, Krissh 3, Son of Sardar fame lyricist Sameer said that the lack of visibility for lyricist isn’t a recent phenomenon. “It has been there since Sahir Ludhianvi’s time. Initially, the radio channels and the movie posters never used to mention the name of the lyricist, but after Sahir Saab protested and went on a strike, they started giving the lyricists name. Basically, this is a huge conspiracy, where, whenever a song is played, only the name of singer and composer is taken.”

Remuneration is also a topic of debate. The lyricists are underpaid according to Sameer in comparison to singers and composers.

Munna Michael, Hindi Medium, Baaghi, Airlift feature Kumaar recent work but the list is never ending. Kumaar too stated that B-town is currently, hook line focused. "The lyricists are expected to come up with new words and catchy hook lines all the time. This wasn’t the case in old times, words like Sanam, Dilbar, Deewana which actually made the songs filmy are not used anymore, and that is why songs, though filmy, don’t sound filmy anymore."

Manoj Muntashir whose given the music industry many hits, that also includes songs in Half Girlfriend, M.S.Dhoni, Rustom, Kapoor & Sons while sharing his thoughts, told us that, during Anand Bakshi’s time it was possible to write lyrics with depth, like Chingari Koi Bhadke etc, and it was possible because the fraternity, as well as audience, had a deep knowledge of words and poetry, which is not possible in current times. “The current songs are only made to play in the clubs and discos,” said the lyricist.

His opinion on the recognition issue was a totally different one; he said that he does not have any such problem. “The lyricists that have these issues are themselves responsible for this situation They do not have any confidence in themselves to raise their voices against the problems that they have. I am very happy with the recognition I get and have no regrets,” stated Muntashir.

All of them appreciated Javed Akhtar’s fight for the lyricists’ rights. Each of them also supported him and did tell that Javed Akhtar is doing commendable work.

The lyricists are also optimistic about the IPRS (The Indian Performing Right Society Limited) and have full faith that everything will go well once it comes in working.