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News |  17 Jul 2017 16:46 |  By RnMTeam

Ghazal then and now: Pankaj Udhas

MUMBAI: Khazana – A Festival of Ghazals’ concert, which brings together the country’s renowned Ghazal artists for music aficionados across the globe, is gearing up to mesmerize the audience on 21 and 22 July in Hotel Oberoi. And, while they continue to work to give the audience an excellent show, here is what ghazal legend Pankaj Udhas, also the man behind the success of Khazana Festival has to say on Ghazal then and now.

Ghazal legend expressed that ghazal was always in Bollywood. Songs of Mohd Rafi, Taloot Mahmood, Lata Ji, Asha Ji and many more only ghazal that time. “That was the time ghazal had to be incorporated in Bollywood cinema. That was the popularity of ghazal to attract the audience. During those days even the music labels had revenues and profit after the sales of cassettes and CDs. They invested their profit on the new artists, the new recordings, and the new releases. But once the sales and releases stopped the entire streaming dried up,” said Udhas who feels that exit of physical sales is one of the major reasons for the lack of new talent in this genre of music.

On the importance of literature in ghazal, the singer stated, “One needs to know Urdu literature, poetry and language to understand it. 40 years back Urdu was a subject, the dialogue of movies and the lyrics of the songs composed were in Urdu. These days we see the dialogue in Hindi and English or Hinglish. Even the music is going through that phase.”

Commenting on contemporary western music being the new big thing in India the singer expressed, “We are easily carried away by International music but at the end of the day we are still very much grounded, we still listen to our own music. I don’t think we will break away from our roots. I’m still confident that we will certainly revert back to our roots because it has tremendous power and foundation. It is very difficult to move away from there and the simple example is that when you go to night clubs you listen to International music. If you analyse the International music, it is only to the extent of occasion and places. But at the end of the day, the maximum number of concerts happening in our country are Bollywood, classical, light or regional.”

Lastly, the singer stated that too many options complicate things for the current generation. “I have my sympathy with the present generation. We were clear about vision as to what to do and how to do.”