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News |  18 Aug 2017 19:38 |  By RnMTeam

Major highlights from 'Is music in India really independent?'

MUMBAI: In the present scenario the craft or the artist is being constantly attacked on freedom of speech and expression. This has now become a topic of concern most of the artists who work day in and day out to produce the best.

VH1 India recently hosted a Facebook live where they discussed about freedom of speech in music. The live talk had Vishal Dadlani, Saba Azad, Karsh Kale, Vivian Divine and Sahil Makhija who shared their thoughts on this topic.

Singer, producer and lyricist Vishal Dadlani shared his thoughts first on being asked if it is not matter of concern for them. He said, “Yes in this strife full environment settling things is not a concern because very few people bring their music to the battle field. Nobody is really taking about the real sh** that needs to be said via music. So in that sense there is no censorship in Hindi space. Actually there is nothing worth censoring apart from some acts which actually talks about the issues.”

He also added, “In regional space there is a lot of suppression because of lot of political sort of discussion that music takes to the people whether it’s Kabir Kala Manch they have a lot to say. I feel they are more connected with the reality than most of the people in the industry.”

Saba Azad also put her thoughts saying, “To be honest no one in this room would have been that oppressed. We are very privileged to sing but singers do not use their privilege especially in political sense. People like Kabir Kala Manch who cannot even sing they are arrested and some of them are in jail for singing. As for us we not taking the advantage of the privilege we have.”

To contrast this opinion Dadlani said, “No I feel we have a very small and nascent scene. We even have a really tiny audience we address as an Indie musician. So even if you say something it wouldn’t travel far. Every time I have tried saying something musically I have to approach it from language stand point and figure out how we are going to take it to the people. I also find there is an atmosphere of oppression (Hypothetically) everyone starts to smile and wave. There is discussion about everything else but not the fundamental things of music. So it is not we who choose to do that. People make us do that.”

There was another question which was put forward in live show, what could be the worst thing that can happen when as an artist you want to say something but you cannot. Saba responded to this saying, “I have just realized the potential of music what they can really do to affect the change. I have done political music and protest music I often find the lyrics are lost. I might be saying something extremely political and bang on straight and people don’t get it. They dance like a disco party. Nobody has any idea; they are not really listening to the lyrics. So what I am afraid of is that I think I might have to change the medium, language and be more direct.”

Karsh Kale also backed saying, “This phase is not new when we look back historically. All the bands that came new were censored. We are being divisive. We cannot actually say what we want to say.”

Dadlani shared his experience on the same note, “There was a time when I used to say what I wanted to say but now I have to be careful because now there are certain laws. So as an artist I have to be smarter too.”

Saba added to this, “There are very few voices who actually speak and if they become silent we would be left with no one. So we have to be self censored first. We have to be extra smarter in the sense that what we produce should have constructive impact, should not be a pointless rant and it should not be distractive.”

During the show Dadlani mentioned about the recent movie Lipstick under my burha saying, “When this movie was made Censor Board CBSC India, refused to certify because they said it had lady content. But when the movie came out it was real, rigid and it mattered. It has really done so well for itself. Although it took some time for them but they came out they came out so well. So what I think is that Indian people who listen to Indian music are willing to face the reality. I don’t think anyone is really taking that type of music to the people.”

Dadlani spoke of rapper Vivian saying, “What Vivian is doing is really important. It comes from the street; it is real and talks about stuff that has gritty texture in it. My oppression comes from the place of thoughts, oppression against life and living.”

Vivian Divine who was also part of the live show at VH1 said, “If I don’t like a song I don’t go for it. I have come to the point where I strive for Bollywood and popularity but that is not my only aim. My aim is to make music and work with people I want to work with if not today then tomorrow.”

Sahil Makhija and Karsh Kale concluded the live show saying, “Bollywood is all about numbers and it is massive business. Not all like to listen all kinds of music.”