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News |  17 Apr 2018 19:03 |  By RnMTeam

Everything that Bollywood does is a wash, rinse and repeat of Hollywood: Sherrin Varghese

MUMBAI: Finding his own way, Indipop singer, Sherrin Varghese has created an identity for himself with his independent style of music. The singer, who calls Bollywood and music labels responsible for overshadowing independent artists, sheds light on the nepotism in Bollywood.

“60 years of mass conditioning by this omnipresent devil called Bollywood that has made sure that the entire country has only heard music, which is tied to a script or the narrative of a film. Hence conditioning that if your song is not part of Bollywood, then it is not good enough. Everything that Bollywood does is a wash, rinse and repeat of Hollywood. The French don't call their cinema Frenchwood or the Chinese don't call it Chinawood, but interestingly we have a Kollywood, Tollywood and also a Mollywood.”

Sherrin, who blames music labels and Bollywood for the downfall of indie-pop singers said, “Music labels who were previously happy with the devotional, classical and film segment based genres, perceived the rise of the Popstars as threats, as the gigs and concerts where the big bucks are, would have an incremental fan base to the singer /artist /band slamming their songs, compared to a lame film actor dancing and lip syncing at an award ceremony. So, Bollywood decided that if they can't join them, to ruin them - they took the best of Indipop and converted them to Bollywood. Sonu Nigam, K.K., Mohit Chauhan, Adnan Sami crossbred the sounds of Bollywood-Pop and were responsible for the tectonic shift in the consumption of music from Indipop to the only Bollywood. Even my alma mater, A Band Of Boys did a film based on their lives, succumbing to pittance money given for composing the music for that film by Eros Music under the garb of next level. Bollywood brought in the mega-bucks to these artists and their films, fame and budgets got every aspirational virtuosic singer with exceptional pipes to believe that going the Kishore Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle  and  Mohammed Rafi is the only route.”

He further added, “Music labels, like T-Series and Tips, got extremely rich and exploited the non-existent copyright laws in India, stole all the royalties from singers, lyricists, music directors by making them sign away their rights in the hope of making them overnight stars. Not just this, but Bollywood has also managed to severely hijack national airtime by buying ad slots on prime-time television, music and entertainment channels in bulk for ramming it with 30 sec promos of garbage music that were and are only promotional vehicles of driving an audience to the theatre, to see the movie with a shelf life of not more than a week.”

The singer, who believes that the overshadowing by Bollywood has led to the affiliation of indie musicians towards festivals, also said, “There is a huge wave of Indie musicians and EDM artists, vibing solely on the niche festival circuit and are slowly gaining popularity amongst the educated youth, who are fed up with Bollywood. They mirror the same taste that we had at one point of time and a steady flow of rock musicians, organic-rlectronic bands, live electronica button pushers, DJs, dub artists, singer-songwriters who thrive on the internet and hate Bollywood can be seen. This right now is nascent and needs to grow rapidly. Nucleya, Bandish Projekt, Raghu Dixit, Indian Ocean to name a few are the torch bearers of this batch.”

On being asked to comment on the western artists, Sherrin said, “When talking about the west, artists write their own songs and get them produced by the best, to have a content identity of their own and retain it for life. They are largely the name and the face of that song. Whereas here a singer is known by the film or the hero who he/she has done playback for and would invariably have a lack of complete ownership of their songs, because of the bolly-edge to it.”

Sherrin also criticized singers like Yo Yo Honey Singh and  Badshah from creating sexist music. “As for the likes of Honey Singh or Badshah, who in my opinion are yesterday's Baba Sehgal, are somewhat responsible for the sexist nature of the songs that the country's idiotic rappers have mass produced. Their music videos are suggestive, have edgy lyrics, and are solely responsible for the eve-teasing, perverse disrespectful attitude towards women, feeding a vulnerable generation's mind with sexist rape mentality.”

Lastly, reminiscing the golden era, when independent Indi-pop artists flourished, Varghese said, “There was a golden period in our country during the 90's where independent artists like Alisha Chinai, Shaan, Euphoria, Silk Route, A Band Of Boys to name a few, became the cream of Indi-pop belting out songs, which were an integral part of their own self-expression. During that era, they made their own mark with only meritorious rotations of their songs on TV or radio channels, which lapped up these as they did not have any content to go with.”

Sherrin Varghese is an actor, singer and a member of India’s first and only Boy Band, A Band Of Boys that also had Karan Oberoi, Sudhanshu Pandey, Chaitnya Bhosale and Siddharth Haldipur.