| 29 Nov 2023
Palash Sen - Let a hundred talents bloom

As I begin to write this piece, I am amazed at the timing of getting this opportunity, for there is so much to say. I shall repay this favour by writing the truth and nothing less. Anything more would be war!

I write at a time when the music industry is at its worst. Surprised? Please don't be, because the truth is always known but always swept under the carpet and trust me, this carpet needs some serious dusting.

We live in times when music isn't made just for the sake of music. We live in times when the independent, non-ilm thinking and music for the sake of music' is languishing.

We live in times when music companies and record labels don't promote music (God only know what are they promoting) . In times when music channels play only film music or reality shows .We live in the times of Bollywoodisation of anything that moves and homogenization of a bewildered generation of an entertainment starved nation. A generation that's told what's good or what's cool or what's happening by a media that's as clueless, and on the payroll of people who decide what entertainment is. The rot started about four years ago when three things happened.

The film guys woke up one day and decided that the best way to promote a film was to make a film song music video, which would not tell the viewer what the film was about, it would just be an elaborate video with stars /starlets /item items / anything that dances. He had money and the resources to make a lavishly vulgar video. He would then, with the help of a record company, buy space on the music channels and radio FM channels. The TV and radio guys went slurp and were willing bed fellows. You see, we are the only nation with a music industry that actually pays for a song to get played, unlike the west, where artists and labels are played according to airplay.

CD sales dipped badly because music was available on the Internet for free download or radio or TV, so why would you need to buy a CD?! Herein rises the problem, because the music companies were too shortsighted to not support music that would sell off the shelf for a longer period beyond the initial hope. Anyway, because they stopped making money, they stopped putting in money, which leads leads us to the third point.

Suddenly, there was free software available for the labels to just pick up and market without having to spend any money at all. The movement started by the brigade that was carrying their records and videos across the border and offering it to the labels for just distribution. Suddenly, the labels were not ready to spend any money at all. Who would?. Who would spend for something that he would get for free anyway? So here we are a nation that will get to hear music either from films or from anyone who would sell it for free.

And no matter what anyone thinks, I know that everyone in this country or beyond the borders doesn't want to only listen to a particular type of music. Music is like life, and life has different hues, different colours, sounds and emotions. Life isn't one shade forever, so why should music be that way? Whoever is reading this or might have got to know why this nation full of gloriously talented people doesn't showcase most of them, might have got some answers .

Yes, people have loved, welcomed and embraced my music but it's time to open your doors to many more Euphorias, to another Indian Ocean, to countless lucky Ali's or Silk Routes, to one more Indus Creed or more Colonial Cousins. We need a new Remo, another Usha, more Rabbis.. .. we need the next generation of musicians who make music for the sake of music and not according to someone's whim or fancy, for the sake of money .

Open your hearts, people and don't let the talent of the country die. We are the land of music and the music we seem to be producing doesn't make me really proud.

This is a cry from my heart and I just pray that your hearts are listening. Lastly, to all music channels, record labels and the media – guys, you made Euphoria what we are. If you could do it for us, I know you can do it one more time..


Palash Sen is lead vocalist of Indian band Euphoria