| 02 Apr 2023
Not happy with music in 2012: Javed Akhtar

MUMBAI: The production value of contemporary Bollywood music in 2012 may have improved a lot but it has done little to impress veteran lyricist Javed Akhtar.

Speaking with, Akhtar who has penned some of Indian cinema’s best lyrics has said that the current music is disconnected to the Indian psyche and will sink into obscurity unlike their predecessors.

“To be honest, I am not too happy with the current pop music because it is disconnected with the ‘average Indian’. In the West, there are pop singers and musicians who sing and play. And their music is meant to be heard- the average Western man, be he from the US, UK, Ireland or whichever place doesn’t sing himself, he listens to the songs. In India, everybody sings. But today, the songs are being made for singers and hence the feel of the music is not connected to the average man on the street,” he said.

Almost every contestant in music reality show sings the classics from the 50’s and 60’s because they connect to the tunes and the lyrics. This connection is maintained to the new generation of 17-18 year old contestants who choose to sing these ‘oldies’ over contemporary songs.

“I am not against growth or advancement in art or technology. But I feel our music should grow like a tree- it can have branches all over, but it stays connected to its roots,’ he pointed out.

Akhtar said that the cause of this disconnect can be traced to the new breed of directors and producers who are brought up on a diet of Western music.

“Today’s songs are designed to be heard only. And they are not bothered with the lyrics. But if one doesn’t hear the lyrics, the song doesn’t remain in the memory- it doesn’t make an impact.”

Also sharing his views on the implementation of the Copyrights Act which will give royalties to artists and creators of songs, Akhtar said new law will transform the music industry with artists getting their just dues for their creativity and labour.

“The time of expectation changed into reality when the Copyright Amendment was passed in May. Things will be transformed when it begins to be implemented in February 2013. Although we can expect initial resistance, the Act will secure the royalty of artist which will (even) remain to their next of kin till 60 years in the unfortunate circumstance that s/he dies.”

He said the royalties generated in the Indian music industry was in the tune of hundreds of crores but under a ‘fair’ and ‘just’ nothing under the sun can take away their rights.