He may have swayed us with his mesmerizing tone over the years, sung an array of chartbusters for several Bollywood hit films like DIL CHAHTA HAI, KAL HO NAA HO, KOI MIL GAYA, JAB WE MET, DON - THE CHASE BEGINS, FANAA, KABHI ALVIDA NA KEHNA, 3 IDIOTS, WANTED and many more, lent his vocals for leading men of Bollywood from Shahrukh Khan to Salman Khan to Aamir Khan to Hrithik Roshan & others, yet the very versatile singer Shaan is displeased with the ongoing trend. We had an exclusive encounter with the crooner recently and he spoke about the current sensation Yo Yo Honey Singh, how music has lost its essence, how singers now succumb to doing only item numbers, why people are crazy behind party anthems and much more in glamsham’s Music Mania section. . Read On:
Being a singer was considered an elite thing back then, what do you have to say about the current scenario with so many songsters flooding in the industry?
Singing is now a universal thing. It’s no more a specialized thing. Anyone who wishes to sing can. It’s like breathing, talking or walking and it’s going to become more and more common place. Unless you can do something incredible with your voice you are just among millions who are singing today with the gizmos, where people are constantly being corrected. Going back to golden era is always going to be great and the voice is also genuine. I was probably among the last generation of singers whose voice is not being pitched. But even that changed from 2004-2005. Now even my voice is being pitched wherever I sing.
Is singing losing its sheen?
If Honey Singh croons a number and considered as a song, which is ideally what? a rap or someone just talking in rhythm, than everyone can sing. If I ask you to sing ‘Lungi Dance’ even you will be able to. How difficult is that? And if that is accepted as biggest hit, then the level of song writing and songs has dropped so hard that if I add four more notes people won’t be able to sing it. You just need to have fun beats, tune and lyrics to make a song today. It’s about a song-writer. How smart, fun or catchy songs you are able to write is what matters now. It’s no more about singers.
But Honey Singh changed/brought in a new wave…
…Honey Singh has brought in a trend of lyrically demeaning stuff. Even if these songs are not working, but audiences are lapping it up. Even parents are making their kids listen to Honey Singh songs. The mindset has changed.
People find ‘It’s the Time To Disco’ as nursery rhyme today compared to ‘Aunty Police Bula Legi’. But the fact is ‘It’s the Time To Disco’ has better beats to any of these songs. It has got cleaner lyric but no one wants to hear to it. People are going crazy for Honey Singh numbers. Even kids don’t want to listen to ‘All Is Well’. I am still waiting for the day when youngsters, at one point of time, come and say that ‘We want to listen to clean and nice stuff’.
Don’t you think it is the order of the day? Ultimately only such songs sell
I am intrinsically a singer and would like to hear songs which have singability to it. But who am I to dictate what works and what doesn’t. For the common man if it is working and if these songs are reaching out to them, then who can stop it?...Earlier also there were raunchy lyrics like in the track ‘Piya Tu Ab Toh Aaja’ but you never felt ashamed of it because the tune, the singing, the music, etc was done like a jazz song. But now the musicability has only dropped. So it’s the way you sing. If you sing a good song like ‘Hume Tumse Pyaar Kitna’ in an indecent way with a guttural tone, it will obviously sound sick. The tonality has to be perfect. If a situation is a cabaret and the girl is throwing herself on you how can the lyrics not be raunchy? They will be. But what is the musicality and sensibility to it? We are not progressing but regressing now. We are making it more simplified and basic. Singing is not a rocket science today. We are supposed to evolve and take human mind to next level. But with the business being so big no one cares to aspire to push it ahead. People are just making for the hake of it.
The popular veteran singers have also rendered some really sensual numbers. What do you have to say about them?
Yes they have. Like KishoreDa has sung songs like ‘Jhopdi Mai Chaar Paai’. Ashaji throughout 80s has sung songs like ‘Taaki O Taaki’. Even Rafi <i>Sahab</i> has sung crazy songs but he is remembered for his variety. They have crooned various types of songs but for the person, who has only rendered tacky songs, will be forgotten. It’s as simple as that.
"Wherever I go my brief is only Honey Singh type gaane banao"
According to you what is more important social responsibility towards the society or being a part of the bandwagon?
It’s a question of survival today. I have held on to my social responsibility all these years but what I have achieved? In last four years I’ve got no songs because when I sing a song, it sounds decent.
It is digitization. Blame it on the fact that today filmmaking, music making is just a business and there’s no social moral responsibility that anyone wants to take for it. It’s very dangerous. It’s like creating next nuclear bomb because of the lowering of the moral standards across India example being various cases. People who should take the responsibility are shying away from it and those who are sitting at homes are twiddling their thumbs giving interviews.
So will you succumb to it?
I probably will because I have to survive. Today if you go to a party will you stop the DJ from playing the song? No. On the contrary you will dance to ‘Munni Badnaam’ happily. So it’s easy to raise questions but practically have to stay with it. Kids are listening to such kind of stuff and enjoying. This is my profession, not my hobby or passion.
Wherever I am going, there is no romantic situation. There is only demand for item songs, party numbers or club tracks. My brief is only Honey Singh type gaane banao. I have made beautiful love songs but sadly there are no takers. So we have to go according to the market.