Shalmali Kholgade: Practice of free pass must stop


Singer Shalmali Kholgade says the emergence of multiple music festivals and growing number of live gigs in India is a positive sign for independent musicians, but the public needs to stop seeking free passes.

Shalmali is known for songs like Pareshaan", Balam pichkari and Lat lag gayee, and she also celebrates independent music along with her playback singing career in Bollywood.

Asked whether the increasing number of music festivals is a good sign for independent artistes, Shalmali told IANS: "Yes, the music festivals are surely a positive sign for musicians to survive as show organisers are creating a platform for us.

"But it needs more publicity and appreciation in mainstream media. And as an artiste, I think our listeners should buy tickets and attend our concerts. The practice of taking free passes should be stopped."

At the same time, Shalmali feels ticket rates should be low so that everyone can afford it.

"Everyone should make it a point and a habit to buy tickets. I wish that along with promoting good music, all the show organisers should also encourage the habit of buying tickets."

Shalmali has collaborated with the seventh edition of Royal Stag Barrel Select MTV Unplugged. She says singing an unplugged rendition is a creative process that she enjoys.

"Though it is a risk to experiment with an already popular song that is loved by our listeners, I think there is something about organic sound.

"You see, on a normal day if a singer takes his guitar and starts stomping and singing, even though he is not performing to perfection, it is human nature that tends to love that acoustic sound, the natural sound of the instrument and voice... It always touches us somewhere. Therefore, when we are creating an unplugged version of a song, we are already presenting it in a positive light."