Singer Shilpa Rao, who has sung a single “Saanwariya” for Drishyam Play — an initiative to curate and promote fresh music from different parts of the country — feels the layman associates Bollywood songs with Indian music. She says that’s a myth that needs to be broken.
“As a country that has a major entertainment industry, one of the biggest in the world, our major Bollywood influence comes from every part of India. So when people say Indian music, I always feel it is our Carnatic music, classical music and our folk music. But on a very layman level, Indian music is associated with Bollywood, which is the myth which we need to break,” Shilpa told IANS in a recorded response.
“Our film music is always inspired by all kinds of folk music – be it Rajasthani, Bihu, Bengali or South Indian… Our Indian films have always represented different forms of folk music from all over India,” added the singer, who has sung numbers like “Khuda jaane“, “Anjaana anjaani” and “Malang” in Bollywood.
“I always believe music and cinema is a direct reflection of society which is being shaped and is changing from time to time. And our way of talking, conversing and interacting with people is what our art, cinema and music depict. The point is we should try and enrich our lives with music that already exists in India.”
Shilpa believes Indian music is “really strong” and there should be a collective effort to pass it on to the next generation so that it remains alive.
“I hope our youth connects with it, owns it and feels proud of it,” she said.
Her “Saanwariya”, to be launched via Drishyam Play on Sunday, is composed by Naresh Kamath, member of Kailasa and also the funk/jazz/rock band Hypnotribe. The song talks about romance in one rainy night, and Shilpa found it “simple and beautiful”.
“Indian music is known for making ragas for different seasons and kinds of the year, and we have so many ragas for the monsoon. There’s a very big influence of the seasons on Indian music, and some songs just give you the vibe of the rains and atmosphere that monsoons create. That’s what ‘Saanwariya’ is about.”
As a platform, Drishyam Play is an attempt to break away from stereotypical Bollywood music and bridge the gap between professional musicians, lyricists, vocalists and meaningful cinema. The platform and Drishyam Films are working together under same umbrella and the USP is ‘songs will find their stories’ — the songs are plugged in movies wherever suitable.
Mukta Bhatt, Drishyam Play head, said the platform was launched last year as they felt a lack of a proper process to make a bank of composers, writers, singers, musicians and sound technicians.
“Our hunger for original music in the age of remixes and recreations, made us take this step,” Bhatt said, adding how they have so far covered Rajasthan and now they are planning to cover Punjab and Uttarakhand.
“We are researching on the stories we want to bring out and the artistes whom we can collaborate with and can make something fresh with a hint of folk,” Bhatt said.
Is there going to be a model wherein Drishyam Play songs can be used or bought by other banners for their movies?
“Sure! We are making our bank of some amazing songs and we are open for other movies/banners to license or buy them from us. We ourselves became the first buyer when we used its earthy song ‘Main banjar’ in our own movie ‘Kadvi Hawa‘.
“We are also open for brand associations, where a relevant brand can come onboard with us to create music, travel, find stories and to do events across India. Our music will be available on all the OTTs and other platforms soon.”