One of the best known singers of all times, the magical voice that made many Bollywood heroines sound and look so cool on screen, Alka Yagnik is in Michigan to perform at the grandest concert “Evergreen Melodies” at The Music Hall, Detroit presented by Palace Entertainment. Accompanying Alka is another grand winner (singer) of all time, the master stroke Kumar Sanu. The two together have given Hindi Cinema’s best musical hits to date.
Here are some excerpts as Alka Yagnik speaks to Anu Gopalakrishnan (an Miindia.com exclusive) on what caused the silence in her growing career, the dramatic shift of music in the industry and what she does to keep busy.
We have missed you. What happened?
The music industry is going through a different phase. The techniques have changed, the voices that are used have changed, and unfortunately melody has taken a back seat. Owing to which, I have reduced playback singing and have been exploring other avenues of music – concerts, reality shows and creative experiments. When I know a project really suits my voice, I will definitely go ahead and sing. Like the song from the recent Hindi film Tamasha (Agar Tum Saath Ho).
Share your experience with the reality shows? Has it really unified the industry or distorted it more?
Reality shows, just like any other program comes with a positive and a negative side. It is positive because, lot of talent from unknown areas and rural regions find a platform to perform and be under the national media scanner. It is negative because there are so many, every day different artists are churned out from all regions, and not all of them can co-exist in equal capacity. They are unable to sustain, they are short lived, fade, become frustrated and then disappear.
How has music transcended over the years?
Late eighties and nineties, romance was the main theme. It was the era of romantic music. The movies these days are based on real instances, social issues. In reality, today’s films do not need music. Since music has been an integral part of the movie going experience. Songs are now stuffed into the movie. By and large, there is no scope for music, for romantic melodies. When I used to sing, the films had a total of 7 or 8 songs. Vast majority of them were romantic numbers. It’s not the case now, so the scope of listening to Alka, Kavitha, Sadhna, Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan is very rare. Also, in today’s films, you will notice that there are over four singers for one male protagonist or over two singers for the female lead. The distortion begins there because music at this point is a forced element.
Who is responsible for this shift - Music directors, film producers or the audience?
Not to blame anyone. The era of romantic music has been overshadowed completely by experimental and digital music. The vocalists are not so important. Songs can now be sung by anybody. There is no dearth for singers. If one singer cannot sing, then the second or the third or the fourth is approached. In those days, songs were made for us. The music directors used to wait 1-2 months to work on a song with me or Udit or Kumar. We have our identities and we sustained it for so many years. I would hold the requirements responsible. Audience demands a certain flavor, the “paisa vasool” factor is looked at.
Successful concerts, your fans are longing to hear you again.
Yes! I was in the U.S for four months performing at 8 concerts. I am back again. I did Houston then and just recently too, both were sold out shows. Our kind of music is on demand after so many years and this is what I meant that melody and good music will remain in hearts forever. In fact, our songs are gaining more popularity now. Ours was an evergreen era! The three concerts earlier were sold-out too in San Jose, Houston and Chicago. We are so looking to perform in Detroit as we heard a lot about its audience.
With all the concerts and reality shows and albums, how do you manage your home?
I really don’t. I feel very sad every time I introspect. I don’t get as much time as I would love to spend with them. They deserve to have me around. My family does not complain. They are my silent support. I travel a lot, but every time I get a smile from their faces. I have a 23yrs old daughter who is my biggest fan and my critic. My mom is really old and handicapped and I do know she would like to spend time with me. So, outside of all my achievements and work, I do have a family and that’s where I will be if I am not in the studio or on a stage.
What do you have for Detroit?
Kumar and I will sing the most popular songs, I am here because of the people and the night is dedicated to people’s favorite numbers. I have several numbers I like, lots of them which are very personal to my heart. But one song that I love performing to is the number from Yuvraj. The film flopped but the music in the film was outstanding. The number is “Tu Muskura...”. AR Rahman’s beautiful orchestration, haunting melody and a beautiful symphony accompanying it, I enjoy every second of that number. Our orchestra for Detroit will have 17 musicians, around 6 violinists and I hope to recapture the music of that number in front of a lively and excited audience. Thanks to Deepak Kumar for making this happen for us through Palace Entertainment. I love coming back under this banner as he knows how to give the right content to the right audience.
Do not miss the live concert! Event details here.
Interviewed & Written by: Anu Gopalakrishnan
Copyright Miindia ©2016