‘We need healthier minds and purer hearts’
Arijit Singh addressed the issue of mental health at his concert in Mumbai. One of the most sought after voices in Bollywood, Arijit performed for GenM, presented by Mpower Minds, focusing in the direction of creating awareness about mental health and removing the stigma surrounding it. At this show, the singer performed with world musical instruments such as kanun, hang drum, didgeridoo, accordion and marimba ....
How important do you think acknowledging the issue of mental health is?
The way I understand the matter is, our society first needs to acknowledge the fact that there is something called mental health. I know someone who is going through mental health issues but finds it really hard to even acknowledge the illness out of awkwardness in front of others. I may be wrong as I am a layman in this matter, but my heart tells me to take baby steps towards building a society of healthy minds by creating an environment without fear and awkwardness. My thoughts drive me to act politely against bullying and other irresponsible behaviours. Our mental growth starts to ferment around the age of six. If a child goes through trouble, which he/she may not recognise, they may slip into dangerous loneliness. I have seen children running away from such uncomfortable situations. It looks small and unimportant to notice these things, but if we don’t understand the internal pain they go through, they may get pushed into a corner eventually.
Often we trivialise mental health and depression...
It is easy to question ‘what is there to be depressed about?’, but I bet even we don’t have a proper answer to that question. Denial is another way to be selfish and run away from the problem. This adds to depression and mental illness, and who knows if this is much more than just illness. I believe that all crimes and inhuman behaviours around the globe are a distortion of mental health. Only genuine love can help people, and we so-called healthy minds should be responsible enough to act. It is unfair to expect actions from those who are already going through so much pain. This should not be just another activity. I think it is time that we realise that our civilisation is getting more and more complex everyday. We need healthier minds and purer hearts to fight the odds in the future and better humanity.
Do you think our society is playing its part to spread awareness about the issue through such concerts?
I don’t think just organising a concert would help but at the same time, it is a decent start to create awareness among people. Concerts are about music and happiness, and if it conveys anything extremely important, I think some of us might just start applying the wisdom in real life. Spreading happiness around us can be magical; we never know who is going to survive because of the happiness that we spread.
What is the set for the concert going to be like, and what can the audiences expect?
I don’t want to reveal anything about the new set. We are really excited and scared as always because newer challenges gives us a sense of adventure. I recommend not to expect anything. Music is always beautiful when it gives you happiness with a surprise. You are welcome to explore.
You have sung almost all the hit songs in the last couple of years. Do do you ever say no to a song?
I say no to 90 songs out of 100 but it becomes difficult to say no to a music composer or a film director who has conceived the song with my voice in their sonic vision. It is also about relationships but thankfully people understand my trouble and they try to help.
What is your opinion on independent music in our country? Do you think it has realised its full potential?
I don’t think we have understood our full potential to do music or any other work independently. I hope we empower ourselves more in the near future.
Do you think the concert space or live music space has improved in India over the past couple of years?
Concerts and live music scene has definitely improved, which has pushed the careers of so many musicians. It’s great to hear live music.
Does it bother you when a good song doesn’t do well because the movie flopped at the box office?
I am fortunate enough not to be bothered about hits or flops. I am loving the opportunity to live music.