CALL IT POP MU­SIC, NOT IN­DE­PEN­DENT MU­SIC: AR­JUN

Singer Ar­jun Ka­nungo says that while do­ing Bol­ly­wood mu­sic still has its lure, artists can de­liver hits on their own, too

HT City - - ENTERTAINMENT - Sa­marth Goyal ■ sa­marth.goyal@htlive.com

Pop­u­lar mu­sic in In­dia has long meant mostly songs from Hindi films. Artists have been cut­ting their al­bums, but it’s Bol­ly­wood that dom­i­nated the land­scape and made money for mu­sic pro­duc­ers. How­ever, now that non-film mu­sic is also mak­ing its way into the charts — the sin­gles tend to be par­tic­u­larly suc­cess­ful — Ar­jun Ka­nungo ar­gues that non-film mu­sic should be called “pop mu­sic” and not “in­de­pen­dent mu­sic”.

The singer-song­writer says, “I don’t need Bol­ly­wood to sus­tain my­self as a mu­si­cian any­more. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not say­ing that Bol­ly­wood isn’t good or any­thing like that. But, ‘in­de­pen­dent mu­sic’ no longer needs to de­pend on Bol­ly­wood or films to pro­mote it­self. It’s turn­ing into a mon­ey­mak­ing busi­ness, and peo­ple should now start call­ing it pop, that’s pop­u­lar mu­sic, in­stead of call­ing it in­de­pen­dent mu­sic.”

Ar­jun adds, “There was a pop in­dus­try, which was so suc­cess­ful about 20 years back, but then for what­ever rea­sons, film mu­sic took over. And for a long pe­riod, peo­ple only pre­ferred lis­ten­ing to film mu­sic. But now, I think, ever since I’ve started [as a singer], things have changed, and peo­ple love lis­ten­ing to [non­film mu­sic] again, and that’s why you see mu­si­cians mak­ing money now; that’s why, mu­si­cians can now sus­tain them­selves with­out hav­ing contributed to Bol­ly­wood.”

Ar­jun re­cently re­leased the sin­gle, Aaya Na Tu, with Pak­istani singer Mom­ina Muste­hasn. He wants to cre­ate dif­fer­ent kinds of songs, and not get stuck in a rut. He says, “I keep ask­ing my­self this ques­tion: ‘Why am I in this busi­ness?’ That’s how I come to the con­clu­sion every time that I have to do some­thing dif­fer­ent from what I’ve al­ready done.”

There was a pop mu­sic in­dus­try, which was so suc­cess­ful about 20 years back, but then film mu­sic took over. But now, peo­ple love lis­ten­ing to non­film mu­sic again. AR­JUN KA­NUNGO SINGER­SONG­WRITER

Ar­jun Ka­nungo has a re­cent sin­gle, Aaya Na Tu, with Pak­istani singer Mom­ina Muste­hasn

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