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The Coming Era of Indian Pop Music!

T

K. J. Jaynathan K. J. Jaynathan is a musician who has done more than three hundred jingles for radio and television commercials.

he first Indian sound film that spoke and sung to the audience was Alam Ara, made by Ardeshir Irani in 1931. The talkies that were produced in the first few years were all film versions of successful plays staged by the drama companies, largely based on mythological stories. Since the very beginning, virtually all Indian talkies have been influenced by the musical theater format. By the 1940s, film songs as we know it today, with its distinct characteristics had emerged successfully. Within a few seconds of playing, it could be identified as a film song. It was born out of a cultural synthesis of several music genres and traditions like Carnatic, Hindustani, folk and Western pop. Indian film songs acquired an importance independent of cinema and the Indian music industry has been dominated by film music ever since the first song that was played in a talkie. The cultural niche occupied by pop music in the west is filled by film music in India. The early Indian films were just a series of songs and today every film has six or seven songs, no matter whether the story needs it or not.This is the biggest hurdle in the way of music integrating with cinema, vice versa, cinema integrating with music. There have been quite a few factors, historical and cultural, that have pushed back the growth of Indian cinema in its infancy, and film songs has certainly been one. The song sequences by characters are seen as unrealistic and illogical. They tend to shift to extra-narrative locations, even though the story doesn’t deserve it, and interruptions for song time militate against a strict definition of cinema. This greatly reduces the main thrust of the film. This is one reason why most 88

Indian films have remained at the level of photographed variety. This stronghold of Indian film music since 1930 has foiled the scope for any popular music outside cinema for the past eight decades. Fortuitously in the 90’s the Indian non-film pop music gained significant limelight. Successfully, many Indian artists came up with albums after albums and had a huge fan following.The 90s can be seen as the most significant period of Indian pop music. However, this genre could not survive on its own and eventually faded away. Pop music faced several setbacks in the 90s and most of the artists started to move towards the vast Bollywood music scene. With lack of business understanding of pop music, inadequate marketing platforms for album promotions, and above all, deficiency of music creativity, sustainably of the artists to come up with the fresh music to compete with film music, this wasn’t very surprising. Today, numerous factors are prosperous for pop music in India. Music lovers are almost tired of the repetitive song theme and music style of film music. The scenario of Indian film making is changing gradually. Directors want to experiment with story telling and unwanted mediocre songs are hurdles for these fearless attempts. Through well use of sophisticated music technology, musicians can come up with good quality of music within their financial limits, which was not possible in the late nineties. And numerous marketing platforms are available internet and through social network sites for album promotions. If the music sounds attractive to the million netizens, then likes, shares, comments, hits, million views, retweets and trending will take care of the rest of the glory once it gets viral.The ‘Young India’ seems to be the most prosperous factor for Indian pop music. With 65% of the population being young, the market for pop music is exponential. Just two things have to take place for the re-birth of Indian pop music. First and foremost, artists have to come up with fresh and innovative music albums. And secondly, support and financial backing of the music companies to promote the pop music. History says change is inevitable, let`s hope for the Indian Pop Stars!

YOUTH’S STOP APRIL - JUNE 2012


The Coming Era of Indian Pop Music!