Shubha Mudgal posted the following series of tweets yesterday.
Check ID tags for Pyar Ke Geet on emusic..com. Artistes are Malaika Arora & Arbaz Khan. No composer, no lyricist or singer. Shame !
— Shubha Mudgal (@smudgal) July 25, 2012
Reflects the status of composer, singer, lyricists in the producer’s scheme. Obviously we don’t matter at all. Pity. — Shubha Mudgal (@smudgal) July 25, 2012
No problem with the actors in music video being acknowledged but would there have been a video without the music? What injustice . — Shubha Mudgal (@smudgal) July 25, 2012
Ms. Mudgal has been quite vocal about the issue of artists not getting credited properly. She’s right, of course. In a country dominated by film music, people seem to associate music a lot more with the actors on which the songs are filmed than on the artists who contribute to the song – the music directors, lyricists and singer. This was evident when a series of “Rajesh Khanna playlists” erupted on the internet following the actor’s recent demise. I stayed away from that bandwagon and so did some others, but we were probably a minority trying to overcompensate for the skewed focus of the majority:
I loved Rajesh Khanna’s unique style, but I refuse to remember him through songs conceived, composed, sung and written by others.
— Karthik Srinivasan (@beastoftraal) July 19, 2012
Google search gives an indication of what the average Indian listeners, music labels and music websites focus on. “Mallika Sherawat songs” gives 3.7 million results, while “Shubha Mudgal songs” gives only 500K results. Given the popularity of film music, the strong association with actors is understandable but it’s really unfair to cut musicians out of the picture altogether.
While some tagging issues come from the labels’ desire to market the music, some originate purely due to clerical errors. Some recent examples:
- Irshad Kamil was not included in the credits for Rockstar during its launch.
- Raabta (Night In A Motel) (Agent Vinod, 2012) was incorrectly credited to Hamsika Iyer instead of Aditi Singh Sharma. Hamsika did give vocals to the Siyaah Raatein version though.
- The duet version of Abhi Abhi (Jism 2, 2012) is wrongly credited to Shreya Ghoshal instead of Akriti Kakkar.
Because music is universal (partly because of it’s wide appeal, but also because it’s the easiest art form to consume), we assume that music is equally important to everyone. The truth, however, is that not everyone is as passionate about music as Ms. Mudgal is, or even as much as a true music lover is. This obviously does not solve the problem of musicians not getting their due credit, but maybe it reassures them that they do matter to the people who really matter – their fans.