World Music Day is celebrated every year in the month of June and this year it is being celebrated on June 21. To celebrate the magic that music brings in our lives, All About Jaipur caught up with some music artists from Jaipur. From the need to preserve and promote folk music, the challenges in the music industry to their tips for aspiring musicians, read below some interesting insights from these artistes.
JUST BEING GOOD AT SINGING IS NOT ENOUGH TO MAKE YOUR MARK: RAJNIGANDHA SHEKHAWAT
The first Rajput girl from Rajasthan to become a professional singer, Rajnigandha Shekhawat is credited with creating a new genre of Rajasthani and English mashups that are a global internet sensation. Recounting her journey after a whopping 500 concerts and making her mark in bollywood as well as in international shows, she says: “Initially my family was absolutely against the idea of a Rajput girl from a Thikana to take up music as a career. Our families are historically the patrons of musicians, we don’t actually do what the musicians do. Going to Mumbai to become a singer was a scary decision but it turned out to be the right one. However, today my father feels extremely proud when he sees me and my songs on TV.”
Talking about her experience in the music industry, Rajnigandha adds: “It took a long time for me to realise that the music industry is more about marketing than pure music. Just being good at singing is not enough to make your mark. People need to have an angle, a story and a concept. I wish that this could change.”
For those who want to take up music as a career, Rajnigandha suggests having a stable career that pays you well. “Very few musicians make big money so do not be fooled by the success of some famous people. It’s very rare. In fact, it’s easier to get an MBA and a well paying job. You can always sing while still working. Leave your main job only when your music lets you earn more than that job. I have followed this and I’m very happy with my career decisions”, she opines.
STOP TREATING MUSIC AS CONTENT: DIVYANSH KACHOLIA
Thanks to the onslaught of social media, “content” has become the singular focus of people and that should change, opines Divyansh Kacholia, India’s first folk beat boxer and winner of India’s Got Talent. “One should focus on creating art and not content”, he says. Giving a word of advice to those who aspire to make it big in the performing arts or any other unconventional career, he further adds: “Focus on your art and do it with utmost passion, honesty and sincerity.”
For Divyansh, his biggest achievement so far is not winning the popular reality music show but being able to work and perform with stalwarts of the industry like Sunidhi Chauhan and Shaan. “Winning India’s Got Talent is definitely path-breaking for my career but learning from such big names and performing in front of people like Shah Rukh Khan and AR Rahman is definitely the biggest achievement of my life”, adds Divyansh.
MUSIC IS THE LANGUAGE OF THE SOUL: HAMEED KHAN KAWA
“When an artiste performs his/her soul connects with the soul of the audience. This connection of the soul does not happen via the internet”, opines Hameed Khan Kawa, a renowned folk musician. After having played a huge role in promoting the folk music globally and giving an opportunity to over 1500 folk artistes of the state on an international platform including the Commonwealth Games, Kawa now teaches folk music to children at his home free of cost. “Children should be taught folk music from an early age just like other subjects are taught in school. The ‘Guru Shishya Parampara’ should be revived”, suggests Kawa while talking about how to preserve and promote the folk culture of the state.
According to Kawa, the folk artistes are now prioritizing a comfortable life and leaving behind the rich culture of the state. “The government and the public should work in tandem to provide fruitful opportunities for the folk artistes”, he adds.
MY GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT IS TO SEE TEARS IN THE EYES OF MY AUDIENCE: ARJAN SINGH
An architect turned singer-songwriter, Arjan Singh has been writing songs since he was 15 years old. For him, lyrics are the soul of a song and the melody gives the words an aesthetic structure. While Arjan gets the inspiration to write from people around him, it is producing a track that poses a challenge for him.
Talking about the impact of internet on the music industry, he adds: “The internet is a double edged sword for musicians. On the one hand, you can connect to thousands of people but at the same time you can get lost in that mountain of content. Also owing to internet and social media, the retention power of people has come down. There was a time when people used to listen to a 6-minute long song but now it is difficult to keep people engaged for that long. But at the same time there is no denying that it has helped artistes like us to release songs without the need of a music label.”
FOLK MUSIC KEEPS YOU GROUNDED AND CONNECTED TO YOUR CULTURE: PRAVEEN SINGH DANGI
For Praveen Singh Dangi, music lets you express what words never can. Even though Dangi has worked with some eminent personalities like Bappi Lahiri, Jatin-Latin and Ismail Darbar, among others, folk music has a special corner in his heart. “Folk music tells you stories that are almost on the verge of disappearing. It also keeps you grounded and connected to your culture”. Sharing his views on how folk music can be preserved and promoted in the state, Dangi says: “There is a need to respect and promote the folk genre from within. People are unaware of the essence of history connected to folk music. The government should take more steps to encouraging folk music in the state, especially among the youth. More open mics and open floors that provide live performance opportunities should be considered.”
Sharing a word of advice for aspiring musicians, he adds: “Practice, patience, determination and smart work are some virtues that aspiring musicians need to possess. To be honest, I think destiny also plays a role in this industry. Internet is offering a plethora of opportunities to newcomers.”
CHOOSING MUSIC AS A CAREER IS A BOLD CHOICE: SATVIK SAKAR
For Satvik Sakar, who is a singer, song writer and producer and has experience of working in web series, ads and films, the biggest challenge that music artistes face is that of delayed payments. “Choosing music as a primary source of income is a bold choice. With no regular projects, the delay in payments and sometimes not even receiving the payment is a big downside of this industry. Begging for money after putting your heart and soul into a project is really disappointing and takes a toll on the mental health of the artiste”, explains Satvik.
An audio engineering graduate, another challenge that he faces is that of creative block. “Art cannot be forced. However, owing to the internet often meme like songs go viral with million of hits and views and as a result, sensible music gets overshadowed”, adds Satvik.
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