Praying that audience-artiste interaction can resume: Shahid Mallya

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Shahid Mallya

By Siddhi Jain

New Delhi– Popular singer Shahid Mallya, who is the voice behind classic hit songs like ‘Rabba Main Toh Mar Gaya’ (Mausam), ‘Ikk Kudi’ (Udta Punjab), and ‘Kukkad’ (Student Of The Year), says that he misses the physical audience-artiste interaction — which he says is very crucial to the essence of being an artiste — and prays for normalcy.

Asked how has the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown impacted his professional and personal life, the playback singer told IANSlife: “Till an artist isn’t fronted with listeners, critics and admirers, she or he is somehow lost. Yes we are recording sitting at home, but at the end of the day, we miss the face-to-face interaction. The artist inside is unnerved and is wondering whether the future will be without any physical connect and we’d remain relegated to screens only? I pray that the audience-artist interaction can begin again soon.”

According to the vocalist, “Without an audience, an artist is not a true artist.”

Mallya has repeatedly also critiqued remixed music. Speaking on his approach to music and songs, he says: “The remixes that are being made today are mostly songs from the 1990’s or 2000’s era. If the singers of the original song are still active, when they hear their own work via some other music director, they wouldn’t like it. At some point in the past, they had collected appreciation for these songs, and when they see someone else being appreciated for singing the same song, I think it’s wrong.”

He adds that remixes are alright if the songs are really old, or the original makers have passed away or if the songs have slipped away from popular memory.

“… Then it’s good to recreate them, so today’s generation know of the songs from the bygone era. My perspective on selecting songs is that they should have good poetry, and I should enjoy doing the song, and it should fit my singing skills.”

Responding to a question about debates around nepotism and favouritism in Bollywood, Mallya shares an interesting viewpoint.

“Nepotism happens truly when any artist is launched but is unable to do justice to the role or task, whether it’s in acting, dancing, singing or any domain where people achieve stardom and their descendants want to follow suit. According to me, even if an artist gets launched or gets work in the industry, unless they have what it takes, the audience will anyway not accept them. If someone works hard, then it’s not nepotism. If a singer’s child is good, then she or he has the right to work.

“Yes, the path to getting inside is easier for them. In this process, overlooked are those artists who come from a small village or a poor family or those who aren’t enabled to reach the right place at the right time. There are reality shows which often platforms fresh talent. Experienced people in any field have the responsibility to guide the right talent. Nepotism can give you a platform, but to keep standing on it and succeed, depends on one’s capabilities,” he says.

Finally, who are some of the biggest influencers of his music? “Whatever I know, I have learnt from my father. I have also listened to great artists from the childhood. I have huge respect for Mohammed Rafi sahab and Sonu Nigam ji, and am influenced by them,” concludes Mallya. (IANS)

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