Not a pleasant tune

Ignoring talent

Not a pleasant tune

Overpaid: Shreya Goshal and Sonu Nigam.

Many Kannada singers are unhappy with the unfair treatment meted out to them by the film-makers, especially when it comes to payment.  The industry pays local talent far less than what is paid to singers engaged from outside the State.

Even the demand for the local talent has decreased forcing many to take up alternative career and sing only as a hobby.  For example, if Sonu Nigam is paid a lakh for a song, the local singer only gets Rs 25 thousand for singing the same song.  “It’s the discretion of the producer,” says music director Veer Sampath.

 “The producers want good quality music and give us a budget with which we have to manage. When we talk about quality and variety, I rarely find such singers here. While there are a few extremely good voices, I can’t use them for all the songs. But when it comes to singers like Yesudas, his voice can be adapted to different styles. So why not spend a little more and get the best than settle for an average voice,” he adds.

Kaustub, a singer from the City, feels that the craze for singers from outside has always been there. “It’s not that there is a lack of talent here, there is just a craze to get singers from Bollywood to croon Kannada songs. Many of the outside singers have become so popular that the demand only keeps increasing, there is not much we can do about it,” he states. Generally, the producer, director and the music director sit together and discuss the picturisation of the song and the kind of voice that would be required for the sequence.

Mano MurthyA lot of stereotyping goes into play and popular music directors are restricted to use only  certain voices who have given them hits before. Mano Murthy, the music director says that he has fallen into that frame many a times.

“Many producers approaching me automatically presume that Jayanth (Kaikini) would write the lyrics and Sonu Nigam and Shreya Goshal would sing the songs,” he says. “In all my films I make sure to engage one local talent to sing a song. Unfortunately, there are a very few of them who are serious about their career. Moreover, when it comes to publicising the music of the film, importance has to be given to well-known singers from outside,” says Mano.

The trend of using singers from outside is there in all the industries.

Kavita, a singer from Kerala, says that opportunities to sing in her mother tongue Malayalam are very few, so she is looking forward to sing in other industries like Tamil and Kannada.

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