Return of private albums

Return of private albums

Music Mania

Return of private albums

Smart: Gurukiran

There was a time when Indi-Pop was a rage among many. A time when Remo Fernandes, Baba Sehgal, Anaida, Alisha Chinai and Apache Indian were hugely popular. Even in the South, one saw A R Rehman, Jassie Gift, Harris Jayraj and others rule the music scene through private albums and even make a mark for themselves in the film industry.

These artistes were known for their innovative videos, catchy numbers and style of singing and people used to wait for trends created by them.

Recently, Sonu Nigam launched his first non-filmi Kannada album Neene Bari Neene, which makes one wonder whether at this time and age, the audience or the industry is paving way for Indi-Pop culture again. Some of the music directors in the City say that the private album culture is a risk one has to take.

Mano Murthy, the music director of Neene Bari Neene, says that though the album has been receiving a good response, when Jayant Kaikini, Sonu Nigam and he decided to make the album, they did have a few financial glitches initially.

“We wanted to reach a global audience through this album, for which everything had to be top-notch and different. When things finally fell in place, we knew we had created something special,” he adds.

Music director Gurukiran agrees that finance is a matter of concern when it comes to private albums, since most producers worry about recovering their investment. “Those were the days when the cassette industry was booming but now the the cost of producing one album has gone up. A lot goes into the creation of an album, from the making of the video to the distribution of songs and of course the publicity. Since film songs are doing so well, many producers hesitate and find it risky to produce a non-filmi album these days. With movies, the audience find a relation to a story but when it comes to solo album, one has to strike out something different,” he adds.

Bringing in something different seems to be the mantra these days for albums to work. Ricky Kej, who had also released his own non-filmi Kannada album called, Nee Badalaadare, says,“Getting something different is important. Those days, all Bollywood numbers sounded the same, so albums, as such, gave a different feel. But now a Bollywood film has a mix of everything. So unless someone brings in something different, it will not work on the listener. In Sandalwood too, there is a chance for albums but one has to be different,” explains Ricky.

“Familiarity of the artiste and the makers is another plus point,” says Mano Murthy. “The audiences are well aware of us because of the many songs we have created for movies. Since the combination has clicked before, our audience would know what to expect in the album as well,” he adds.      

Private albums have established quite a space in other languages. In fact, many singers and music directors got recognition through such albums.

So what took so long for the trend to come to Kannada industry? One of the main reasons given was the fear of piracy. But now with that coming under the Goonda Act, there may be some doors that have opened for budding singers,
“There is a chance for such albums to do well in Kannada industry, provided the making of the song is good. Otherwise it is as good as a song without a hero,” concludes Gurukiran.