'It's a very accepting crowd here'

Voice apart

'It's a very accepting crowd here'

For Hindustani classical singer Roop Kumar Rathod, it’s hard to separate music from his life. The singer, who was in the City recently, talks to Metrolife about his life and the current music scene.

“There was a time when music and certain music styles reigned for decades together. But memories and trends are short lived now,” he says. He adds that there was a time when music by Himesh Reshammiya was doing the rounds. Then
Sufiyana seemed to be the fad, but slowly all of it has passed.

Despite the fame he has, Roop Kumar owes his success to his legacy. “I was lucky to be blessed by my forefathers, to have come to the forefront and have been a part of different beautiful pieces in Bollywood. There are too many good singers, who don’t get the recognition they deserve,” he says.

Commenting on the quality of music in today’s scenario, the singer feels that there is talent out there but it’s not channelised well. “There are many artistes who have good voices and can sing well but are not given opportunities,” he opines.

He feels that India doesn’t have any music idols unlike in the western countries. “In places like the US, people still worship MJ and Whitney Houston. We don’t appreciate music that much. For us, a track from the movie stays in our memory because it’s a Shah Rukh Khan song,” he states.

Having launched an album Ghazal Lounge earlier this year with Abhijit Pohankar, Roop Kumar says that in today’s era of downloading and MP3s, the royalty for the artiste is lost. “The youth are computer savvy and get their way to music faster. But people, who are still passionate about classical music, like to get albums,” he says.
The changing music scene is also contributing to the deteriorating values in the youngsters, feels Roop Kumar, who is well known for his classical filmi numbers like Maula Mere Maula, Khwaja Mere Khwaja etc.

 “With songs like Munni Badnaam Hui and Sheila Ki Jawani in the market, it’s shocking to see kids singing these numbers. Cheap songs like these were usually seen in Bhojpuri movies, but now they have influenced Bollywood too,” he sadly states.
Married to singer Sunali Rathod, the family’s daily routine includes music. “We fight like any normal couple. We often have different views on music, but we have a healthy competition at home. In fact, even our daughter is into music, and thus there are three voices singing their own tunes in the house.” He smiles and continues,“but, we are good critics of each other.”

The artiste feels that Bangalore is the hub for music. “People here listen to Daler Mehndi as well as to international artistes and rock bands. It’s a very open and accepting crowd here,” says Roop Kumar, adding, “The people here have a very chilled out attitude compared to other cities like Mumbai and Delhi.”

Listing out his favourites in the music scene, Roop Kumar says that no one can replace the likes of Kishore Kumar, Manna Dey, Lata Mangeshkar, and Asha Bhosle. “These are artistes from a different league, and no one can replace them,” he wraps up.

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