Standard of music has fallen badly: Tochi Raina

Tochi Raina

Singer-composer Tochi Raina says poetry in songs has died down resulting in deterioration of the quality of music being produced.

Tochi—who has sung popular tracks like "Ik Tara", "Kabira"—says today anyone can play two strings on a guitar and write a track but they lack depth.

"The standard of music has fallen badly today which has affected the poetry in songs. The poetry is dead today and without it, the music can never be good. It's our responsibility to bring back these things," Tochi told PTI.

"In the older times, people were inherently philosophers who would train in music and then compose songs. Today, the generation doesn't know philosophy, they pick up a guitar, play two strings and make a song. So the poetry died and the standard fell," he added.

Tochi recently sang "Rab-e-illahi" a Sufi track for Drishyam Play, an initiative by Drishyam Films to curate and promote fresh music from different parts of the country.

Composed by Band Of Bandagi—comprising him and his brother Neeru Rawal, the singer said the song is heavily inspired from his life and everything he grew up experiencing- including running away from home.

Hailing from a musical family, Tochi ran away from his home in Nepal, where his father—an electrical engineer in CPWD—was posted.

"After tenth grade, I ran from my home with Rs 100. I went to Patiala and then came to Delhi. I slept on the road and then I met Pandit Vinod Kumar, who was the discipline of Ustad bade Ghulam Ali Khan.

"I was a tabla player so I took up a part-time job in a school where I used to get paid Rs 500 and sleep in the hall. I didn't even have money for a proper meal. I simply wanted to understand music and was passionate about that," he added.

Tochi then began learning classical singing and later joined Osho in Pune in 1991. Within a year, he joined Vipasna but was told that he does not need that since he is already a trained musician.

Around 2003, the singer came to Mumbai to start his career and changed his name to Tochi Raina from Trilochan Singh.

"I then got a telephone directory and called Dev Anand. His son Sunil called me. Then Dev Sahab called me and within three years I met almost everyone through him in the industry."

Tochi, who made his singing debut with "Bulle Shah" from "A Wednesday", came to the industry to work as a composer but people who heard him, requested him to sing their compositions and today it has been ten years since he has been lending his voice to various tracks.

"In 2011, I decided that I have to compose music too and that's when I made the writer write 'Rab-e-illahi' and here I'm today, as a singer, composer, as someone who ran from Nepal and is still on the run, searching for something," he added. 

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Standard of music has fallen badly: Tochi Raina

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