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K(T)ollywood gripe

I have got a number of gripes regarding the Indian music industry and I am going to list them here, so I may try to get some answers for them.

Gripe I

Has anyone noticed the increasing number of Hindi singers belting out songs in Tamizh and Telugu movies these days? Even as I type this statement, Adnan Sami and Sadhana Sargam are belting out 'Boom Boom' in my ears, so that sort of segues well into the point I am trying to make here. Though I love the song and it always makes me do a (mental!) jive, I still cannot understand the reasoning behind it.

What reason, you ask. Let me elaborate. I am all for the North-South unity, mera bharat mahan and all that, make no mistake. I really love our desi filmi music and fully support A R Rahman's aim to bring the country together through music. But when I hear Udit Narayan trying to wrap his tongue around the difficult Tamizh sounds, I cannot help wondering why the music director couldn't a Tamizh speaker to sing the song. I don't think there are many people around the country who can speak Tamizh or Telugu, unless it is their mother tongue. These languages aren't like Hindi, which being the national language and all, is fed to one and all across the length and breadth of our nation.

Time was, when it was considered quite hip to speak the language if it was an alien tongue and the mauling it received at the hands (tongues?!) of the perky teen VJs of the various music channels was absolutely horrible. But of late, thanks to the new breed of singers like Karthik, Harini, Tippu etc, whose pronounciation is excellent, it is slowly becoming safer and cool to admit that you can speak the language after all.

So why do we still get people who 1. do not understand what they are singing about 2. cannot pronounce the words properly?

Gripe II

English words in songs - sometimes, whole sentences - why? Take the song Dating from Boys. If you listen to it on its own, you might have a tough time believing it to be a song from a Tamizh movie. Tamizh words in the song are few and far between. How can it be labelled a Tamizh song then?

In this aspect, I like the way Bollywood music directors think - if you cannot speak Hindi, you cannot sing. Maybe I have lived a sheltered life, but I haven't heard a singer muddle through a song and come back to sing another song the next day. Listen to Shaan singing Chand Sifarish - the beauty of the song is heightened by the way in which the singer sings it. If, on the other hand, he had bit his tongue trying to pronounce the words, the song wouldn't have been half the hit it is.

So, Tollywood and Kollywood music directors - from now on, can we have singers who can actually speak the language sing us songs please? It is not only cool, it actually is quite melodious.

It also has the added advantage of making it easy for us to teach our young ones our languages as well!

Also appears at Desicritics

Posted by DesiGirl 3:52 pm  


  1. v_tel001 said...
    I agree with you.

    I do not know why non-native singers are singing in S.Indian languages. I recently heard the music for Telugu version of 'Krish' and decided never ever to listen to it again, thanks to the assault of Sonu Nigam & Udit Narayan's hopeless pronunciation of Telugu words.
    DesiGirl said...
    At last! Someone who agrees with me! Can you imagine any of the S Indian singers being allowed to sing in hindi if they can't speak the language? Why can't we be so choosy as well?!
    Anonymous said...
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