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Continuation to "Malayalm Music Industry......"

Wednesday, April 26, 2006
This is in continuation to my earlier post on the Malayalam Music industry to wich many of you responded.

I never said that youngsters liked only fast music. I believe the contrary. Since I myself am a Lecturer teaching Electronics/Computers, I constantly interact with my students at college and off it and have found that music presented with the following qualities would be 100% appealing to all the young and old alike.

1) Melody (fast or slow)
2) You have to sing in pitch (if you are off key always then you should be better doing something else than singing). This is true with the others who follow you on their instruments. We have to learn this from our western music counterparts. Every noted western musician who sings or plays an instrument never goes out of key.
3)You should give 100% i.e even if you do not dance or show your teeth (even when situation does not demand it some people do it) if you involve yourself fully in your singing it will appeal. If it were of the contrary then it would be an insult to the greatness of Chitra, Sujatha, S.janaki, Yesudas, Lataji , John Lennon, Eric Clapton, Luciana Pavarotti etc. If you are truly gifted then your singing is enough to take the audience to ecstacy! You need not resort to any other gimmicks.
4) Perform only within your limitations.
5) There should be expression in your singing. Dead singing is dead singing.
6) Select songs according to the occasion.
I have given lecture demonstrations at many places including engineering colleges on this topic.

I agree that home studios do help one to break out of the shell but it's being widely misused nowadays. One should study music (I mean understand, listen to everything, practice) and then only apply it. Otherwise it will not sustain. Many of the so called musicians do not even know who Mozart was or who Bismillah Khan or Mehdi Hassan are or do not care to hear anything other than A.R.R or Harris Jayaraj. The genius of A.R.R or Harris Jayaraj has come through years of hard work. They have studied western classical music and hear and adapt all forms of international and folk music into their film music. That's why they are successful. HEARING EVERY FORM OF MUSIC WITHOUT BIAS IS THE FIRST STEP TO BE A COMPLETE MUSICIAN!

Regarding CD's if a CD with 13 songs with songs from 5 films is sold for 50, what would the person who produces songs for 5 films be getting? What would be the person who wrote the song, who sang the song, who composed it, who played the instruments, who recorded it getting? Even I am happy about the lower price. But this does not show a growth in the business. It shows how bad the situation is! That's why I said that nobody is making any real money in cassette/CD business these days. So slowly no one will ever produce a film CD/cassette as it is not at all profitable. Real statistics tell that when something like 1-2 lakh number of CD/cassette sales were possible 5 years back, now they speak of 5000! Is this good?

Speaking of talent Jo, no one is willing to work hard like the greats of yesterday years. Everyone wants a fast way to success and money. Experience has to be gained by experience itself. Speaking of talent, there are talented guys like M.Jayachandran, Alphonse, Deepak etc. who have learnt music the hard way but who are bound by many factors of film music making. They should be given full freedom like their counterparts in Tamil & Hindi. Isn’t it demeaning to our musicians that when Sandeep Chowta can think of bringing the legendary Jay Oliver for his Keyboard Programming from the U.S and is given a fat budget by the Hindi/Telugu/Kannada film producers, we give our composers a paltry 25,000 & 50,000 and deliver! This makes them to demand the singers to sing free for them or sponsor the songs. This leads to lesser talented (but well off) singers singing songs and add up to the mediocrity. In the name of promoting new singers the level of film music is being degraded! This only adds to the speedily decreasing market for Malayalam music!

I only said that Broadband has given easy methods for getting songs from the net without purchasing them from the shop. I appreciate the freedom broadband has given to distribute free music. You can get any song from coolgoose/cooltoad etc. You may be happy about that but that's also contributing to falling sales. We speak in leap and bounds on anti-piracy. But till there are strong rules and they are really applied for real, you and me will be happy to get songs off the web for free! The real culprits are the cassette/CD shop owners who themselves write MP3 CD’s and sell it! “Kallan Kappalil Thanne”

My humble suggestions are
1)Free music from the clutches of the film industry
2)Just like in the US or elsewhere in the world apply copyright acts and rules strictly.
3) Use the net to sell and popularize your music
4) Just like Sandeep Chowta has done in the case of "Malika I hate you" break the concept of 8 song CD's' and cassettes. Come up with singles. Do a song and then release it.
5) Use Broadband to your advantage as you Jo have shown. I admire you Jo for bringing about this Broadband music revolution (I mean putting your songs on the net for others to hear and creating the concept of "BLOG SWARA" to Kerala. Hope many more really talented people join us.

And Swapna I would repeat my belief that only the best of talents should be singing in Films. I agree that state of things is bad in Malayalam. Everywhere else it’s different. There are music directors who are still supreme in Hindi & Tamil. So they only give breaks to real talents like, Sunidhi Chauhan, Sowmya Raoh, Sonu Kakkar (Sandeep Chowta’s finds), Kailash Kher, Naresh Iyer, (A.R.R’s finds). Our music directors cannot demand as they have to depend on the producer’s whims and fancies. Hence the final product suffers. But if a Medha Patkar can shake up the Supreme Court and the Prime minister of India then why can’t we all genuine music lovers make a try. Why should we leave it to others to take the buck? Let’s not be pessimistic and blame the society for our own mistakes since we all are part of it. If music lovers like you join with Jo and others like me, then we can make a try.

I am bringing out my first single shortly. The song is ready! Some of our friends are working on the Video of it. Once it’s ready I will release the song on the net with ample publicity. Anyone could download it for free. Let’s try to make good music and give it to the needy. Let’s try to gather all sincere, talented musicians and make a move. If LINUX could succeed under the Free Software Foundation under the GPL scheme we could start a Free Music Foundation someday!
posted by Pradip Somasundaran at 1:23 PM  | Permalink |

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Comments for Continuation to "Malayalm Music Industry......"
Ohoooy there,
Great to see some creatively critical thoughts on music aired!

U r right , Pradeep. Kelvijnjaanam hardly seems to matter to most. I have observed it in the last week when Chetana Sangeeta Natya Academy hosted their Chetanolsav.Though Chetana claims of having a list of 300 plus names in the studdent register, hardly a couple dozens were present at the hall on the days of the Maestros. Ofcourse it was running full house on the Students's day. All the students had thronged at the place with their proud parents.Art for me is what my son/daugyhter does. It begins and ends with that. Its there in every field of art. But as Prem said , may be this happens at every poignant turning point in history.

By the way , since u have been posting ur songs , where is my fav one? "Shyaam teri bansi..."? And also, "Poru nee en shyaama meghame..." please... nalla kuttyalle. mittaayi medichu tharaam

You will have porumo on the blog soon!

Good to know that u have started blogging...All the best!

I do not understandwhat u r really trying to say here. If you are telling that new talents are not coming to Malayalm, there has not bee such a time when we had so many new singers and not enough songs for everyone!

Hi Pradip,
Went thru. I may not be the only one to feel that "strong" opinions have been expressed, in a straight from the hip style. I like that openness.
However, one needs to look a little more deeper into the malaise. Is it something that is exclusive to the music industry- that too in Malayalam? I beg to differ. Take the last 40 years of professional education in India. Visit any campus and you will see mountains of books- photocopied, bound and sold. Did anyone ever think of the orginal authors, or the issue of theft of intellectual property rights? It was wrong then and it is wrong now. But the reason behind it all was the sheer unaffordability. Why was it so?- because the middlemen were raking in the moolah whle the authors remained hungry.
The music scene is no different.
This is where home studios and broadband etc becomes relevent. It would certainly make music more affordable to lot more people, in more than one ways. In any case , did the "Aam Janatha" pay for their music- ever??! ( AND should they?)
I do however agree with you that mediocrity also gets centerstage these days. Hard work and dedication itself does not pay any more- it is all about marketability and saleability. Sadly this is why Gayathri and such brilliant talents get to sing a song or two per year in a medium with the highest mass appeal.
Now I do not know, which one, the "starnight' on the telly or the ring tone in my mobile- is music!!

madhavan kutty

Hi Pradip,

Landed here thru Jo's blog. Nice to see you playing with full face on the contemperory issues. Copyright infringement is a problem worldwide, irrespective of the creative works nature, medium or industry, and it is not an easy task to keep it under control. I personally got to know a few people who smuggle the pirated stuff and sell it. it was quite surprising to see that the deed is done mostly in our neighbouring countries.

By the Blogswara movement, Jo and fellows are indeed making the next revolution in music. By this, The music is breaking free from the traditionals, there by allowing the common to explore oneself and providing him or her with a wider audience than before. Happy to hear that you also joined hands for Blogswara

Thanks for the Kabhie Kabhie, your all time great :-)

Hope to see more form you on writing and singing..


A R Rahman has singlehandedly changed the face of Tamil Music, not in terms of the music part, but by introducing vast amounts of talent. Earlier most songs used to be SPB/Janaki. Now a days all albums have songs sung by various people.

We don't see that here. Is that due to politics or some mafia like control by senior singers?


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Name:Pradip Somasundaran
Location:Trichur, Kerala, India

Head Department of Electronics College of Applied Science Vadakkencherry Palakkad India


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