Boy ! Where is the Music ?

August 15, 2023

The realm of cinema embodies a fusion of artistic expression and entertainment, with “Music” ingrained as an inseparable facet of Indian Cinema, tracing back even before its inception. Preceding the advent of cinema, musical and dramatic troupes journeyed across towns to perform. These musical theater groups served as precursors to production houses, such as “Prithvi Theater” and “Bombay Talkies”, each accompanied by a cadre of musicians crafting exceptional music and lyrics, heightening on-screen performances to unparalleled levels.

Yet, the infusion of the Studio system and corporate entities into Bollywood has shifted the focus to commerce, depleting the stature of cinema as an art form. In recent times, Bollywood’s allure has significantly waned, and subpar music has played a pivotal role in this decline. Amidst factors like lackluster storylines, aging protagonists, dearth of fresh talent, and nepotism, shockingly inadequate songs have catapulted Hindi cinema into its current predicament.

During previous industry slumps, remarkable soundtracks managed to instill excitement, enticing audiences to even the least appealing films. Music has been a key factor in transforming Indian movies into hits; ordinary films like “Disco Dancer,” “Aashiqui,” “Taal,” and “Ek Villain Returns” tasted success owing to their stellar soundtracks. However, over the past decade, the industry’s songwriting wellspring has nearly run dry. This dearth has not only deprived the industry of a potent marketing tool but also unveiled the shortcomings of movies that once concealed themselves behind splendid song collections.

Multiple factors have contributed to the precipitous drop in song quality. Primarily, the dearth of emerging talents capable of creating cross-generational hits has taken its toll. Established composers seem to have exhausted their creative reservoirs, while many young musicians lean on studio enhancements, frivolous rap, and cover versions. Remixes of classic songs have proliferated, and regrettably, most of them have fallen flat.

In contrast to past successful filmmakers like Raj Kapoor, Subhash Ghai, Yash Chopra and Vijay Anand, contemporary blockbuster producers and directors possess limited insight into the essence of a well-crafted song. Even aging Bollywood icons, who often wield significant control over a film, exhibit musical illiteracy.

Another pivotal reason for the decline lies in music directors increasingly assuming the role of singers, forsaking full-time professionals. Instances of melody plagiarism persist, tarnishing the industry’s integrity. The proliferation of the “big musical lie,” perpetuated by inflating YouTube views through dubious means or presenting songs on platforms with massive subscriber counts, further exacerbates the crisis of subpar soundtracks.

Amidst the gloom, certain bright spots emerge. Established vocalists like Shreya Ghoshal breathe vitality into lackluster songs through their sheer talent. A new wave of singers, including Asees Kaur, Arijit Singh, and Jubin Nautiyal, infuse distinctive vocal textures, although often grappling with substandard compositions.

To extricate itself from the quagmire, Bollywood must address numerous fronts. While the industry clings to aging stars, nepotism, and lackluster narratives, it could rekindle its prospects by reintroducing exceptional music. This might steer the industry toward a positive trajectory and perhaps resuscitate a waning Bollywood.

DesiKudi is an avid entertainment blogger who have been writting about different topics related with Indian Entertainment on major news portals. She has take upon anything to everything from Movies, Web Series, TV Shows, etc.
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