The industry of contemporary Bangla songs including playback music is going downhill because of over-commercialisation of the industry, seasoned musician and lyricists say.
They also say music is being a victim of the commodity culture with the reigning motive being production of music in the cheapest, easiest and quickest way possible. ‘The industry is going through a critical phrase from which there seems to be no getting away,’ said music composer Sheikh Sadi Khan. ‘The atmosphere is not conducive to talent development or creative of great music.’
There are allegations that music directors pay little attention to teamwork these days. Often lyricists and composers are asked to produce a song within two days, and singers are then invited to lend voice to finish the ‘product’ within a few hours.
‘Music is not a product that you can buy at the department stores. In the old days, strenuous preparations were made for a single song,’ Sadi continues. ‘For a playback number, for instance, everyone involved with the production team – the lyricist, composer, singer, director – would sit together and spend days to create a piece of music best suited to the film’s context.’
‘But now everyone wants to do music as cheaply and swiftly as possible with little commitment to its artistic quality. You can produce music that way, but not create it,’ he said. ‘A song like Hajar Moner Kachhe Proshno Rekhe took several sittings from lyricist Nazrul Islam Babu, composer Shekh Sadi Khan, singer Subir Nandi and the film director.’
Noted lyricist Kabir Bakul, who has a number of hit songs to his credit, also said that everyone is in haste these days. ‘I am often asked to write and send lyrics within a very short time, which does not allow for good music,’ he said.
Bakul believes creation of a good song depends on the concerted effort of a number of people. ‘Making music in haste and without a participatory approach is doing more harm than good to the industry,’ he said.
‘Music has become more of a business today,’ said senior lyricist M Rafiquzzaman. ‘This was not the case even 20 years back. Our young artistes – lyricists, composers and singers – are being exploited for maximisation of profit for some unscrupulous people. You cannot completely rule out the business motive, but care should be taken so that the quality of music is not compromised in any way.’
Other factors coming in the way of creating good music are overdependence on computer software and technology, deviation from time-tested instruments, fraudulent imitation of foreign music and so on.
‘Every stage of a music creation deserves a balanced mix of passion and time, but at present the industry does not promote such an environment,’ said Rafiquzaman.
Another noted composer-lyricist, Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul, said it is not the fault of the artistes only; rather, he laments the absence of a proper environment and a healthy music market which he thinks are essential for creation of good music.
‘There is no denying that the music industry is going through a bad phase, as is the film industry. When a film is being produced on a low budget, allocation of money and time for the musical scores is also restrained. You cannot expect good productions coming out of such low-budget projects,’ he said.
-With New Age input