After Neha Kakkar made a shocking revelation about singers not being paid, Aditya Narayan, who has belted out hits like ‘Main Dooba Rahoon’ and ‘Tattad Tattad’ among many others, has seconded her saying that singers don’t get a “single penny” in Bollywood and that there is a “pandemic in the music industry”.
Kakkar had earlier said in an interview, “We don’t get paid for singing in Bollywood at all. What happens is they feel that if we give a superhit song, the singer will earn through shows. I get a good amount from live concerts and everything, but Bollywood doesn’t have this scene. To make us sing a song, they don’t pay.”
Narayan couldn’t agree more. “We don’t get a single penny. It’s like they are gratifying us by calling us to sing a song.... I have a problem with anyone doing anything for free. Let’s not just target the music industry. I am saying don’t make anyone do anything for free. Leave this goodwill. Now this new thing has come up that ‘you would get exposure’. What will I do with the exposure? Put the exposure between my bread and eat? What will I do with exposure when I do not have money to run my house and basic necessities? So please stop exploiting,” the young singer told said, while discussing the reality.
“Why singers are not paid is because 20 singers are made to sing one song and then one company, one producer and actor will decide ‘iska version rakhte hain’ (let’s keep this version). I never see that happening in any other profession. You don’t call 20 actors to shoot a scene and keep one actor’s scene,” said the son of veteran singer Udit Narayan.
“So why this behove for singers? Just because humari bechari our laachari hai (it is our compulsion)? Just because we have to make ends meet it doesn’t mean that they would do anything. At least give us Rs1000 for a song? In a nutshell There are a lot of issues I hope we resolve, which is why I encourage my own generation and forthcoming generation to make their own music,” he said.
He said he will help and welcome aspiring artists who want to get noticed for their talent.
“I am told that I am a legend and born with a silver spoon. But I know when I have to promote my own music, and how much I have to do to make a name in the industry. It has taken 25 years to be recognised by the country and the industry. I still feel I am starting off. I call it the end of the beginning for me at 31-32 years old,” he said.
Narayan, however, feels that even artists in the country are “a little stuck up”.
“When I ask them for collaborations they say ‘paisa paisa’ (money, money). When they are called by composers, they go for free. But when another artiste calls you, suddenly you want money. I think we need to curb the problem with unity, compassion and love. I urge all my musician friends and aspiring musicians to collaborate with each other and to be there for each other. If you can sing for composers and films for free, I think you can collaborate with other musician friends for free, too. Let’s empower each other,” he said.
“There are a lot of issues, and the only way we can come out of it is by being brave and doing this together like the pandemic we are fighting. I think there is a pandemic in the music industry, too, one which we need to unite and fight together.”