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Asha Bhosle: Reality Shows Fail to Produce Playback Singers

  | September 15, 2014 21:25 IST
Asha Bhosle

Asha Bhosle feels giving a modern spin to classics ruins them

The 81-year-old singer recalled how during earlier days, singers used to listen to the composers and try to "catch" the tune directly from their sessions

Octogenarian singer Asha Bhosle on Monday said music reality shows bring out talented crooners but they fail to churn out solid playback singers. "I think good singers come out from those shows but not playback singers. I think reality shows give them a platform to do stage shows but not playback singing.

It takes a lot to become a playback singer. Playback singers are a different lot and their brains function in a different way," she told reporters in Kolkata on the sidelines of an event.

Asha Bhosle was in Kolkata to launch Bengali music album Pancham Tumi Kothay.

Launched by Saregama, the album is a collection of eight songs selected by Asha Bhosle, which were originally sung by late composer Rahul Dev Burman aka Pancham da. They have been re-recorded by Asha Bhosle and the album is pegged as a Durga Puja special album.

"We used to work so hard and therefore, we could churn out so many songs. There was no time for doing shows back then as we used to be so busy," said the Padma Vibhushan awardee, who has apparently crooned more than 12,000 songs in multiple languages.

The 81-year-old crooner recalled how during earlier days, singers used to listen to the composers and try to "catch" the tune directly from their sessions.

However, she lamented, today, even after listening to songs multiple times, aspirants can't get the right tune.

"Even after listening to a song 10 to 15 times, if they can't get it right, then they are of no use. We used to learn directly from the composer. Besides, the music directors today do not sing that well themselves. In our time, all the music directors (like Madan Mohan etc) used to sing very well," she said.

Asha, the younger sister of legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, has sung for actresses of black-and-white era like Madhubala, Helen and Asha Parekh as well as the new-age heroines like Urmila Matondkar and Kareena Kapoor.

What pains her is the way the classics are replicated and given a modern spin that essentially "ruins" (bigaad dete hain) the original. "We sang songs with a lot of hard work and a lot of effort went in for the rehearsals. After that effort, the songs became hits and ran for a long time.

So, when somebody ruins the compositions through remixes (bigaad dete hain), I feel very bad. Especially when somebody does it to Lata di's songs or Kishore da's songs, I feel anguished. When they sing our songs like that, I wonder why do they do it? Nobody has the voice of Kishore da," she said. Aaiye meherban, Jaaiye aap kahan, Raat akeli hai, Piya tu ab toh aaja, Dum maaro dum, Dil cheez kya hai are Yayi re yayi re are some of her memorable numbers.

She performs live on stage till date and took to the stage at a packed show in Paris earlier this year.


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