In an Instagram vlog uploaded on Thursday, accomplished singer Sonu Nigam exposed the dominance of big labels in the music industry and the ill-treatment meted out to professional singers. He began his video blog by highlighting the tragic and untimely death of a 34-year-old actor, Sushant Singh Rajput, and laid the foundation of his video blog.
The singer clarified at the very onset that he wanted to make a request to music production companies via his video. Addressing his fans, he stated “You have heard about the death of an actor. It’s quite possible that you may hear about the death of a singer, composer, or lyricist tomorrow. There is a bigger mafia in the music industry than the acting industry.” Calling himself fortunate to have been a part of the industry at an early age, Sonu Nigam expressed grief over the challenges faced by young and talented singers at the hands of production companies.
“The director, producer, composer, and even the music director wants to work with these singers but the music company would deny (them the opportunity). I understand that you (music companies) are big and you have control over the radio and film industry. But, please don’t do this,” the singer requested.
Sonu Nigam revealed that the music industry is controlled by two giant players who in turn decide the fate of a singer. Expressing his delight of being free from the vicious entrapments of these players, the singer sighed, “I have seen the frustration in the eyes, voice, and words of new singers, composers, and lyricists. Questions will be asked to you (referring to music companies) in case the newcomers choose to end their lives… Stay easy. Stop torturing them.”
Sonu Nigam shares his personal experience
Without naming the actor, he took a dig at Salman Khan for stopping him as well Arijit Singh from singing their own songs. “What is this? How can you use your power like that? It’s embarrassing to even say the number of songs, originally sung by me, which have already been dubbed. It’s humiliating! I did not call you for work. You call me to sing and I record the song but you dub it later. This is funny as hell”, Sonu Nigam remarked. He added that if such a treatment is meted out to him, who has been in the industry since 1989, then, one can imagine the plight of newcomers.
The Hegemony of the Big Labels
“You make 9 singers sing one song. What is happening?” he smirked. Sonu Nigam urged the music production companies to be humane and kind towards the newbies. “A singer is made to sing ten songs, but all of them are later dubbed. And then you dare to make him sing for the 11th song. Isn’t it wrong to treat singers, lyricists, and composers in this way?” he sighed. The singer explained how talented singers are deprived of opportunities if they chose to not work with any of these companies. He urged the big labels to step into the shoes of singers and artists to understand the struggles faced by them.
“I hope people don’t get irked after watching this video. I am stating the obvious. The singers, music directors, and lyricists who have been suffering will agree to what I have said. Even the directors and producers are not happy. They are not being allowed to make music of their choice. This is not right. Creativity should not be in the hands of two people,” he emphasised. Sonu Nigam concluded by saying that if music companies decide everything, then, the space for creativity would shrink.
Allegations after death of Sushant Singh Rajput
The issue of control of big production houses over the lives of artists in the Hindi film industry surfaced after the untimely death of Sushant Singh Rajput, allegedly by suicide. There are many allegations that he was denied work by several established production houses and producers, which pushed him to depression. After the allegations surfaced, the Mumbai police have already started investigating allegations that professional rivalry and lobbying might have pushed actor Sushant Singh Rajput to suicide. The police will also be probing allegations that the actor was ousted from multiple films in the last six months after being “boycotted” by big banners.