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Papon on Current Trend in Music Industry: 'Views are Like Vegetables, Organic and Inorganic' | Exclusive

By: Bhawna Arya

Edited By: Bohni Bandyopadhyay


Last Updated: September 30, 2022, 01:35 IST

Mumbai, India

Papon says he couldn't find a music label to release his song dedicated to Gulzar.

Papon says he couldn't find a music label to release his song dedicated to Gulzar.

Papon talks about his latest composition Kahani Koi that he dedicated to the veteran poet and lyricist Gulzar on the occasion of his 88th birthday.

Playback singer and music composer Papon recently dedicated his composition Kahani Koyi to veteran poet and lyricist Gulzar on the occasion of his 88th birthday. The lyrics of the soulful song have been penned by Gulzar. In his recent conversation with News18Showsha for his latest song, Papon revealed that the song was ready for the past 2 years and he was waiting for a big music brand to release it. However, none of the brands agreed to release the song. The 46-year-old singer also talked about the current trends in the music industry and organic and inorganic views.

How did Kahani Koi happen?

I’ve known Gulzar Saab for some time now. I think it’s a dream and a blessing that I have come close to him. Working with him was like staying under the shade of a big old tree. At some point, I told him that I want to compose a song, and will it be possible for him to write for me. Then we did a couple of songs – this song was done later. And after we completed Kahani Koyi, he was so excited and said to release this song first. I agreed and shot a video as well for the song, and I got ready with it but had to wait almost 2 years because I was thinking of releasing it in a grand way.

I released the song on his birthday. As it has been inspired by the monsoon, he joked that 2 monsoons have come and gone, when are you going to release it? I’ve been ready for the last 6-7 months and I’ve been really trying to release it with a music label, but none of the big brands are ready for this kind of music now. I didn’t want to make it a small release that’s why we waited. But when he said that this has been a long time since we made this song and now we have to release it, it was just four days left for his birthday. So, I planned to present this to Gulzaar Saab as a birthday gift, and not wait for a music label. I’ll try and make it as big as possible via media, friends and whatever sources I have. That’s why the delay and I wanted to give him this song as a birthday gift.

Why do you think music labels were not ready to launch the song?

It’s an amazing song, and it has Gulzar Saab’s fine poetry which is like gold. The kind of music that is coming out right now, people who have numbers through Instagram Reels and fan following are being considered. There’s a lot of talk about the song even before it is released, which makes it a success. Maybe they see success in terms of numbers.

I think the companies, the music labels see if an artist is selling, so they say let’s take this kind of music only because they have to run a big corporate and so many salaries to be paid. They are going into something else then, there is no responsibility towards art and no quality. Every music label is churning out the same kind of story. No label is releasing interesting stuff. And they go to quick numbers.

Of course, art and music is not fast food. Now, like vegetables, we have organic and inorganic views. I’m talking about it the first time because enough is enough. One should talk about it and one should inform. And if one has the power, you will have to be responsible.


What’s your bond with Gulzar Saab and experience of working with him?

It’s an experience and I’m still living a dream. It’s difficult for me to define it. Tum chale jaoge toh sochenge humne kya khoya kya paya wali baat hai (When you’ll be gone I’ll think about what I’ve left with me and what I’ve earned). From the beginning of the process till the end when he is in it- he will be completely into it, that’s also how I am. When we made Kahani Koyi, he was so interested in the song I was so nervous about how it would turn out to be. The tempo of the song, the video, he observed everything and he was constantly there through the process, and at the end, he said, ‘Now I feel this is good.’ It was lovely and more than any award or recognition.

KK’s passing left everyone shocked. He was last performing at a concert which was overcrowded. Do you think if the arrangement would’ve been better, such incidents can be dodged?

We can or we should have better circumstances in terms of medical, not only for us (singers) but also for the audience. For elderly ladies, maybe someone is differently-abled people, that should be taken into account. That’s why we are not one of the most advanced nations in the world yet. We have a long way to go. I have seen international concerts where differently-abled kids have dedicated sections for them, so things are very well thought out and organised. But in a country like India, how much can you make people aware and educated? It’s so difficult for us to reach there, and it’s a big task that we have in hand. One section of people knows, but others should be educated and made aware of many things now.

Speaking of organizing, there can be better situations, though I’ve been hearing about lots of heart attacks these days, and it’s unfortunate. It’s already very painful to lose such a talented person. He was so healthy and such an amazing talent for the country. One of our top singers, it’s untimely and unfortunate that we lost him.

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first published:September 26, 2022, 15:15 IST
last updated:September 30, 2022, 01:35 IST
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