Indo-Brit composer and singer Manj Musik feels the remix culture trend along with big music labels working on creating their own clout is destroying the independent music scene.
“Labels will always try and create a monopoly but independent music is stronger than ever today. You can create a super hit independent song and then labels will approach you instantly, then Bollywood will chase the clout and want in too,” says Manj, whose real name is Manjeet Singh Ral.
Manj highlights the need for the big music companies to push forward independent artistes. “Independent music is the way forward and will succeed in the end. (But) labels (should be) willing to help an independent artist and give them support without taking all the rights from their hard work,” asserts Manj, who was earlier one-third of seminal bhangra group RDB.
For the last two decades, Manj has been striking a chord with his music, which comes infused with a desi touch, and sometimes with a global hip-hop spin. He has composed songs for Bollywood films such as Namastey London, Singh Is Kinng, Kambakkht Ishq, Tanu Weds Manu, Yamla Pagla Deewana, Bullet Raja and Good Newwz.
Looking back at exploring his way in Hindi filmdom, the music producer reveals, “We made some pretty big hits in Bollywood that changed Bollywood forever, but we were very selective. I am very careful in what I create for Bollywood as I feel the market has changed so much to going for remixes rather than original. I made songs that have shelf life, now they create songs to work for a few months or a year and they disappear. I believe in quality over quantity.”
It’s true that the trend of remixing old classics has become huge in Bollywood, which has also led to many debates around the lack of originality. While Manj doesn’t dismiss the whole trend, he stresses on the need to give priority to quality.
“There are too many remixes that are crap. There have been a handful done very well. I am not the biggest fan as I’ve always created fresh new music but I don’t mind it,” expresses the singer, who recently came out with single, Kangna.
Next, after resuming live gigs, he is planning to tour India , and teases collaboration with Bollywood actors Akshay Kumar, and Tiger Shroff.
“Besides Bollywood, I am helping independent artists grow their own YouTube channels by investing in them and creating new content with my new label, not only Indian music but music from across the globe in all genres. Bollywood aint the shining light at the end of the tunnel no more…it’s a bonus,” he signs off.
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