Sona Mohapatra on ‘music mafia’ debate: Mainstream musicians are second-class citizens in Bollywood
The singer has responded to discussions on nepotism and discrimination in the music industry
Sona Mohapatra has weighed in on discussions on nepotism in the Indian music industry. In a video, the singer expressed that the whole musical ecosystem needs to be re-hauled from the ground up. She feels the Indian music industry is merely an extension of the film industry. This, in turn, has created a chronic lack of variety, quality, and cultural influence, while strangling chances for upcoming talent, she says.
“Music sells almost everything in this country including election campaigns, toothpaste, sporting events and big budget films but is sadly the most undermined commodity in the media landscape,” says Sona, adding that mainstream musicians are second-class citizens in Bollywood who go through “a miserable and humiliating rejection and ragging process while making a soundtrack.”
She points out that casting decisions of a song are decided by a handful of people. “The creator of a song doesn’t even have the right to cast a singer and that itself is so disrespectful to the process of creativity. It is the reason why so many people are dubbed for scratches. My belief is that ultimately, the song suffers. It is akin to it being flogged, in a sense. While it is critical to have a discussion about music label monopolies and the lopsided clique driven power structure in the film industry, it is equally a time for all of us to self reflect,” Sona says.
The singer also holds the media responsible for not allocating space for music or concert reviews or slots that showcase new talent.
“Award shows that continue to give lip-sync acts by actors take precedence over actual musical performances,” Sona says. “It is important that even audiences start rejecting such mediocrity and aspire for world class standards in entertainment, which comes from being more demanding of authenticity and integrity from our entertainers.”