Interview of the month 
Jeet Ganguly

He’s the relentless hit machine of Tollywood, and having firmly set his foot here, is now scouring the music industry in Mumbai. Musician Jeet Gannguli speaks RBN about contemporaries, music industry and more.

RBN: You have put on weight.

Jeet: (Laughs) Oh yes. I am a big foodie. Had a great Puja this time. Ate almost everything from phuchkas to stale chowmein.

RBN: Ishq-e-Dariyan has become a rage on YouTube. There were over 1.5 lakh hits in the first two days of release. Is this going to be your new strategy?

Jeet: Well, this is the age of digital music. Sonu (Nigam) is singing for me this way now. Nobody has the time or patience to listen to seven or eight songs on a CD. The days of albums are over. That’s why I launched Ishq-e-Dariyan on YouTube. The video is available exclusively on the channel that released the song. 

RBN: Musicians are increasingly diversifying their profession. Some are opening real estate companies, boutiques, and music companies. Shaan recently said that recording studios are a dated concept. As a senior, how do you intend to save the industry?

Jeet: The arrival of smartphones and portable music players sounded the death knell for the music sales market. People listen to only one song on their digital players from a CD that contains eight songs. The remaining songs remain unheard. How’ll then the industry survive? Pitch correction is randomly used to correct the voice of non-singers. 

RBN: People still prefer the older songs over new ones.

Jeet: Absolutely. But I firmly believe that if you compose a song that’s pleasing to the ears, people will listen to it, even after 15-20 years. Give us a little time.

RBN: What about Shaan?

Jeet: There are ups and downs in every musician’s life. Shaan was at the top for many years. But fresh voices will come and you have to give them way. Even Shaan was a fresh voice when he sang Musu Musu Hasi in Pyar Mein Kabhi Kabhi in 1999.

RBN: People credit Arijit Singh’s rise to you and Pritam.

Jeet: If you have talent, it’s bound to shine at some time. Arijit is immensely talented and an extremely humble man.

RBN: What tips will you give Arijit as a senior?

Jeet: Arijit is very matured. He won’t need tips from me. He wants to act in Bengali films now, which is a great news.

RBN: So there’s no place for albums these days?

Jeet: Sadly, no. And there’s nothing we can do about it. Vishal Bharadwaj scored great music for Omkara. There’s no place for private albums today. But they were hugely popular even a decade back. Lucky Ali, Palash Sen (Euphoria), Mohit  Chauhan (Silk Rote) did great music. We had great film songs then as well. Didn’t we? These singers were as popular as their playback counterparts. Even Shaan came from an Indipop background.   

RBN: So where’s the problem?

Jeet: Music labels must rework their strategies. Besides, FM and TV channels should have separate slots for private albums. People are overfed on music. The same songs are played on radio, TV, and internet all through the day. The yearning quotient has gone down. There was a time when the Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge theme used to play only a few times on FM and we just waited to catch the movie. I want those days to come back.

RBN: You sing most of your compositions yourself. How will the singers survive?

Jeet: This is not correct. I recorded a version of the song I sang in Hamari Adhuri Kahani with Arijit. I use a singer according to the demands of the song. When I felt Nachiketa Chakraborty will do justice to a song, I took him. Same with Rashid Khan and Manomoy Bhattacharya.

RBN: All the best for your upcoming projects.

Jeet: Thanks. A big hug to all the listeners of RBN

-- Prabuudha Neogi

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