Lyricists are Bollywood’s unsung heroes, says music industry

June 21st, 2008 - 9:33 am ICT by IANS  

By Rishabh P. Nair
New Delhi, June 21 (IANS) A hit Bollywood number can work wonders for the stars who feature in it and the singers, but the lyricist often goes unnoticed and music greats say this is largely because youngsters don’t understand the “value” of lyrics. In recent times, songs like “Judai” from “Jannat”, “Bin tere kya hai jeena” from “Woh Lamhe”, and “In dino” from “Life…In A Metro” have become popular, but only a handful of people know about their lyricists, Sayeed Quadri and Sandeep Srivastava.

And music directors and singers agree that barring big names like Gulzar, Javed Akhtar and Prasoon Joshi, most other lyricists don’t get the due fame and recognition.

Said singer-composer Shankar Mahadevan: “I think generally in India people’s perception of music is wrong, they don’t identify the people who create music.

“Lyricist’s and composer’s are the actual creator’s of music and yet they don’t get the recognition they deserve.”

Playback singer Shaan, who has bagged several awards for his “Jab se tere naina” from “Saawariya”, says the star-driven industry and youngsters’ lack of understanding as far as lyrics are concerned is to blame.

“Everything is driven today by stars. The youth these days do not understand the value of lyrics and that is why songs with worthless lyrics are becoming hits too,” he told IANS.

“It is a sad state of affairs. A lyricist is as important as the music composer or singer but sadly not many get the fame they deserve,” said composer Chirantan Bhatt.

Bhatt is the man behind songs like “Awaarapan banjarapan” from “Jism” and “Tose naina lagey” from “Anwar”.

Mahadevan added: “The modus operandi these days is that lyricists are at the bottom of the ladder when it comes to fame and recognition. Even good lyricists like Sameer and Rahat Indori haven’t got the level of fame they deserve.”

Singer Shibani Kashyap echoes his sentiments and says the media could help in this regard.

“Apart from Javed Akhtar saab and Gulzar saab, lyricists don’t get to connect visually with the audience. They need more media space as they play a vital role in each song,” she said.

Lyricists deserve much more, says Shekhar Ravijani of popular music director duo Vishal-Shekhar.

“They need to be more visible. Lyricists are very much a part of a film and they also put in a lot of effort,” Shekhar maintained.

“Well, unfortunately only two things make an album sell - the name of the film and the singer. That leaves in a way no space for the lyricist,” said Mukul Kansal, vice president and client services director of music label Sa-Re-Ga-Ma.

He too stressed that finally consumer is king - it’s their interest that decides who gets more publicity and therefore becomes more popular.

Asked what can help a lyricist come into the limelight and join the likes of Javed Akhtar and Prasoon Joshi, Kansal said: “Powerful lyrics and originality are what helps.”

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