‘Today, a good song is one which has more likes’

Alisha Shinde
Friday, 19 October 2018

Raftaar, who will be performing at the 4th edition of Hungama Bollywood Music Project 4.0, tells us why music festivals are a rage and how a certain song comes across as noise for some and music for others

Bollywood music festival Hungama Bollywood Music Project 4.0, presented by Škoda Auto, is kicking off with its 4th edition that has an exciting lineup of performances in Mumbai today. So if you are someone who lives and breathes Bollywood music, head to this two-day long festival (on October 20-21). Prior to the event, we catch up with music composer and rapper Raftaar who will be performing at the fest. Excerpts:  

Music festivals have become a rage in recent times. Why do you think so?
- One of the most important reasons is that there are people out there who like multiple genres, a person can love Bollywood and hip-hop at the same time and festivals showcase a mix of genres which the audience can enjoy. They get to listen to multiple artists. Besides the performances, they also get to meet and greet new people at the venue, and enjoy the food. Festivals are like the buffet of music, where the audience gets multiple choices and this is one of the main reasons music festivals have become a rage in recent times. On the other hand, it also increases the listenership of artists. 

Today’s Bollywood music is either a remixed version or a fusion. Do you think any of the recent songs can make it as evergreen songs of our generation?
- In today’s scenario, the entire concept of calling a song ‘good’ has changed. A good song is one which has more likes. What today’s musicians are trying to do is adding a new flavour to classic songs and giving them to the current generation, who may not be aware of those songs. When the audience listens to those songs with new beats, they kind of enjoy it. The only difference is that some musicians do it really well while others don’t. That said, it also depends on the artist and the audience s/he is catering to. Today, we see a fight happening between quality and quantity as every day hundreds of versions are releasing.  
Also, do you think songs these days lack melody and are more of a noise clutter?
- Music has evolved and will keep evolving based on the tastes of people. Everybody wants a change and it is an important part of our life. Back in the day when I used to listen to metal and rock, I used to consider that noise. On the other hand, my mom and dad always thought that rap was all about people talking and had no melody. What might come across as noise for some, can be music for others.
Do you think Punjabi music and rap, which are a rage in Bollywood now, is the future of music?
- I am not sure about the future, but it is the present for sure. The future depends entirely on the choice of the audience. Music can be built into a structure but there is no specific structure of making music. It is not like rappers are doing just one bit of a song. We are doing a complete song now. Today, we have a separate market for rap and hip-hop. The kind of people that we have in the North will surely appreciate their language coming into the song. So this is definitely here to stay. And in the future, Punjabi and rap will be a part of the entire process. 
Is it difficult for an independent artist to make it in India?
- What is difficult is ‘getting noticed’. These days, one has to be efficient. Competition has increased and there are a number of singers out there trying to prove their mettle. Kids these days are producing music themselves and then posting it; they will surely get noticed. An artist does not need big labels to survive. Big labels are needed only to enter the industry. In order to get noticed, it is important to follow the right platform. 
#MeToo is finally gaining momentum in India. What are your thoughts on it?
- I believe in one thing, if a woman has been wronged, she should get justice. It is not only physical torture that we are talking about, but mental torture too. I believe in justice and it should be served. 

Tickets for Hungama Bollywood Music Project 4.0 are available on bookmyshow.com

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