More about sound than singing: Priya Saraiya

Debarati Palit Singh
Monday, 22 January 2018

Priya Saraiya, who has established herself as a singer and lyricist in Bollywood, says that the focus is now on the final sound of a song rather than the original singing of a singer

Priya Saraiya, who has established herself as a singer and lyricist in Bollywood, says that the focus is now on the final sound of a song rather than the original singing of a singer

Playback singer and lyricist Priya Saraiya calls herself lucky because of the kind of work that’s being offered to her over the years. The singer, who has sung Sun Sathiya and Bezubaan Phir Se in the movie ABCD 2 and written the lyrics of Simran, Bhoomi and A Gentleman, says, “All the songs that have been offered to me are challenging — be it Simran or Sun Sathia. Each project is different; even the item song I had written for Bhoomi.”

The singer says that there was a time when she had to choose between projects. “You have to do justice to whatever work you do and that should be the focus,” says Priya, who is married to composer and singer Jigar Saraiya of Sachin-Jigar fame.

The singer has some interesting projects lined up this year. “I am writing the lyrics for Raj & DK’s next, ABCD 3 and Badlapur 2.”

How is it being a singer and a lyricist simultaneously? “Neither the lyricist nor the composer takes a call on who is going to sing the song. It’s the music companies who decide the singer. But having said that, I have been lucky because I got to sing the scratch version of Sun Sathiya and the makers decided to retain my voice. Because you are present at the studios when the song is being made, there are chances of your voice being retained,” she says.

It’s become a common trend that composers use multiple singers for a song and till the time a song is out, no one really knows who is being used. This becomes demotivating for a singer. “Yes, when you are singing a song, you are giving your 100 per cent to it but when the song is out, you see that your name is missing,” she says, adding, “Every day the music trend is changing. For example, if a composer is working on a film in 2015 and the film is releasing in 2016, the voice they have used back then might sound old or out of place after a year. It might not go with the trend. There are too many factors — like the singer’s voice, it is filtered or there are mixes. It’s all about the sound rather than the singing these days.”

“I have seen composers fight with the producers about the voice. Nowadays, music labels have their own set of singers like T-series and Sony Music. Everyone wants to promote their own artists, so composers and lyricists have no say at all,” says Priya, who is trained in Hindustani Classical music from Gandharva Mahavidyalaya and Western music from Trinity College of London.

Ask her how has the diverse training helped her as a singer and she says, “There is no denying that Indian classical and Western music are completely different from each other and therefore, the techniques are also different. Learning classical has helped me learn ragas. Sometimes you are offered songs which are raga-based, or have thumri. My training helps me then. In Western music, it’s more about technicality but in classical music it’s more about the soul and expressions,” she says.

 

 

 

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