Actor-singer Ayushmann Khurrana finds it disheartening that musicians in India don’t get the same treatment as Bollywood actors despite being immensely talented.
The 31-year-old “Dum Laga Ke Haisha” star feels independent music should be encouraged to promote artistes like it happens in the west.
“It’s quite sad that actors get the upper edge on musicians. They should get their due and be treated at par with the actors if not above them,” Ayushmann told PTI.
“In India, cricket and cinema are the two biggest entities. But I think, times should change and they will change. This change depends on the music scene. Right now, Bollywood is the main career of music in our country. Independent music is still not big. Our films are about song and dance. That’s not the case in the west.”
Just back from his maiden US tour, Ayushmann says he was surprised to see that people there connected to Bollywood films and music. “I performed in eight cities. It was maddening. I realised people in the US like Bollywood more than in India. It was good fun overall. This was my first tour in the US and I think Bollywood is the only connection they have with our country.”
The multi-faceted artiste toured with his group Ayushmann Bhava and the response he got by performing live is unmatchable. “Touring with my band had always been on my wishlist. I had a band in college as well. I always wanted to be an actor-singer, perform in front of the people and sing live. Live performance is a different kind of high for sure.
“It gives you instant gratification. You feel like a rockstar on the stage with people watching you perform, singing with you and enjoying themselves. Live performances also give you anxiety, you have that nervous energy.”
The actor is back on the sets on his upcoming love story “Meri Pyari Bindu” and next week, he will be off to Dubai to shoot for a T-Series single, co-starring Amy Jackson.
Ayushmann is happy to see the trend of independent music getting back after it got lost in the last decade. “There’s a way forward for sure for independent singles.
In early and mid-2000s, there were no takers for singles or albums. But now various channels are supporting this kind of work.”
The “Paani Da” hitmaker, however, believes independent music is mostly niche in nature so artistes will have to strike a balance by churning more ‘massy’ tracks in order to get a wider reach.
“We need mass euphoria for independent songs to make this trend stay, but for that we will have to make numbers which are ‘massy’ in nature because platforms like ‘Coke Studio’, which has takers online, is quite niche.
“You need to make the sound of the music more pop-culture to get musicians at par with actors. Eclectic, different kind of music will give you respect but for more fanfare you need to be ‘massy’. So, it’s a dichotomy there.”
Ayushmann says though he listens to sufi music, his own songs are more on the commercial side as he has to cater to all kind of listeners.
“I am purist as a musician. Maybe the music that I make is not that purist. It is slightly commercial but as a listener I am quite purist as I listen to Mehdi Hassan and sufi music. I am a ‘Coke Studio’ fan, my taste is different.”