Music composer-singer Salim Merchant rues the fact that unlike the west, India does not have a separate music industry and hence musicians in the country don’t enjoy as much popularity as the film stars do. Salim, however, also believes that with time, things will change as the digital presence in the country is increasing, giving way to more independent, non-film music.
When asked about the disparity in popularity between Indian musicians and their international counterparts, Salim told indianexpress.com, “We don’t have a music industry in our country. We have a film industry. Most of the music in our country is made for films. When Justin Bieber or Justin Timberlake brings out an album, it is launched on the scale of Hollywood films. Their videos look as good as Hollywood movies and that’s because they have a separate music industry.”
He is, however, hopeful that things will change. “But that is changing and in the years to come it will change a lot. There’s a lot of digital presence in our country. Things will take time. A lot of music is made in the country. Since the beginning, we have followed actors. First, the actor comes, then the music comes. Music was always a playback thing. People didn’t even know how singers or music composers looked but that’s not the case anymore,” the Band Baaja Baaraat composer added.
Salim, who is gearing up to judge Voice India season two, said he followed the US and UK versions of the show and had been a fan since then. “I got excited when I was offered Voice because I have watched its international versions and I love the concept. The fact that we first listen to the contestant’s voice without seeing him or her and then leave up to them to choose their mentors is damn interesting. The talent we have got on the show is outstanding,” he said.
Singers Shaan, Neeti Mohan and Benny Dayal are the other three mentors on the &TV show. Salim said that while other judges try to woo the contestants, he does not have to do much as being a music director he has an edge over others.