Bollywood’s tryst with folk music and culture has often left a sense of anonymity for the later even as the its revamped Bollywood version soars to new heights. A recent example would be the song ‘Anjan Ki Seeti’ used in Anil Kapoor Production and UTV Disney’s film ‘Khoobsurat’, which stars Sonam Kapoor in the lead role.
The song, which is a popular Rajasthani folk song that became a rage in the 80s, was misinterpreted as ‘plagiarised’ from an Anu Malik song. However, celebrated singer and songwriter Sona Mohapatra, known for her inclination towards folk artists and music, cleared the air around the entire controversy.
In an exclusive interview to The Indian Express, Sona Mohapatra spoke about the dismal state of the folk artists and the need to help the dying folk music.
“‘Anjan ke seeti’ is a very popular Rajasthani song which became a rage in the 80s and can be correctly classified as a modern folk song. I remember winning several group song and dance competitions while performing this song in the early 90s for the Kendriya Vidyalaya sangathan meets in my school! The songwriter of this song in particular is a local poet Ikram Rajasthani.”
“An article in a mainstream publication claimed that the ‘Khubsoorat’ song was plagiarised from an Anu Malik song from an old film called ‘Ma’. Anu Malik himself went on to give an ambiguous answer about the same when questioned, no where admitting that the song was not his to begin with. I wrote to Sonam Kapoor about the same and drew her attention to it and an interesting conversation on Twitter ensued!”
Sona says her intention was to draw attention to the origins of the song thereby highlighting the true composer and the creator of ‘Anjan Ki Seeti’. “My idea firstly was to draw attention to the origins of the song and therefore put a spotlight on how we treat composers and writers of music by using/reusing their works without appropriate credits or compensation. Secondly, I also wanted to make a point about how publications ought to dig deeper before publishing a story,” she added.
“Just having juicy accusation to make shouldn’t be reason enough.”
Sona Mohapatra also spoke about her tryst with folk music and said she attempts to pay an ode to the state she is performing in by including a couple of their folk songs to the set list.
“My first album, SONA, has a single song of this nature. ‘Jai Phulo Re’ is a Sambalpuri folk song from Odisha and I recreated this as an ode to my roots. The core spirit of the song is from the folk song and therefore the credits clearly mention this. In my live gigs, I do attempt to play continued…