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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Being called a Bollywood singer almost like an insult: Palash Sen

Palash Sen, who has been headlining music band Euphoria for 21 years now, on the Hindi film industry and why he has chosen to stay away from it.

Written by A. Kameshwari | New Delhi | Updated: April 2, 2020 10:13:37 am
Palash Sen on Bollywood music and Euphoria Palash Sen says demand of original music has to come from the audience. (Photo: Niranjan Ambhore)

Dr Palash Sen, who is famously known as the face of indie-band Euphoria, recently took over The Indian ExpressFacebook page to interact with his fans. During the live session, the singer sang most of his hits including “Dhoom Pichak”, “Maeri”, “Mehfooz” and more.

Sen also applauded New Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for their efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus. He asked his fans to follow the guidelines given by the government and requested them to stay home.

When asked how he is spending his self-isolation time, Sen said, “This time has been the most beautiful time because I am spending so much time at home. This has been a time to reflect on life. I am a doctor and I think music and laughter are the best medicines.”

Here are excerpts from the conversation:

Why have you stayed away from Bollywood?

I am not a part of Bollywood. When I give interviews, most of them refer to me as ‘Bollywood singer’. Being called a Bollywood singer is as good as an insult to me. I am not a Bollywood singer. I am just a singer. We (Euphoria) completed 21 years staying away from the film industry. We were not supported by them, but we had a huge support from our fans.

Bollywood’s biggest problem is that there are too many things involved, including business. If the business is the only priority for a song, it is a problem, at least for me. A song should express what you want to express and not express someone else’s vision. Music should be made by the musicians, not by those who think they are musicians.

How does it feel that you and your band are still relevant?

Thank god. I feel if there is honest music which comes from the heart, and which is not designed for a hero, heroine or a situation, it is going to stay relevant forever. The problem is that we are made to listen to Bollywood music so much. All the voices sound the same. Plus, now recreations have become a trend because they have run out of ideas. Many talented singers have gotten stuck in the trend. I feel after the trend gets over, originals will come back but the demand of originals has to come from the audience. Think about it, there should be a standard of music in our country.

How did you become a musician from a doctor?

I am a qualified doctor. I belong to a family of doctors. I wanted to become a doctor too. I think it is the most noble profession after the job of a teacher. I still run a clinic and treat patients for free. I have been doing it for years as a charity. Till 2001, until “Maeri”, I was a full-fledged doctor. Eventually, I realised that through music I was giving a different kind of healing to people.

What sort of music do you listen to?

I listen to every genre but these days, I am extremely impressed with Amit Trivedi. He is ‘the man’ when we talk about film music. He just rocks it.

Has the growth of OTT platforms and YouTube helped indie music?

It has really helped all independent musicians. The only thing is that everything on the internet can be controlled by money, which I hope changes over time.

Has live audiences’ taste changed?

Live audiences’ taste in music has not changed. They don’t ask for what we won’t do. They know what they can expect from us.

Why did you never think of going solo?

Earning money has never been a priority for me. Euphoria is my family and you don’t give up on family.

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