Veteran music composer A.R. Rahman says independent and English music have always been the underdogs in India, and that they need to be helped and nurtured in the coming years.
Rahman spoke at a press conference of a new musical launch, which saw artistes Uday Benegal, Clinton Cerejo, Anushka Manchanda and Nikhil D'souza in attendance, here on Wednesday.
The initiative is to provide aspiring Indian musicians a platform to compose original lyrics. It has invited entries from budding musicians across the country. The participants will be mentored by famous music composers, including Rahman, and supported by Cerejo.
Commenting on whether English and independent music is going to capture the Indian market, which is full of Bollywood music lovers, Rahman said: "It needs to be helped and it needs to be nurtured. I think nothing is wrong with film music. It is beautiful but it has been commissioned like that, there you have to write for a situation and those are limited, but I think here the whole universe is your imagination."
Rahman said indie music inspires film music.
"Sometimes, indie music actually inspires movies and I want that to happen. I want a song from indie music to go in film music. It is not a compulsion, but I feel people's mind should never be closed. You should trigger the imagination of a common man and that can only happen when you are not restricted in your imagination that you should only write for this actor, actress, story or the director. But here, you can talk about anything."
When asked Rahman whether future of independent artistes is going to get bright in India, he said: "The future is always bright. We actually create the future. All of us create the future. We are trying to create a market here for them, but for that, you need to take a first step and I think tiny steps are already there.
"I am not denying that people aren't working towards this. I think we should collectively come and make this as a success."
Asked about the thought behind the project, he said: "It is to promote indie and English music in India. They have always been like an underdog. I personally hear many amazing songs on YouTube. I feel like with this encouragement and investment, indie artistes are going to shine."
He said talent will get exposure through the platform.