We live in a post-liberalisation world where marketing, advertisement and PR play a major role in making or breaking a person, organisation, artist, or product. The association of a brand or label like T-Series, Zee or Sony Music India, or ‘Foreign Stamp’ like Grammy or Oscar Awards puts a below-average artist on a higher pedestal than an accomplished artist without any label.
However, these labels, brand associations, or ‘Foreign Recognition’ should not be used as a yardstick to judge any artist. Rather they should be criticised or praised based on the skill set they bring to the table and the lives they have impacted.
Living legends of the Music Industry
The biggest push of Marketing or Foreign stamp can be witnessed when several Music lovers claim Allah Rakha Rahman aka AR Rahman to be the Greatest of All Time purely based on his Oscar Awards. But rest assured India doesn’t need a Western certification to find gems in the music industry.
There is no doubt that AR Rahman has given many refreshing melodies that music lovers sing to date. These include songs in films like Roja, Dil Se, Bombay and Oscar-winning performances in Slumdog Millionaire among others. But that doesn’t put him on a higher pedestal and prove that he is a musician par excellence, way ahead of his contemporaries.
It is a fact that in the music industry a lot of semi-skilled amateurs have made big names for themselves with the help of Modern technology and auto-tune be it Kakkar siblings and Tanishk Bagchi among others. This is exactly what acclaimed Music composer Ilaiyaraaja once highlighted. He said, “There are no composers in the film industry today; there are only programmers.”
There are music composers like MM Keeravani and Ilaiyaraaja who have infused life in each and every song they have sung so far. For those who unversed with these music maestros, here is a brief description of their endless achievements in the Music Industry.
Gnanathesikan aka Ilaiyaraaja is a Music Institution in itself with a high skill set in all key areas of music production, from lyrics, composing to singing. In his forty-five-plus years career in the Music Industry, he has composed over 7,000 songs and provided film scores for over 1,000 films. Additionally, he has performed in over 20,000 concerts.
He has received virtually every award that can be granted in the music industry. The Indian government has conferred Ilaiyaraaja with the third and second-highest civilian honours, the Padma Awards. In July 2022, he was nominated to Rajya Sabha for his tireless contribution to the field of art, particularly Music.
The leftist ecosystem hates him barring the fact that he is a communist. They hate him not just for his principled stand or his recent bonhomie with the ruling establishment, they have hated him for a long time. He had once refused to compose music for Periyar’s biopic. For him, Music is the gift of Goddess Saraswati. He wouldn’t be a part of the project of a rabid Hindu hater who showed contempt towards Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
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MM Keeravani is a highly acclaimed playback singer, especially in the Telugu and Southern Music Industries. He has composed music for over 220 films in various Indian languages. Notably, he is the one who composed the iconic music and background for the Baahubali series.
He gave his melodious music to the Hindi Film industry as well. It includes timeless melodies like ‘Tu Mile Dil Khile’, ‘Gali Mein Aaj Chand Nikla’, ‘Awarapan Banjarapan’ and ‘Maine Dil Se Kaha Dhoond Lana Khushi’. But he didn’t get the due credit and respect he deserved in Bollywood and went back to the Telugu industry. He then gave musical gems for movies like ‘Eega’ (Makkhi), ‘Baahubali’ series and ‘RRR’.
Legends like MM Keeravani and Ilaiyaraaja, with their refreshing melodies, have proved that no matter how much PR or Advertisement gives a positive push to any average or decent artist, talent will always outshine them and make a way for itself.
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