Heard Sona Mohapatra's Zaalima version? The singer highlights gender politics in the music industry

Published: Apr 28, 2020, 12:30 IST | mid-day online correspondent |

Sona Mohapatra speaks on gender politics in the music business, in a funny-political music video titled 'Zaalima' amid lockdown

A screenshot from Zaalima Reprise (Picture courtesy/YouTube channel of Sona Mohapatra)
A screenshot from Zaalima Reprise (Picture courtesy/YouTube channel of Sona Mohapatra)

Singer Sona Mohapatra, who is known to speak her mind, has come up with a new song, her own badass version of Raees' Zaalima. The singer's soulful voice is a perfect fit for love ballads, case in point Ambarsariya, Naina, Bolo Na and many of her hits. While, it wouldn't be wrong to say that, very few female solo songs are released nowadays in film soundtracks, it came as a pleasant surprise to see this reprise and refreshing version of the the Shah Rukh Khan's film, Raees' popular love song.

Sona has an unique ability to infuse newness in songs and her version of Zaalima is quite different from the original version, sung by Arijit Singh. As per her post, she had created this in-house video with some interesting 'gender-political' messaging about the state of the music industry some time ago and is all set to release it to spread cheer and even some laughs to drive away the lockdown blues, now!

Sona says, "Musicians have been hit the hardest in recent times. There are no residuals or royalties for creators here unlike the west and unless we step out to play concerts on stage we don't make money. It's only sweat labour in India. The lockdown and post COVID era will hit the musicians even harder with no stages to play in and the economy focusing on essentials. In these grim times, most artists in my community have been setting aside their own emotional state and performing online to spread joy and love and I am so proud of all of them! In these times you realise that it's mostly musicians who have the craft and talent to deliver without too many resources or people helping them. My DIY video should be taken with a pinch of salt although any good comedy does come from a truthful place; our film-music has completely sidelined the strong solo female voice in the last decade and it's time for all of us to notice."

"Few know that I had been called to sing the last few lines of the film version but couldn’t fathom why only the last few lines were reserved for the female voice considering it was a romantic duet!" - she wrote on her YouTube channel, while sharing the song. 

A user commented - "I didn't know who's voice was this? Also, I was a huge fan of Sona Ma'am. But now I'm flat. And now after this rendition, I'm completely dead."

Another user commented: Thank goodness she didn't end up singing the actual song.

Tell us your views about the new version of Zaalima!

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