Jackky Bhagnani: Originals take time to win favour

Updated: Nov 18, 2019, 08:00 IST | Sonia Lulla | Mumbai

In the midst of creating an Indian rendition of American rapper Super Sako's Mi Gna, Jackky on viewing the remix trend as a businessman

Jackky Bhagnani
Jackky Bhagnani

Considering the success of Ghazab ka hai din (Dil Juunglee) and Chalte chalte (Mitron), it's safe to say that Jackky Bhagnani knows the tricks to successfully recreate old ditties. It's only fair to assume then that when taking up the job of recreating American rapper Super Sako's Mi Gna, Bhagnani would up his game even further. In an interview with mid-day, the founder of JJust Music talks of why remixing songs is a solid strategy for label owners.

Given that Indians consume international music abundantly, why did you decide to recreate Mi Gna for Indian listeners?

I had been hearing Super Sako's song across clubs overseas, throughout my travels in 2018, and had loved the melody. I felt that Indians should be exposed to it. Also, Moroccan, Arabic and Middle Eastern melodies resemble ours. So, I thought this number would be apt for my label, JJust Music, to mark its first international collaboration. We're working on the audio, and will create the video after that.

Did Super Sako readily agree to part with his number?

If I was [making a recreation for] North America, he would have told me he'd do it himself, because he understands that region better. But he is a giving person. He told me that since he did not belong to this region, we would be best [suited] to decide what could be done for this version. However, he will be creating a fresh rap for our audiences in this version.

Given that it's been a few months since you launched your label, what are the concerns plaguing the independent music scene that you see it addressing?

We want the label to be a fair one; one that helps the ecosystem grow faster. If our music video will feature an actor, you'll notice that the music artiste will also be featured with equal prominence. Even today, [the most prominent songs] come from Bollywood. But slowly, music will be treated equally, regardless of where it comes from. Films have a larger marketing budget, and you hence hear more of their songs. But, in the digital age, things will change.

Jackky Bhagnani

When songs are sent to us [by aspiring artistes], we try our best to hear the most that we can. You have to hear every song because you never know where that number [that holds the potential to be a] blockbuster, will come from. Also, you need a marketing budget to make people aware of your content. But that must be wisely done. Millennials don't like anything shoved down their throat. You only need to make them aware of your work. Whether they choose to consume it or not is their call.

How do you decide which artiste you must collaborate with?

We let the vibe of the artiste make us decide, because a collaboration is like marrying that artiste. There needs to be a level of trust between [the two parties].

The discussion on the trend of remixes doesn't die down, with musicians like Vishal Dadlani speaking up about it again recently. As a label owner, how do you perceive that?

In terms of business, I see why it's done. Today, there are so many songs being created, so it's easier to market a recreation instead, because it's simpler for people to [consume it]. Original songs take time to connect with people; sometimes, they may even fail to do so. [It's] tough for an original piece to gain momentum and production houses can't take a chance.

Music milestones

Rabindranath

2001:Vishwa Bharati ends copyright on Rabindranath Tagore's works. The move frees Rabindra Sangeet from the shackles of the purists, resulting in all kinds of experimentation

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