Kuch door Hari ke saath

Jul 13, 2012, 08:57 IST | Gauri Pradhan

Singer Hariharan grew up in a musical family. "My mother as well as my father being renowned vocalists (Shrimati Alamelu and the late H A S Mani), did their riyaz all the time

It all began there,” he says while talking to CS about his thoughts on today’s music and his initiation in the field:

Who: Hariharan
What: On the role of music in his life
Where: At his residence in Powai

A musical beginning
In the days of my youth, there was no TV. The few sources of entertainment were either playing cricket, taking interest in studies, going out and chit-chatting with friends or singing. You wouldn’t be stuck to some machine. I never learnt music to become a singer as there was never any compulsion from my family. I indulged in western music too as I attended Don Bosco school, and the convent culture had a great influence on me. Then of course, I was influenced by Hindi film songs.

My initial struggles
I got an award at the Sur Singar Sansad in Rangbhavan. Me, Suresh Wadkar and Rani Verma were competing there. I met Jaydev ji there and got my first break. Initially, it would be frustrating when people would compare me to other singers. It took time for people to register my voice as mine. I tried to find myself for almost 10-15 years to create a niche for myself. Around the 90s, people started understanding what I was all about. Till then even I was doing so many things. But I was still in the Hindi cinema age. There was no Bollywood with all the jazz.

The evolution of cinema
As years have passed, the society has changed as well. Accordingly, films have changed too. What we see in films is just a dramatised version of the reality. The urban life that is shown in films today, couldn’t have been shown 30 years back because we were not so urbanised then. So, it’s just a reflection of the society. Even the songs have become more groove oriented as today’s society has westernised a lot.

Hunt for realistic voices
And with this westernisation, the kinds of voices in demand have changed too. Today, people want a voice that even a common man can relate to. It can’t be a highly professional voice, especially in films. Today’s scenario is such that if a 20-25 year old character is seen singing in a film, he should sound nice but not very professional. The image of a larger-than-life hero who can sing, dance as well as fight is changing now. We are more realistic. 

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