Music for the soul

May 03, 2013, 00:02 IST | Shakti Shetty

Over the past few years, there has been a surge in playback singers, as the audience has become more and more accepting of different genres.

However, thanks to the commercial nature of music, very few amongst them have managed to remain true to their roots. Kavita Seth belongs to that minority group. Basically a ghazal exponent, she has so far sung a few songs in Hindi cinema. Her latest rendition ‘Murabba’ is for a short film meant to celebrate an Amitabh Bachchan fan’s love for him. In a chat with CS, she talks about her preferences in the world of music:

Kavita Seth
Who: Kavita Seth
What: On doing selective work in playback singing
PIC/ Kiran Bhalerao 

Filmi criteria
The first thing I look out for is the poetry in a song. Is it soulful? Does it have something to say? Sensible songs are rare anyway. I’m quite choosy when it comes to songs. There’s no dearth of songs that are sung for the heck of it. I’d love to be remembered for a good body of work. Besides, anybody can sing a Sheila ki jawani or a Hulkat Jawani. As of now, I don’t see myself crooning such numbers.

A selective order
I don’t feel there is a camp as such in Bollywood as far as playback singing is concerned. If you compare the film directors with the music directors, you’ll notice that the latter are more open to experimentation. That’s also the reason why so many new voices are coming up nowadays. When a music director comes up with a tune, he’d certainly choose someone who can do justice to his composition. So the final decision obviously lies with him. As a singer, I can only choose those songs that are offered to me.

The balancing act
I somehow manage to strike an equilibrium between commercial and Sufi music.  I barely sing three or four filmi songs a year. I can decide for myself when it comes to albums but films have a different setup. Sometimes it clicks and sometimes it doesn’t. Nonetheless, I’m more into performing live on stage. Of course, I enjoy recording in a studio as well but as far as Sufiyana songs are concerned, nothing can beat the contact a singer makes with a live audience.

Nusrat saab have always been an idol for me. A singer can treat a song anyway he or she wants but a great singer is someone who’d treat a song like one’s soul. There are many such singers whom I admire and I aspire to be one of those who give music the honour it deserves. 

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