New Delhi: Singing couple Sunali and Roop Kumar Rathod have been regaling music fans for years together, but they aren't particularly impressed with the quality of lyrics of songs penned by the current crop of writers.
Popular for rendering hit numbers like “Sandese aate hain”, “Maula mere maula” and “Tujh mein rab dikhta hain”, Roop Kumar is concerned about the prevailing situation.
“Some music is good, but some is bad. I'm not very happy with the lyrics of songs. Some new age lyricists don’t have tameez (manners). They have not learnt the art of writing. They just translate the thoughts in their mind,” Roop Kumar told IANS in an email interaction from Mumbai.
“'Mein hu Salman ka fan', 'Panga na lena kardunga ma bheen' ... We don’t use such words even while fighting with anyone. This is not our culture and it better not be carried forward by the younger generation,” he added.
He is also particular about the choice of songs offered to him.
“Composers cannot call me to record songs like ‘Chaar Botal Vodka’! The lyrics, mood and singing style have to complement me. I think it is better that my name is not associated with such films, even if it means my being choosy,” he said.
His wife and singer Sunali also agrees with him and believes that “there is too much of western element in today’s music”.
“The lyrics have gone from bad to worse. There are lyrics with no meaning and are just slangs,” she said.
Now out with their latest album “Zikr Tera”, released independently, the star couple have paid tribute to the late ghazal maestro late Jagjit Singh by including “simple poetry and soothing music” in the project.
“Since Jagjit and Chitra Singh were the pioneers who made ghazals popular among the masses, we wanted to salute their mastery,” said Sunali, who has worked with her husband on close to 25 albums including “Ishara” and “Mohabaat ho gayi”.
Roop Kumar believes ghazal is an important genre of Indian music and films should try to include it more often.
“These days the scripts and films that are made do not have a flavour that could fit in a ghazal track ... Earlier, films like ‘Sarfarosh’ had songs by Jagjit Singh and me, so in today’s time, if there is a film that has a character or requirement, ghazal should be used,” said the singer, who believes ghazals will never disappear from the music scene.
In fact, the husband-wife duo also plans to start a music label to promote the genre.
“In future, it is our plan to start a label called Future Eye. We will be actively releasing many newcomers in our company,” said Roop Kumar, whose “ultimate dream” is to work with his wife and their daughter Reewa together some day.
His wife says they plan to promote other “young singers who wish to take this genre forward and we plan to promote ghazals in big way”.
“We shall be giving a chance to not only the young deserving singers but also desirous folk musicians of India. We think folk is one genre that has not been tapped enough and there are several singers in the interiors and we wish to record some of them,” she added.
The couple have also recorded “Zikr Tera - part II”, which will be released soon.