Lyricist-Screenwriter Javed Akhtar is notably best known for his classics and his love and role for preserving the integrity of classical music. What was the opinion of the icon on contemporary music culture?
Image source: India Today
In a recent interview with Cyrus Broacha, Javed Akhtar who is renowned for his transparent and strong opinions on music was asked about his views on the culture of remixing classics. Javed Akhtar shared his views by saying that there is nothing wrong in using the classics for the purpose of reviving it or paying tribute to it. But killing the essence of the music by adding ‘Rap’ is absurd.
In the same interview the lyricist commented how makers take a classic song and add their own offbeat antras to the original work which disrespects the quality, meaning and originality of the same. According to him it is wrong to do so and it’s like adding disco music in the historic ‘Taj Mahal’. Akhtar emphasizes the significance of conserving the integrity and authenticity of classic compositions. He contends that the emulsion of rap with dateless warbles disrupts the substance of the original piece, just as introducing disco music to the iconic Taj Mahal would be seen as inappropriate and discordant.
Comparing the addition of rap in classics to “disco music in Taj Mahal” is a metaphorical way of conveying his disapproval. He is essentially suggesting that incorporating rap into classic songs can be seen as an inappropriate and jarring juxtaposition, similar to how adding disco music to a historic and revered monument like the Taj Mahal would be considered inappropriate and incongruous. Javed Akhtar expresses that retouching old songs is not bad until the original essence of the song is kept intact. The remaking should be done without tampering with the old one. In this regard, Javed said a track by KL Saigal track can be recreated by Arijit Singh beautifully but by keeping the soul of the track intact.
Image source: NDTV
In this modern time the Hindi music industry has been revolutionized by a trend of remixes and pop culture but it is not appreciated by the veterans. These remixes are often criticized by them as well as the public for the bizarre retouch.
It’s important to note that opinions about the fusion of different musical genres and styles in the context of classic songs can vary widely, and Javed Akhtar’s statement reflects his personal perspective on the matter. Music, like any form of art, is often a subject of debate and evolution, and different artists and music enthusiasts have diverse views on how tradition and innovation should be balanced in the world of music.
Akhtar’s perspective underlines the ongoing debate surrounding the evolution of music. While some believe that blending genres can breathe new life into classic tunes and make them more accessible to contemporary audiences, Akhtar’s viewpoint underscores the need to respect the historical and cultural significance of these classics.
This debate is not unique to India; it resonates globally in the ever-changing landscape of music. Artists, producers, and audiences must navigate the fine line between innovation and preservation. It’s essential to respect diverse opinions on the matter, as the evolution of music continues to shape the art form for future generations.