The race is on

Talent spotter Alka Yagnik

Talent spotter Alka Yagnik   | Photo Credit: Photo: Sandeep Saxena

Classical numbers are almost passé. Alka Yagnik says that people want only speed these days

AAlka Yagnik is busy judging talent at Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, and before one of the shows, gives us a quick interview.

“Kalyanji-Anandji were like my godfathers. They taught me and trained me on playback singing, while Laxmikant-Pyarelal taught me how to use my voice,” she said, differentiating between the two famous composing duos who gave Alka her first break (‘Mere Angne Mein’ from “Lawaaris”) and her biggest break (‘Ek Do Teen’ from “Tezaab”) respectively. “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa is the biggest and the most credible talent hunt show. I would like a female contestant to win this time. Normally it’s the boys who get the votes,” she said of the contest.

Isn’t there a flood of singers in the market compared to the handful that we used to have till a few years back?

“True,” agreed Alka. “It has led to some sort of a dilution. Well, for better or worse is difficult to say. But that’s the way it is. But yes, the good part is that newcomers are warmly welcomed into the fraternity.” The seasoned singer remarked, “It’s difficult to identify one composer from the other now. They all sound the same.” “Kalyanji bhai and I got in touch when I was 10 years old. He used to encourage a lot of youngsters,” she recounted, citing the junior talent hunt contest that Kalyanji-Anandji used to conduct in the ’70s.

Where are those “Manamohana bade jhoote” and “Beeti na bitayi raina” type numbers these days? “Forget classical. People reject a song even if there is a small ‘murki’ (nuance) in the tone. They want only speed. Yeh ek daur hai,” concludes Alka Yagnik.


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