Friday April 6, 2007

Syllable-abuse in southern film music

Posted by Karthik

Former Outlook journalist Krishna Prasad’s rant about Kannada composers using non-Kannada singers seems justified, but as a Tamilian, I’ve been through this phase and somehow managed to extricate myself out of Udit Narayan’s Tamil syllable-abuse. To be fair, Sonu and Sadhna have genuinely improved recently. However, attributing this trend to a possible lack of self-esteem seems far-fetched. After all, this is cinema, whose objective is making money. As long as these lingo-terrorists don’t invade the folk and bhavageete territory, I frankly don’t think there’s any cause for concern. Let’s look at better ways to promote better forms of music, instead.

Keywords: Ee Preethi Yeke Bhoomi Melide, Prem



  • Arun

    This kind of “syllable-abuse” also comes into picture when Southern singers sing in Hindi. ARR has improved considerably now but he was horrible with his pronounciation earlier. I particular remember the song ‘Aazadi’ from Bose, where he messed up pretty bad with ‘Me’ for ‘Main’ and all. That just lessened the overall impact of the song. Even greats like SPB have struggled at times in this regard.

    In Tamil, I think singers like Madhushree have improved quite a lot. She now gets words like ‘Azhage’ partially right or atleast tries to instead of treading the safe path with ‘Alage’.

    But, as you rightly say, this problem is bound to exist in every language, more so now when even great like Ilayaraja use Shreya Ghoshal more than other Tamil singers

  • viraajan

    syllable-abuse is at its height in tamil. mudhu shree, shreya kshal, sadhana (shreya when sings for ilayaraja does pronounce well the “zha” words”. sadhana has improved a lot really). so it is ilayaraja who insists the singer to sing well i guess. male singers like Kay Kay, Udit, and few more singers do not get the words as arun said.
    so it is clear that if music dir think, they can make the singers sing well. perhaps MDs should not use those people in their albums. are they the only singers available? MDs should think…

    Vidhya rajan


    SPB in one of his interviews had said about how non-tamil singers struggle to get the words right , because of which co-singers like him also have to give umpteen retakes . How time gets wasted and at the end of the day quality is still bad. same goes for actors .

    Its not about dislike for any group or community or language , but love for ones own language .Also have some mercy on the fans .

    the same applies to tamil singers who sing in Kannada , Telugu and Hindi .

    AR Rahman is the culprit who not only started it but also made it into a regular feature in all his albums . Others as usual copied him .

    In the past it was a rarity where such songs were sung once in a while . Lata , Asha have sung such songs prior to Rahman era .

  • Srini is right..Lata & asha have sung for Ilaiyaraja bfore & they were definitely decent in their pronunciation. Shreya Ghoshal & Sadhna have improved as they have been singing in south for almost 5 yrs ( i think they hv sung more in Tamil)

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