Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Some More Female Voices, Please!

It's a male dominated world. And since the film Industry is a part of this very world, the industry is, fortunately or unfortunately, male dominated too. And recently, I have noticed a newly developing aspect of the fact. We have less and less female singers behind the microphones now.

Did you notice neither Tum Mile nor London Dreams has a single female singer in their credits. The concern goes worse when one says both the movies are musicals, Tum Mile, with Pritam trying to give his best compositions/collections, and London Dreams, based on singers' lives itself. Still, there is not a single song in either of the movies where you get to hear a female voice.

While in Indian film industry the fairer sex rarely gets a fair share in anything, getting no share at all in a field like singing is new and strange. Previously we have seen many examples of movies with female voices appearing in just one or two songs. Also, there have been movies based on certain subjects where we have less songs or songs based on certain characters, be it Dosti of Laxmikant Pyarelal, or Taare Zameen Par.

Going by music composers, A R Rahman, Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, Vishal-Shekhar, Salim-Sulaiman and Pritam can be considered as major music composers. While A R Rahman quite regularly gives some songs to Madhushree for a long time now, Shreya Ghoshal is a main league singer who has found place in Rahman's choices.

Vishal and Shekhar also seem to have a few songs for Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal in their albums. In fact they have admitted that at times, they compose certain songs with these singers in mind. Salim Sulaiman don't use the voices of Sunidhi and Shreya regularly but they seem to experiment with newer or lesser known voices like Shruti Pathak, Neha Bhasin and Hema Sardesai.

Pritam is generally found using a voice or two for his dance numbers while he relies more on band singers like Neeraj Shridhar, Mohit Chauhan and even Atif if available. Last time when he tried to put all these singers in duets, in Kismat Konnection, the results were not very good and probably that's the reason he is coming up with less and less female voices, finally to give an all-male Tum Mile.

As far as Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy are concerned, they tend to take lesser known or no female voices for their albums. While their London Dreams has no female voices, Wake Up Sid's only song with a female voice is the one composed by Amit Trivedi. Their Heyy Babyy had just one song sung by Shreya and Taare Zameen Par had no female singers except in backgrounds.

So, what is the reason we have lesser and lesser female singers now? Are various reality shows any measure? Because almost all of them seem to have a male winner except a few Saurabhis and Sanchitas. well, I do not think that it's men who sing all the good songs. And variety is something we will anyways, always need. I hope we not only have more singers like Mohit Chauhan and Rahat Fateh Ali Khan but also like Sunidhi, Shilpa, Anushka and Sona. Are the composers (all males) listening?

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