BENGALURU: Remixes of old classical songs may be a fad to dumb down for many musicians, but veteran singer Hariharan sees a silver lining in the trend. “These two co-exist,” he told CE, adding that composition of original tracks and remixing of old songs are positive trends that can create more opportunities in the industry.
“A lot of people like old songs for their nostalgic effect. There are time capsules which open up when you hear old songs. When these songs are given a twist, it is enjoyed by youngsters too,” the singer added, citing that ghazal musicians are now producing new tracks and at times, fusing it with recent songs.
On a visit to the city this weekend to attend a music event, Kalaarnava, organised by Gokulam School of Music at Dayanand Sagar College, where he was honoured for his contribution to the field, Hariharan also talked about how he enjoyed singing hundreds of songs, breaking language barriers. “I have been singing in the Kannada industry from the 1990s. I have worked with many reputed and young music directors in Kannada, such as Hamsalekha, Ilaiyaraaja, Gurukiran, V Harikrishna, Arjun Janya, Sridhar V Sambhram, Raghu Dixit and others,” said the maestro, still remembered for his voice in film songs like Akashakke Chappara from Gowramma (2005) and Sai Sai Sai Preeth Sai from Preethse. “It has been a wonderful experience to work with these music composers and create some soul-stirring numbers,” Hariharan added, pointing out that he and Leslie Lewis were also fortunate to compose the song Krishna nee begane in their Colonial Cousins album.
The exponent of Carnatic and Hindustani music, as well as ghazals and pop is now looking forward to releasing a ghazal album, which will feature a mix of traditional ghazals and Urdu blues penned by Farhad Shahzad. He also involves himself in the musical journey of his son, Akshay Hariharan. “It’s been seven years since Akshay started working in the field. He has composed music for two movies – Black Home in Hindi and Kokanastha in Marathi, besides the National Games anthem in 2015,” the maestro, who had to struggle to carve a niche for himself as a distinguished singer, said. He, however, pointed out that it does not matter if a beginner hails from a musical family, since every artiste has to work hard to establish a presence in the industry. “There is no shortcut to success,” he stressed.