Singer-actor Arjun Kanungo feels that while a lot has changed for independent artistes in the music world, fairness and full transparency is something that’s still missing.
“I want to see more equity for artists. From a business perspective, we are not treated as fairly as we should be,” he rues, while talking about the change he wants to see in the industry soon.
“I don’t think royalties are fair yet. They’re still on their way. It’ll become fair soon with things becoming more transparent. But I’d like things to become fully transparent,” asserts Kanungo, known for songs such as Aaya Na Tu, Baaki Baatein Peene Baad and Waada Hai.
However, that doesn’t discredit all the positive tunes that the industry is noting down, and implementing.
“Over the years, the music industry has changed in a big way with independent artistes bringing more music, and coming into the mainstream. Now we see non-film music competing with Bollywood on equal footing,” shares the 30-year-old, adding how it creates “more opportunities to release the music and not be dependent on Bollywood”.
It was during the pandemic when independent music wrote a new, and a rather successful sound for itself, with not much happening in the film music scene. But will the popularity sustain once the rhythm of Bollywood releases and music gains normalcy?
“The pandemic has opened up the market to non film songs with a wider audience. I don’t think the audience will go just because now they’re interested in an artistes’ life, profession, and want to see them grow. I don’t see that diminishing at all,” shares Kanungo, who made his Bollywood debut with Salman Khan’s Radhe : Your Most Wanted Bhai this year.
Instead, it’ll only grow from hereon as, he asserts. “We love Bollywood, but I don’t think that it’s the trend which will last forever when it comes to music. There’s a globalisation of every industry. And music is taking on the trend of the world. And they will co-exist,” adds the singer, who has planned various special fan engagements to celebrate World Music Day.
“Music plays such an important role right now for our mental health. The value of music has never been more, and artistes are the ones who are entertaining people when they are at home,” he explains.
Now, he’s slowly planning to step out for work. “Hopefully, we’ll start shooting for a single in the first week of July, and it’ll be in and around Mumbai mostly. We haven’t decided since it depends on what’s available at that moment,” concludes Kanungo.