New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) Ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh popularised the genre in films with songs like "Tum itna jo muskura rahe ho" and "Hoshwalon ko khabar kya". But the singer rues that the current lot of music directors lack a taste for such soulful renditions.
"Music composers in Bollywood today don't have a taste for ghazals and so the genre is missing in films. Composers are influenced by western music and are churning out more songs inspired by western beats," Singh, who is back with his new album "Inteha", told IANS over phone from Mumbai.
While Singh has enthralled music buffs with his lilting melodies in films, his strength has always been the non-film sector. Entering the music scene with "The Unforgettables", he carved a niche for himself through record sales of albums like "Beyond Time", "Sajda", "Insight", "Mirage" and "Soz".
His latest offering "Inteha" encapsulates eight tracks and the singer says he came out with this one on the behest of his fans.
"'Inteha' has a fresh flavour and a new treatment. The lyricists are new and so is the kind of music. The only thing old about the album is me. All my fans have been asking for 'new' ghazals since a long time. So I have come out with this album and I hope they like it," Singh explained.
While the music is composed by Singh himself, the lyrics have been penned by a team of young lyricists - Aalok Shrivastav, Payyam Sayeedi, Faragh Rushvi, Rajendranath Rahbar, Sanjay Masoom, Amjad Islam Amjad and Naseem Ajmer.
The singer, who enjoys a huge fan base in India and abroad, is leaving no stone unturned to promote the album.
While the launch took place on board a Kingfisher flight, Singh also featured on Zee TV's daily soap "Banoo Main Teri Dulhann" to promote it.
The singer, who will be performing in 16 cities in the US from next month, calls right promotion the "need of the hour".
"Today is the time of promotions. It is the need of the hour. If you don't promote your album or your music, nobody will know about it and the album will remain in stores," Singh said.
But what about claims that the market for non-film albums is shrinking and there are no takers for music in this category?
"The market is not shrinking. Proper promotion is required. Whatever is promoted well, sells. I don't think there is any change in the taste of audiences. People still like ghazals a lot," he asserted.
But the voice that evokes deep sentiments among listeners with his songs has a complaint.
"Today, channels are only playing Bollywood songs, so how will people come to know about an album that has been released? Even radio channels don't give airtime to ghazals that much," Singh rued.
He also feels there are budding Ghazal singers in the country but most of them start studying other genres in search of quick success.
"Most people want to become successful very soon. So even if they start as ghazal singers, they leave it and try singing some other form to gain instant recognition," he said.
Singh stressed that those who want to be a ghazal singer should learn Urdu along with classical music.
"Becoming a ghazal singer is not a joke," he said.