Playback singers are paid very poorly: Alisha Chinai

Mumbai, June 16 (IANS) After her super hits "Kajra re" and "It's rocking", playback singer Alisha Chinai is going places or so you'd like to believe. But she has another story to tell.

"Playback singers always get relegated to the sidelines. They continue to be underdogs of the music industry. We really need to be paid. I've been fighting for 10 years," Alisha told IANS.

"I've always maintained a parallel music career outside the movies. In the movies, they think they're doing me a favour. An average film star gets Rs.20 million, and a playback singer gets Rs.20,000 to 25,000. Even when a song like 'Kajra re' becomes a runaway hit, I don't benefit. We're paid the pits."

Music director Bappi Lahiri's discovery, Alisha initially sang disco numbers in films like "Dance Dance", "Commando", "Guru" and "Love Love Love". In 1996, she gave the hit album "Made in India".

Nowadays Alisha demands and expects her price and says she is happy with the quantity of her work.

"Of course, a lot of producers settle for a mediocre voice. I'm quite happy singing my 10 songs a year. Singing less keeps my voice fresh."

Last year she released another non-film album, and one of the tracks titled "Shut up and kiss me" created a stir.

Laughs Alisha: "It was a very audacious and upfront song. I'm glad people saw it with a sense of humour. It was sexy, but not raunchy. So there were no raised eyebrows."

Years ago Alisha had created a controversy with the song "Sexy, sexy" for Karisma Kapoor in "Khuddar". The words had to be changed to appease the moralists.

Alisha is heavily into astrology.

"My astrologer had predicted that the end of my bad phase would start with 'Kajra re'. That song resurrected my career, thanks to Aishwarya Rai who looked awesome. To be honest, I enjoy the thought of singing for Aishwarya, Kareena Kapoor and Vidya Balan.

"I haven't sung for Vidya, but I guess I soon will. I have sung only one song for Aishwarya. But look at the impact."

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