Something Rotten in the State of Bollywood. Now Sonu Nigam Warns about Suicides in Music Industry


Something Rotten in the State of Bollywood. Now Sonu Nigam Warns about Suicides in Music Industry

Illustration: Reynold Mascarenhas

A week after the suicide of Sushant Singh Rajput left fans shattered and rekindled a conversation on the “camps” in Bollywood, singer Sonu Nigam had some sobering words about the “music mafia” in our country.


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You might soon hear about Suicides in the Music Industry.

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In a Vlog posted to his Instagram account, with the title “You might soon hear about suicides in the music industry”, the singer says that a number of music companies are abusing their powers and creating trouble for singers, lyricists, and composers. “Sushant Singh Rajput died, an actor died. Tomorrow, you can hear the same about a singer, or a composer, or a lyric writer. Because the music scenario in our country… there are bigger ‘mafias’ here that in the film industry, unfortunately,” the singer said.

The singer prefaced his message by saying the country was under a lot of pressure, and that he was hurt by both the deaths of the Kai Po Che! star, as well as the 20 soldiers who lost their lives in a stand-off with Chinese troops along the LAC earlier this week.

Nigam says that he was relatively luckier to have been a part of the music industry from a young age, but went on to highlight the struggles that young artistes must go through to get their breakthroughs these days. “Even if a director, producer and music composer agree to work with an artiste, the companies object,” he said.

“All the power rests in the hands of two companies. They decide who should sing and who shouldn’t,” he added, urging companies to be more compassionate toward upcoming talent and not put them down before their careers even begin.

Though Nigam did not name anyone, several followers in the comments section said the music labels the singer was referring to were probably T-Series, Zee Music Company and YRF Music.

He also spoke about his personal experiences with rejection, talking about an actor who had refused to work with both him and Arijit Singh, as well as a number of his songs that were later dubbed after he spent hours in the studio recording. “This is humiliating, because I don’t ask them for work. They call me, make me record songs, and then dub over it… And if they do it with me, imagine what they must be doing to younger singers,” he said.

Nigam’s vlog ends with him urging the industry to take his message in the right spirit, and be more kind and humane to newcomers.

His message, which has been widely shared on social media, is likely to open another can of worms.

Earlier this week, director Abhinav Kashyap alleged that Salman Khan and his brothers sabotaged his career. Similar claims were also made by Style actor Sahil Khan, who has said that he was dropped from films because of a certain superstar.

Bollywood camps have been an open secret. But it’s rare to see people associated with the industry speak up against its bullies. Will this be the unraveling of the clique culture?