Kary Arora needs no introduction, She has been in the industry for a while, Climbing up the ladder for success one at a time. Her came into limelight went overnight Kary created history becoming India’s first Female DJ, and she never looked back since then.
Today She has established herself as a music composer in Bollywood industry and gives us a wicked smile when asked about what next. Well, I am sure it will be bigger than any of her previous works.
Her latest work ‘Tinko ke Sahare – Angry Indian Goddess’ caught our attention and we thought why not catch up with what is happening in her life. Check out the song and our conversation with Kary in detail below –
Let us go through the interview in detail –
1I would like to wish you best of luck for AIG, and hope your song Tinko ke Sahare touches more hearts before I begin. How difficult or easy was writing lyrics, singing and composing a song like this?
Thank you so much for the warm wishes. That’s the point if the song touches the audience’s hearts, if they can connect to a memory via a song, then the mission is accomplished. Trust me it’s a tough task. Tinko ke sahare is a song on life’s ups and downs. I wrote this when I was in a zone of thinking that, in everyone’s life there comes a time when we fail, we fail to convince, fail to progress, even fail to express a short sentence, we feel stuck while others are moving ahead. On the other hand the feeling of being lonely when we rise in life, your distorted thoughts among friends laughing around you, mainly relationships and life’s situations.
When I was writing the lyrics, i was feeling the zone, so I started humming along and felt like I wanted more from it, so I started recording my voice and a melody on guitar. I tried my best not to cry while recording the session and kept it unplugged because the rawness touches the heart. When I was finished, every sentence felt like it is my story, it is my friends story or perhaps everybody’s story as no one’s life is perfect.
2Tinko Ke Sahare caught my attention more because of its’ lyrics more than anything else. Are we going to see more of deep-hearted word play down the line?
Although I don’t want to categorise myself into one particular style as I want to explore more genres, I write according to the film’s situations and if some situation demands a deep hearted wordplay then sure will do.
3How closely do you relate with the movie – Angry Indian Goddesses?
I met Pan Nalin, the Director and Gaurav Dhingra, the producer of movie Angry Indian Goddesses. Gaurav explained that they are making a film on women buddy-hood, and it explores the relationships and lives of women. My immediate question to Gaurav was “you being a man, how come you chose this subject?” And he replied, “As a man its difficult to express feelings in words but when we researched on the subject, we felt it needed to be expressed as an Indian film because in Indian cinema there is not much importance given to female characters.”
I immediately fell for the subject because it sounded very moving, sensible and sorted, I mean come on!! have you ever seen a Bollywood movie based on woman buddy-hood? All the goddesses Sarah, Anushka, Sandhya, Amrit, Rajshri, Pavleen, Tannishtha deserves a standing ovation for their remarkable performances. I can vouch that this movie is going to be every girl’s favourite movie.
42 years back we interviewed you. How has Bollywood music Industry evolved in last two years as per your perception?
The pace of musicians and lyricists coming from the internet, talent hunt and tv reality shows heading to Bollywood and expressing their creativity through movie songs has grown in recent years thus the music is thriving, but Bollywood film industry have its flip side too.
The revenue generated from film songs are down from 15% to 5% because of growing free mp3 downloading websites.
Film companies have huge budgets if the song is rap or item songs involving a star actors, rappers and musicians but most of these star musicians produce a mix of pop, hip-hop, Sufi which sounds like a khichdi to the audience, that’s why people get bored too easily, and a song’s life is not more than 6 months.
A traditional definition of Indian playback singing is identifying with a star. While Rafi had sung innumerable gems for Dilip Kumar and Dev Anand, he had come to be best known as Shammi Kapoor’s voice just like Mukesh was inseparable from Raj Kapoor and Kishore Kumar from Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan. Nowadays when we hear Amitabh lip syncing to an auto-tuned singer’s voice sounds hilarious. The excessive use of autotune makes most of the singers sound alike, so a singer’s dilemma is how to stand out and faces more difficulties when performing live.
Till few years back we gave more emphasis on melody, while today the emphasis is on the attitude of the lyrics. Even if we give a fresh idea with a universal message in the soundtrack most of the songs have similar direction, costumes, choreography, set designs, cinematography, I mean what happened to showcasing emotions and experimentations to tell a story in a song?
5You are the 5th female to be a music composer in 100 years. How difficult does it get to invade music industry for the fairer sex? I mean, you can count, so many talent male composers. There must be so bottleneck.
Music is not gendered. We don’t listen with our genitals right!! Today few women songwriters have succeeded because they stand out in music on their terms but guess we are still living in the dark ages when it comes to gender equality in music studios.
Unfortunately, Bollywood sees women as visual objects and commercialises for the sale of music. Few producers and directors are stuck being sexist, racist, groupies and prejudice as they are too judgemental that women can’t be a serious songwriter with a good quality music production. But let’s turn this scenario around for a second. Male music stars aren’t considered sexy I mean no one thinks of MOZART or RD BURMAN succeeded because they were sexy!! No one ever says Oh, the BEATLES- that’s a talentless band; they made it because they were cute. Lets not even talk about the cheap mentality, bitching, continues flirtation and sexual molestations follows the few out of most who are respectable icons of the industry.
Today with the trend of different composers in one movie does gives you an opportunity but will your song be promoted as a video? Are you sexy enough to feature in it? What’s your fan following? Do you know acting and dancing? Will you be equally paid compared to the star composer of the same film? Ok if not the video than how well your credit will be promoted? What is the length of your song featuring in the film scene? Who owns the copyright? Will you be given royalty? These are bottleneck challenges. I miss the trend of shooting all song videos and placing them on a film because all songs generated a commercial revenue for producers, actors, singers and songwriters at that time. I understand we are cutting short the length of the film, but this is India the audience loves singing and dancing and if we follow the old trend the film producers will get higher music revenues.
Moreover, a general question of a fellow musician be it a music producer, composer, a singer is “Hey who is your arranger?” Most of them is ok till a girl is singing, but can’t digest a woman composer can produce her own songs too!! So my best answer is I studied audio engineering and that’s when I see their jaws dropping.
I’m not saying all are like this I met many intellects, sorted, sensible producers and directors who would willingly work and explores your musical creative potential irrespective of genders so I don’t mind working hard for like-minded. Sometimes I wonder how challenging it would be for our first Indian woman composer JADDAN BAI, mother of actress, Nargis and grandmother of Sanjay Dutt. She didn’t have any support of digital technology. Her orchestration had all men, and there were no women film producers, so the best she did was to produced her own films. What a brave and inspiring woman she was I salute her. With more and more women producers, women directors and women playing instruments it is easy to work and express myself in the industry.
6Does having a classical base help you as a DJ as well, I agree that it gives a better understanding of music. But, on a very wider side, Does Classic Music helps you in day to day judgments?
The essential skill of Djing is beat matching but most of the dj’s don’t practice beyond 4/4 time signature. So when they encounter a different time signature song they tend to go off beat, that’s where a classical music helps a dj. Best examples of 5/4 time signatures are found in TURKISH classical & folk music and 7/3, 5/4 time signatures are found in our CARNATIC classical music later these time signatures were adopted by many rock and pop artists. On top of this our Indian classical music have a wide range of raga’s which helps to understand the mood of the song. So while Djing if you know different time signatures key scales and moods of each song your track selection will improve and people will have a variety to dance on.
7How far have you come from ‘Adersh Sound Company, Delhi’ and how does it feel?
I surely believe I have evolved from a sound labourer to a Dj then to a composer as I kept digging deeper by learning and researching all these years. As a result today I have fresh, original ideas, my creativity is versatile, I’m not afraid to experiment, I follow strong work ethic, I’m more passionate and persistent. I don’t compose songs to overpower a film’s scene, I’m more honest with myself and criticism, comparisons doesn’t affect me. I don’t mind living modestly because I feel I still have a long way to go, and if I die of a heart attack the only reason would be uncontrollable film and music piracy
8Lastly, Kary, I would like you to give some advice for budding professionals, who see music as the perfect empathy for their soul but still struggle to start professionally
The problems new composers face is not getting paid, no separate music videos to promote their song, copyright issues of music and lyrics, censor broad issues, credit promotion issues, the list is very long. The only way to solve this is a legal contract at the time of any film producer signs a composer.
Check out our previous conversation with DJ Kary : Tit-Tit with Kary Arora