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Bollywood is damaging Indian art: Sitarist Shujaat Khan

Saturday, Jun 11, 2016,12:22 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Bengaluru | Renowned sitarist Shujaat Khan feels art, including folk music in India, is suffering because of Bollywood and it does not inspire him anymore. There is too much of Bollywood for now, and because of that every art is suffering in this country. I am not saying it is a bad thing, but our folk music suffers because of Bollywood. It sometimes gives us lovely music, but sometimes it damages, he said.

The 56-year-old sitarist said he was ‘self-content’ with his achievements. I travel world over and perform 100 concerts a year at the best festivals and best concerts where even Amitabh Bachchan cannot go. I performed at the Royal Albert Hall in London. I also performed at Carnegie Hall in New York.

He (Bachchan) is a great person, but I am saying we go to places where Bollywood doesn’t go, he said. Bollywood doesn’t inspire me. A three-minute song doesn’t inspire me. If I heard artists like Ravi Shankar, Vilayat Khan, Bhimsen Joshi, Amir Khan Saab, I get inspired, for they perform for at least one-and-a-half hours, maximum.

Khan, who is in the city to participate in the ‘Fakiri-Bangalore Folk Festival’ presented by Phoenix Market City, from June 10 to 12, said he enjoyed the music of RD Burman because of his innovations.

I enjoyed the music of RD Burman because of his innovations. I too like to innovate. I was the first musician to play a musical instrument and sing as well. I sing qawali, Sufi and folk songs, he said.

Asked to comment on young Bollywood composers who have impressed him, Khan, son of legendary sitar player Ustad Vilayat Khan, said, Even earlier when I was associated with Bollywood, I did not enjoy a particular music director or a singer. I used to pick songs which I liked, but performed by different composers. So, I cannot pick on one director among the young lots of today. I don’t follow one music director.