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13th January 2004
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Open letter on Telugu film industry

I hope my following concern will reach to all those involved in telugu film industry esp. the music directors/producers/directors or cassette companies. I am sure many would have noticed the same feeling as I am going through for the last 6-7 years its' nothing but our film songs filled with non-telugu singers esp. from Bollywood.

When never I hang on to net for new music, eagerly to see is there any song that sung by telugu singer, the percentage chances of finding that have down to 10% or may be not at all (if albums directed by few music directors for sure).

Let us look back into some of the facts, which have led to the sad state of our songs. We know from the beginning that the numbers of movies we make in telugu are always high and we give lot of importance to the film music in INDIA also goes true with AP. The songs are part of the life style like the movies and we can never stop from listening till we depart from this world whether your are rich or poor rather it fill the hearts of poor or sad people with much deprived happiness in their lives.

I consider the dark era for telugu music singers began with film PREMIKUDU ( Of course great Rafi sang one long back) in which the currently famous Bombay singer sang one song with SPB (Andamaina...) and followed by CHIRU' film ( YAMAHA NAGARI( copy of RAGHUVAMSA SUDHAMBHUJI, carnatic style) and one more song in same film) and BALLAYYA"S (ANDALA ATA BOMMA). Ever since I see all those voices from non-telugu came to spoil the sweetness of our language and became a virus to our own singers. DO we have to blame them for our mistake?

Let us remember that those songs were hit not because of their voices, it's because of the catchy tunes which attracted the masses and became hit. So if one has to give credit or rate them, it will go the music directors (40%) and song writers (25%) followed by picturization of the song (15%) and to the singer the remaining. The above percentage with ARR goes up to 65-70% because he is unique with lot of talent and also does his homework very well too.

I am sure same thing would have become hit if sung by any of our singers. Since, everybody wants to copy ARR style of experimenting with new singers etc., In the name of variety the music directors got confused incl. the people responsible for making movies and are trying to follow the same foot steps to give an impression nothing but a RAT RACE. So, we know very well the result of that we can't show our face to non-telugu people to raise doubts in their mind that do we have any new talent of singers for future?

These days, to say precisely, I will not spend more than a minute on any new song (hope it's true with you, if you are time oriented) because they aren't worth listening either because of repeated tunes or sung by those bombay singers/non telugu people.

I am not against any singers because they have to live their lives so they do any damn thing like our film heroines or other actors like comedians and villains but what happened to soul searching habits of our directors/producers(do they have one ?) who make films for the sake of bombay heroines/models and singers to give away the hard earned money of our poor people in the name of glamour and variety. Are they really doing any justice to the money we throw at them?. It's good that we have some heroes to be proud of.

I agree that music doesn't have barriers but for everything there is a limit and let us not forget same time "TANAKU MINCHINA DHARMAM PANIKI RADU" ( Hope we all have gone through same curriculum incl. the people in movie industry). Then, why do we have to feed all those bombay gang who make plenty of money in hindi. I am sure some of the voice are no less than crying or resembles animal voices esp. when they sing in telugu songs.

It asks me one thing that "Is our music directors know their voice limitations or just because some music directors had some pet hindi singers, so he had to use from the remaining lot of hindi singers to call it as variety. If you remember HINDI people have rejected ASHIQUI FAME SINGER long time back so we are feeding him now at our own pride. He may be good singer but do everyone of us really agree that their voice suite for telugu songs incl. recent male/female voices of bollywood. Don't we have people who can sing better than them in AP. I can say proudly my voice or my friend voices are much better than them for telugu songs. I am sure it will be true with you and your friends too.

If so, why all this non-sense happening?. Who should be blamed for all this mess? Is it not that our own singers cann't sing them. I heard one music director who bank on only hindi singers said that our new talent of singers came through various TV programs lack interest. I never saw he gave them any chance(or fair chance) to be precise. How can he comment like that. Those famous singers we hear these days, aren't famous in one day so talent needs to be encouraged to meet the expectations. We see some of the music director voices are so horrible that god only knows how better they are , Is it that they are directing it so nobody question their qualifications to sing.

We often hear that birds sing and they even talk now. So can we think of it, if they haven't been encouraged by her mother or the trainer. I know one thing for sure that if you force our pet animal to sing, it will and also good after 100 times practicing it, some of those music directors seeking excuses in interviews that that bollywood singers are much better now than they used to be etc., If it can be true with those don't know the language, why cann't it also be true with singers who are coming through TV programs or with our great singers who are still competitive and alive to sing any type of song. So, If we don't encourage them why should have such competitions at first place. I know only few of the female singers were given such encouragement but it's not that much as one would have expected it. So whyn't for male singers too. Is non-telugu male voice tastes like Rasagulla or what? to those " variety makers".

For a variety one or two songs are fine but the things have gone beyond control as songs sung by each bollywood singer slowly jumps into hundreds (few of them are close to 300 songs) and the numbers goes on, as the so called "FEED BOLLYWOOD and LOOSE TELUGU PRIDE" trend launched by our industry people. Isn't that we the listeners have been deprived of options by them who throw the money for nothing and in trying to make useless films all years without a hit or award.

I read lot of telugu music directors interviews to see what their response to bollywood singers and everybody says they aren't at fault for hindi singers it is the producers/music companies who insist that songs should be sung by them.

Which poses many questions in my mind

1. Does it mean a MAFIA ruling us from hearing to good talent. Is every cassette company owned by non-telugite to enforce such dictum. Come on it's cheating. Please wake up. If songs are good you are ensured of good sales it doesn't matter who sing in the album.

2. Do we have come to such stage that to become a singer of telugu film, the minimum requirement is that one's mother tongue shouldn't be TELUGU. Don't bring national integration into picture. If they have that common sense they would make only good movies, which convey message of honesty/ patriotism/ Culture. I see which are missing gradually in telugu movies as they wanted to be pro-america or westerner in terms of dress code.

3. When we are making so many numbers of movies which mayn't help the music directors to give good tunes each time why should we have to have songs in movies at first place". We knew there are some good movies with no songs esp. the KAMAL movie by SINGITHAM. So it's only false impression that we created ourselves that somehow we should have songs in our movies it doesn't matter even it's old wine in new bottle. How can they sell such albums which are nothing but waste of money and time for us.

The current youth wants some good music it doesn't mean to kill our own singers and encourage other singers. If ARR considered to be god of INDIAN MUSIC now, Remember too, in ARR albums you will find many tamil/ malayali singers sing the songs including hindi albums even though they aren't liked by hindi people.(If you have lived in North INDIA, it's quite known that they make fun of south Indian pronunciation). But, the morale is that ARR trying to maintain the pride of his roots and culture thus making everybody comes to his terms with good music. I am sure our new music directors will lean something of this kind in future.

So, Let us not forget the pride of our great singers like SPB, SUSILA, JANAKI, and SAILAJA in south india because of the command they used to have over classical music also by other singers (hope one knows that most of the carnatic music songs are in telugu and non-telugites also wrote them in telugu because of sweetness of our language and also as one rightly appreciated TELUGU AS ITALIAN OF THE EAST). So do we have to sacrifice such pride at the cost of new telugu film makers/ music directors or producers or cassette companies who ever takes the blame. Let us open the eyes even now.

If things are so even everywhere, we can speak fluently hindi compared to other southern states then why don't our people get a fair chance in hindi field. I don't think it will ever happen since they maintain the pride and it is legitimate for those who are proud of their culture. Similarly, look towards malayali and tamil industry. They make sure that their culture don't get died at the hands of other non-speaking people. Rather they dominate given an opportunity.

Our film producers give chance also to the music directors of other languages esp. tamil (I guess you know the names very well), few of them also given chance to hindi music directors, good that they aren't repeating it after failures. Did you ever notice that in their album they prefer to use only tamil or malayali singers or else they were sung by bollywood singers. So, do other language music directors wants to teach us that we are unqualified to sing our own songs. Do we have to blame them for our mistakes, when our film makers in the name of trying to be unique or variety become limitless in their imagination.

When every other language people protect their pride then why do we sacrifice our pride in the name of variety/unique/modern what so ever by our music directors/film makers who certainly lacks vision except wasting money. Do we consider the current trend as PRIDE- BREAKERS and NOT PRIDE-MAKERS. Which is forcing everyone of us think that do we have to live with it? and Why cann't we raise our voice?

One music directors, since he wants to establish in hindi ( due to recent hit given by him and changes his name also there) so trying to balance the equation for personal reasons brings female singers with one hindi album to telugu songs in the name of variety. Is it justified?

I have seen lot of so called " VARIETY" for 6-7 years by our telugu music directors and film makers and let us wake up. It's high time that we put an end to this non-sense or cheating whatever applicable. If n't the list of songs sung by those would get into gunnies book as great sacrifice by people of one culture who just wanted to be different in their film making.

I know for sure we have talent in Andhra who can sing beautifully than other language singers. Give them a chance and be honest and proud of your own culture, which is already at great threat with cable TV/Westernization.

Let us make sure that our sweet language not spoiled by fellow Indians and make sure our future generations also be proud of their culture and music which was maintained in dignity until the introduction of bollywood singers or variety concept ( the famous word of our film makers and music directors).

I conclude, that any kind of art survives provided you have vision and sincerity towards it. So let us not make it bad when you are unfit with no creativity.

Hope that you maintain our pride after reading this.

I thank for the opportunity. Hope it reach to those concerned.

Thanks for reading it.

[email protected]

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