The music industry in India is male-driven and leaves female singers with less opportunities, says the National Award-winning playback singer Monali Thakur.
Monali will be performing during an on-air show 'Aap Jahaan, Concert Wahaan', hosted by Radio City on Friday here.The songstress, who made her way in the industry with reality television show "Indian Idol" and then paved her way through much struggle, told IANS over phone from Mumbai: "There are fewer opportunities for female singers in Bollywood. Out of a thousand songs created, only 10 songs would be female solo maybe."
On the pay gap, the "Sawaar loon" and "Badri ki dulhania" singer said: "Leave that aside completely, where are the opportunities?"
Monali won the National Award for Best Female Playback Singer for her rendition of "Moh moh ke dhaage" from "Dum Laga Ke Haisha" in the year 2016. She says the award gave a boost to her identity in the industry.
"Earlier, only my songs were heard and celebrated, but after winning the award, public recognition towards me doubled. I believe that was a huge milestone in my career," said Monali.
Born in a Bengali musical family in Kolkata, Monali has grown up while learning the nuances of singing. She participated in the second season of "Indian Idol" in 2005, and even though she didn't win, she was noticed.
Monali feels struggle is a never-ending process and so she is still struggling to reach great heights.Recalling her struggling days, she said: "I have struggled a lot. Till now, my journey in Bollywood is no less than a roller-coaster ride, but I am happy the struggle came and taught me how to take care of good times. Struggle is very much important as it will teach you the value of success and fame."
Monali also has a piece of advice for upcoming singers.
"Remain honest to your work and do not disrespect the art of music ever. The industry is so messed up that newcomers should be wise enough to decide what is good and what is bad for them," said the "Zara zara touch me" fame singer.
Having performing in MTV "Unplugged", Monali says unplugged versions of songs are beautiful.
"There's no doubt the digital production is great, but what is real music, how much pain do musicians take for creating a song... All this can be seen in an unplugged version," she said.
Asked about the rising trend of old songs being remade, Monali said: "Nowadays, almost every popular old song is being recreated. I am not against it, but an overdose of something is not good. Makers should not ruin the essence of the original song. Instead of creating cheap versions of it, one should try to make a classic remake."
As for her upcoming projects, Monali has lent her voice to songs in movies "Gold" and "Fanney Khan", and she is all ready to come up with her new single in August.
Excited about her her Gig City on-air performance, she said: "My audience won't be visible to me during my first radio concert, but I know my audience will listen to me for sure."
(Simran Sethi can be contacted at email@example.com) —IANS