“The problem is we never had a separate music industry, we always had a film music industry. The west has it and that's why musicians are stars and icons there."
Bollywood actors featuring in singles may have become the latest fad but singer Neha Bhasin feels such music videos should have singers as performers rather than film stars.
Neha, of "Kuch Khaas Hai" fame, says, "I think Bollywood stars should stay away from independent music videos because this is our most personal and direct way of connecting with our listeners. Singers should be in the front in such videos than being a playback because that is something we anyway do in film songs," Neha said.
"There was a time when stars were made out of music videos but today singers rely on actors to make their singles hit. I find that sad."
The singer has come up with her Punjabi folk single, "Nai Jaana", and evidently featured in it too. Neha says she would never have an actress starring in her single or album.
"I love doing music videos. I have grown up loving independent music and I am more of a performer than a playback singer. Hence, I want that if it's my voice, then it should be my face too."
Neha started her music career after winning a competition in 2002 to form India's first all girls band VIVA along with four other girls. The group was formed at a time when non-film music had a dedicated following and hence became popular with the youth. Two successful albums later, the band split in 2004. Neha went on to do playback for Hindi films like "Fashion", "Mere Brother Ki Dulhan", and some Telugu and Tamil movies.
Neha, however, feels that dominance of film music in the country is to an extent the reason why music bands and independent artists don't get their due. "'90s and early 2000s were times when we had music albums and singles. We also had music groups but the increased dominance of film music took away all of that.