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Alka Yagnik speaks on music

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Alka Yagnik, the melodious voice of India, that has charmed many hearts, now feels that she needs to contribute her bit to spot new talents. Having spent 25 years in the industry, Alka is now to judges the talent-hunt show 'Star Voice of India'. Here she talks about what she looks for in a promising singer and gives her opinion on the new talent hunt shows dominating the television these days.

What are the qualities you would be looking in the singers?
The few things that I would be looking for in the singers would be voice quality, the amount of attraction present in the voice and their singing capacity. We are specialized in looking out for the singers who might be crude or not too polished, but have the potential of doing better under training and guidance.

How difficult does it get choosing between so many contestants?
Yes, it does become difficult where there are singers who are equally talented. But when some are singing well and the others are not up to the mark we can differentiate and choose. When singers are singing equally well, then choosing the right one and ensuring that our choice was not wrong and a deserving candidate is not being left behind gets tough. In such cases, we usually tell them so sing another song, which gives us a better idea of the singer's capability.

What benefit will you have from such talent hunts?
See, I have been in the industry for around 25 years now and such talent hunts give me the opportunity to impart my experiences and knowledge about music to these young talents, which will help them to move further in the industry. When we came into the industry, we had no senior singers guiding us except for a few music composers. At that time we needed the guidance from the senior singers. It is very satisfying for me when I can help these new comers.

Often it is seen that there are a lot of differences in opinion between the singers?
See there is not too much of a difference of opinion between us because we belong to the same group. We are all singers ourselves, so whatever difference is there is minor, as there possibly cannot be too much of a difference. See, at times we do get a little aggressive in the way we talk and that is because we are all emotionally very charged at the time of the performances. You cannot call them fights tough.
Has such contests given the face to you singers?
See, it is exactly not so. Since the past 10 years we are become known faces, but yes, it can be said that we have now become household faces. In every corner of India people now know our faces as we come on the television for two days a week. We have certainly become popular faces.

How do you people feel when a deserving candidate gets eliminated due to public voting?
Yes, these are the times when we feel bad as judges. Not only us, but India also is a very emotional country. People sometimes vote on sympathy basis. But one should remember that it is a singing competition and people should vote only keeping in mind the singing capability of the singer. We always appeal to the audience to vote for the best singer and not on the basis of other factors.

Sometimes even judges are accused of favouritism...
Judges can never do so. They might like a contestant personally, but when it comes to the singing abilities, none of them are biased. For example, I liked Gurpreet from Lil Champs a lot, but when she did not sing well I did criticized her and put her out. Judges will never be unfair when comes to judging in the final selection of singers.

Sometimes good singers don't perform well due to nervousness and get eliminated.
See, we always keep a margin for that. Singers do get nervous and their performance gets affected. But, we still know that the particular singer has the potential and has not done too well due to nervousness. Sometimes it also happens that a singer sings very confidently and very well but yet the ingredient of good singer is missing in him. We have also gone through such phases as singers and we know how much margin is to be kept for that error.

In the recent past we have seen the winners not doing too well in the competitive world of music.
You cannot say that. The winners are new in the industry and more-over there have been a lot of singers who have emerged as winners in some competition or the other. The industry is about the survival of the fittest and thus, the one who is the strongest, will survive.

How much difference does it make to have a singer like Shaan as the anchor of the show? Does it help to sell the show?
It is a music show. Besides, selling even otherwise. See Shaan is a star in his own right and he is a singer above all. You need a singer to host a music show. It helps the anchor to present the show better. He can understand the singer's point of view too and sometimes also speaks on their behalf.

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