Singer Anup Jalota says spiritual music is the space to be and commercially too the industry is growing at an excellent pace.
On World Music Day and his visit to his home town Lucknow, the singer says, “Spiritual music industry is growing like anything and bhajans are the space to be! On the business front, most music companies are making maximum profits from it and the good thing is it’s improving our value system too. So now, the focus is on conveying messages of great saints so that listeners learn from it.”
Jalota is best known for his bhajans but he sings ghazals and film songs as well. “See, I sing everything! But, personally I feel that today bhajans are very relevant and spirituality, or for that matter, things like yoga are the need of the hour. With bhajans, spirituality and yoga we can be better human beings. We need to understand that bhajans are not just about religion, they carry some great message! Our ‘nirgun’ sayings of saints are so full of life messages and we need to spread them to the masses.”
He is set to come up with a musical academy in Lucknow. “Here students will understand what saints like Meerabai, Kabirdas, Tulsidas or Guru Nanak have written. They will come to know why these ‘santon ki vaani’ are relevant after several centuries. Not just music, we plan to add spiritual dance to the curriculum. In our kathak or bharatnayam too we have such beautiful depiction of Radha-Krishna,” he adds.
The singer feels the pattern of teaching classical music too needs to be changed. “I remember going to Bhatkhandey Music Academy (now university). Now, I feel that classical music should be made simpler. Like we should first make them understand and learn the bhajan Jag Mein Sundar Hain Do Naam and then teach them that it is in Raag Gujari Todi or Man Tadpat Hari Darshan is sung in Raag Malkauns. So, only if the teaching method is tweaked a bit and made interesting then leaning classical music will be easier.”
Going forward he will be seen wearing many hats. “I have been acting for ages now but my career and interest is in music. I act in films, web-series and have even done reality shows. For me, it’s a very good way to break the monotony. Besides acting, I have produced two films — Token in Agra and Kartoot in Mumbai. So, a lot is happening!”