Bhushan Kumar, Chairman and Managing Director of T Series, took over the company at the tender age of 19 after his father Gulshan Kumar's passing. Since then, he has helmed the company and overseen its expansion into various territories like film production and distribution. Today T-Series has 70% of the Indian music market and is the largest viewed YouTube channel in the world.
We asked the music mogul about his thoughts on the new trends in film music like multi-composer albums and rehashing old classics. Music directors like Vishal-Shekhar and Pritam have been openly critical of these concepts. In our Music Composers' Adda, Shekhar Ravjiani had elaborated on his decision to not compose only a few songs for a film saying, "You become a part of the director's journey, as a composer. You start seeing every single situation and living it. And suddenly when it's one or two songs, you feel like you're catering to that particular thing." Here's what Kumar had to say:
On The Criticism Towards Having Multiple Composer On A Single Album
They have a thought process but I disagree in some way also because today with the kind of work I'm doing, everybody cannot have Vishal-Shekhar or Pritam. To be very frank, they have less time because they're busy doing shows. Earlier all the premium music directors never used to do shows. I won't blame them because they earn a great amount of money because of their popularity and their voice and the kind of songs they have. That's what's dividing their time. But yes, if the music directors are ready to give time, there is no harm, and it's better for the film also, to have one music composer.
There are many albums that had multiple composers and became super hits. Like Aashiqui 2, Yaariyan and Roy – we got all the best album awards. And commercially also they have done well. Today we are making thrillers and comedies. In that you don't actually need a solo composer because there is very less music in these kinds of films. You need a composer when it's a proper musical album, like in Aashiqui 2.
On The Increasing Amount Of Remixes And Recreations Of Old Songs
At times, it's the quality of music which we want and are not getting on time from the music directors and lyricists. The main reason is people want to listen. There's this Bappi Lahiri song 'Dil Mein Ho Tum' and there's another Rajesh Khanna song 'Dil Kya Kare'. I played it to a few youngsters and they thought it was a fresh song. They didn't know it was an old song. And these recreation songs, when they come up, 80% likeability is there. Commercially, likeability wise and it helps the film also. Why is there is so much hue and cry about it? This is the flavour of the season. People want to listen to songs that they haven't heard or that are in a low recording. Or in a different format with dholak-tabla while they want to listen to it in discotheques. Everybody's doing it.
Recreating is an art – you should always recreate a song when you can recreate it better. If you don't have that taste, that ability to judge whether it is better than the original, then you shouldn't touch it. There are songs which people recreate and mess up completely.
On Whether Artists Get Final Say On Their Songs
Absolutely. 70% of the time many artists are bang on. Those that are not, we guide them. We both are on consensus. Sometimes I compromise and I tell the artist, "I don't like that song to that capacity but if you want to do it, let's do it." We have 90% of the ear sense which we have generated over the years. Sometimes that 10% takes over and we are wrong. There are examples in which artists were telling me, "Let's do this song," and I said, "It won't do that much." They said, "Trust me and do it." I said, "Okay, we'll do it." Sometimes they're correct. Sometimes I'm correct. But it's always mutual.