Indian Youth Embraces Original Music

January 8, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. cover version (n.) [kuhv-er vur-zhuhn] – in music, a performance done by an artist who is not the original performer
Example: Her cover version of the popular singer’s song received a lot of hits on the Internet.

2. fandom (n.) [fan-duhm] – a collective term referring to fans  or  dedicated supporters and their activities
Example: The Beatles have a global fandom.

3. indie (adj.) [in-dee] – a small and independent group of artists
ExampleIndie singers have few, selected fans.

4. alternative (adj.)  [awl-tur-nuh-tiv] – following ideas or methods that are not traditional or not widely followed
Example: She claims that her alternative diet of only fruits is good for the health.

5. cease (v.) [sees] – to stop
Example:  He did not cease doing his work even though he was tired.

Read the text below.

India’s youths embrace self-identity through a newfound interest in original Indian music.

Arijit Datta from Indian rock band Airport thinks back to the low point of original Indian rock music two decades ago when Western rock was the only kind of rock music that Indians appreciated. Bands attempting to do something original were booed by the audience, he says. As a result, they had to resort to doing cover versions of Western music instead. Uday Benegal lead vocalist of the 1980’s band Indus Creed also remembers how the Indian audiences’ fandom for everything Western was such that people only wanted to see Caucasians perform on stage.

However, as India  was entering the 21st century, Datta and Benegal both witnessed a transformation in India's community of alternative "indie" musicians, thanks to the changing views of India's youth, who make up two-thirds of the country’s population, and a rising economy.

 The development in the country created more opportunities for youths to improve their music through the availability of musical instruments with better quality. India’s rising economy also brought positivity and encouragement among India's young generation to cease from considering themselves part of the Third World. Benegal, who struggled to be a musician during his time, says that the youth now have more opportunities to aggressively pursue alternative career choices, including making original music.

India’s youth can now assert their self-identity because they have become aware of their country’s global influence. They are happy to patronize all kinds of good music, especially original music written and sung in their own local languages, Benegal says.  As long as Indian youth believe in their capabilities there is no doubt that India’s culture, with rock music as part of it, will continue to grow.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

      What types of music do people in your country listen to nowadays?
How would you compare popular music today with popular music 20 years ago?
Discussion B

       Do you think it’s better for bands to just do covers of Western music? Why or why not?
       What do you think are the advantages of creating original music?

January 8, 2012