Regional OTTs platforms has changed the lives of artists: Masoom Sharma

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Born and brought up in Brahmanwas village in Jind district of Haryana in the early 1990s. When the trend of folk music was very much in vogue, people had affection for folk singers and people considered them as stars.

Bombay Tribune (BT)  In the early 1990s, he was born and reared in a small village in Haryana’s Jind area, where there were no cinema theatres. Every month, though, there was a ragni singing session in the village, for which Masoom Sharma, now 30, used to wait. And it was here that his love for singing blossomed. He attended the village school for his early education and began singing at the age of six. He would travel a significant distance after leaving school to see the local ragni singing shows. A bhajan singing programme was performed in a house in the village, and when the innocent arrived, it was his love of music that pulled him there.

Masoom Sharma joined Kurukshetra University to study music after completing his schooling, but he was unable to complete his studies due to unforeseen circumstances. He later studied film acting at the State Institute of Film and Television, Rohtak, and from there he began singing. The process of singing progressed quickly, and he became a Star Singer of Haryana Music Industry in just a few years.

Those who want to pursue a career in music, according to Masoom, must first acquire relevant expertise. He has a degree in cinema acting, for example. “You are taught to several art genres in film schools, and then you begin to think about excelling in them; this is the specialty of art institutes.” Films introduce a student to the cinema, music, and culture of many different countries. goes. “Cinema and music are not just for amusement; they are also a very potent tool for social change,” Sharma argues.

Masoom Sharma is interviewed one-on-one by the Bombay Tribune; below are some extracts. (Image: BT)

When did it occur to you that I should sing?

When I was 6-7 years old, I used to listen to Bhagat Ram Niwas’ ragani, and he motivated me to pursue a career in singing.

What was your family’s approach to pursuing a career in the arts?

The family members were first pleased when I sang in Bhajan Kirtan, but when I suggested that I pursue singing as a career, they became enraged; they considered singing to be a trivial chore, and they believed that Brahmin children were inferior. This is a minor task that should not be completed. However, when my songs got quite popular in this market, my family members were overjoyed. This is the family’s and society’s dual attitude toward their offspring.

You studied music at the Film Institute?

No, I studied music at Kurukshetra University but was unable to complete my studies owing to unforeseen circumstances. I then went to a film college to learn acting and discovered that my songs were getting increasingly famous; as a result, I am now singing in addition to acting. I maintained doing it as well, and the money I earned from it was utilised to pay for my studies.

What are your thoughts about Haryanvi movies?

Haryana used to make good cinema in the beginning, with films like Chandrawal and Heer Ranjha, but after that, almost no films were made, but now, thanks to the entrance of OTT platforms, very fine films are being made, and Haryana Film Institute students are highly successful. Good films are being produced, and with the emergence of OTT and music apps, money has begun to flow to the artists. Previously, the music industry operated arbitrarily, requiring artists to work for free, but this is no longer the case.

When are you going to make your film debut?

I’m waiting for a better opportunity and script, and some have arrived, perhaps very soon.

What kind of music do you enjoy listening to when you’re alone?

Classical music appeals to me.

What kind of music do you wish to make for the Haryanvi community?

I make music to make people happy (laughs). I aim to merge Indo-Western music.

Who is your favourite Haryanvi singer and songwriter?

Dada Lakhmichand, Mangeram, Jat Mehr Singh, Dhanpat Rai. Master Satbir Singh, Jagdish Chandra Vats used to write very well.

What is the government’s stance on artists?

The government thinks, but those in charge of the artists’ welfare spend five years looking after their own relatives. People in charge of this project have no experience with art or artists from all over the world.

What advice would you give to aspiring musicians?

Do not enter any field without first obtaining an education; knowledge and study of the art field you wish to enter is required; simply having a hobby will not enough. Hard efforts , commitment, and honesty are required.

How did it feel to speak with the Bombay Tribune?

I’m glad there’s a segment of the media that cares about folk artists.


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