Popularity of ghazals increasing, says Rekha Bhardwaj

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Mumbai, July 27 (IANS) Singer Rekha Bhardwaj, known for her soulful voice, says the popularity of ghazals is increasing and that it will never fade away despite people’s interest in western music.

Along the sidelines of the rehearsals for a Khazana Ghazal Festival here, Bhardwaj was asked about the decreasing popularity of ghazals.

She said: “That’s not true. In fact, it is increasing again. In every 15 to 20 years, there comes a change, but ghazals can never be finished as it is such a poetry-based genre. The youth from north or here, who want to get into classical music or even generally, are still interested (in it).”

Bhardwaj, who had earlier come up with a ghazal album titled “Irshaad”, will along with other well-known singers perform at the Khazana Ghazal Festival on July 29 and July 30. It is an annual affair led by ghazal singer Pankaj Udhas to raise funds for cancer and thalassemia patients.

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Further talking about ghazals, Rekha said: “Even in our film music, songs with a ghazal base are coming out. So it can’t happen that ghazals die, but in between they definitely experience a dip.

“For the youngsters, there is definitely more influence for western music as they get more exposure to it, and you need to take more conscious efforts so that the reach widens.”

She said the new generation is not entirely to be blamed for their preferences.

“It is not a problem of the kids… When their parents don’t listen (to ghazals), how will the kids listen? So, if we play ghazals and even if they don’t like it or don’t want to listen, while moving around the house they will start listening to it,” she added.

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