Young music composer Amaal Mallik,who was nominated for his work in the films Baaghi and Kapoor & Sons at the Jio Filmfare Awards, recently took to Facebook to express his anger and disappointment over how award shows function in India. The musician, who has famous tracks like Sooraj Dooba Hain (Roy), Main Hoon Hero (Hero),Sau Aasmano Se(Baar Baar Dekho) and many others to his credit, not only questioned the nomination criteria of the award functions but also called out the jury for leaving out certain films and actors. I cornered Amaal for some answers on his decision of writing the post and its repercussions. Here are the excerpts from the interview-
You wrote a powerful note on the dirty politics behind the glittery award nights. You raised some really valid points there but tell me honestly didn't the thought of getting shunned by the Film industry come to your mind?
No No. I was not shunned. The thing is that the fight was for Dangal. I am a Pritam fan and I feel that the music of that film should have been nominated along all those albums (Sultan, Udta Punjab, Baaghi, Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, Mirzya and Kapoor & Sons). Personally, I don't think, anyone has done what I did. Lot of people will feel that it's weird that I have disallowed my nomination but if you see it I am talking about the whole scenario as an audience. I am not talking about my album. Usually you get really happy that you are nominated and you just leave it at that. When I was nominated for Roy, me Meet Bros, Ankit Tiwari had done a great job. That year, Badlapur being a very good album was still not given its due. I feel, it's due was equal to getting a nomination, if not winning. And if you don't nominate someone it's kind of a disrespect.
Speaking of what I said about Baaghi, that's only because Filmfare is a very prestigious award and my post was not just for them, it was for all the award functions in general. The timing of my post just happened to be next to the Filmfare Awards but it's just a general thing that I'hv seen this year in the awards.
I am not even talking about my song (Sau Asmaano Se). A deserving album like a Baar Baar Dekho, where I had only one song, was a wonderful album which I thought could make into a Filmfare nomination atleast. Stardust is someone that stands for new comers. That album was with me, Tanishq, Bosco, Badshah. There were five new comers who did a good job. I believed, it was a more versatile album, which could have found a place in the nomination list. I felt, Dangal, could get a place. If something like a Mirzya can be nominated then even something like Dangal should get it's due.
You are relatively new to the Bollywood music industry, Amaal. How come no one else spoke about it in all these years. And how did you muster the courage to talk about it.
I know! I am just two years old. People who have been here for ten years haven't spoken in this way, that I have. But, it's about everyone's personality. I believe in saying what I think and I said it. I know there will be repercussions, there may be chances that I might not get nominated ever or not get an award. But fine because I didn't want to say this 10 years later when I'll be at my peak. So it's okay. It atleast shows what I stand for.
I had a word with Sabbir Khan (director of Baaghi) and Sajid (Nadiadwala) and I apologized that if it's maligning your film then I am sorry for that but personally, I didn't feel that it was something that deserved to be there. And that's why I wrote this. And, I am not sorry for that. That was a voice that I didn't want to hide.
Many of my contemporaries, who are of my age or younger who are doing good work, would also want to stand with me on this but they can't. I am someone who wanted to say it and I have said it. I don't think I want to go back on it.
I wrote the post in a go. I didn't take time and think over it for days. When I just felt, I just wrote it. And I think I raised very valid questions. I was misinterpreted by many people that I was trying to put down Aishwarya Rai and that I felt that Randeep Hooda only deserved. But, she deserved no doubt, she did a great job but for someone who played the title role, who has done that hard work, who has looked the part and acted and he's my friend so I thought I should say something. And, I did.
And I think that is something which everyone within the industry, not many, like Sonu Nigam, KK, Pritam, all have supported me on that post. They have told me that you have said something that is very sensible. And as an audience, I have seen films like Aligarh, Airlift. Forget nominating the music, I am not even saying please nominate them but Akshay Kumar did a great job, first time director Raja Menon did a wonderful job. So we should not forget films and good acting. And when you feel that, I think you should put it. Even an M.S. Dhoni today is a successful 200 crore plus film and the director Neeraj Pandey has not been nominated.It just feels weird that International Award functions (Oscars) are appreciating our cinema, like Sarbjit and Dhoni made it to that list, in our own country we have not given that platform to our films.
So, did you receive any threat calls after that post?
No, nothing like that. I spoke to Meet Brothers and Ankit (Tiwari) and told them that I have written this. But, it's not to put your work or anyone' else's work down. I made it clear because they were in the album (Baaghi) with me. I said that it's something, that I feel personally, that I didn't do a great job with that song (Sab Tera)...Some songs make it to the top for several reasons. This song is sung by Armaan Mallik, Shraddha (Kapoor) has sung,Tiger is there. So, all this packaging helps a song. Whereas if you see, a Bold Do Na Zara and a Azhar were far superior an album to that.
Recently, Rishi Kapoor made a shocking revelation in an interview that he once bought a Filmfare award. Do you think such things tarnish the image people have of awards.
On twitter, when the nominations came out for several award functions, there was a huge audience which was not my fan base who tried calling me and asking me that why has Baaghi been nominated or why have you not been nominated for so and so film. Which I had no answers to...
For normal people it means a lot. They really feel that things should be done the right way. When they see all this they start losing their belief in the talent of our industry. And people who want to become singers, composers, lyrics writers, feel that if we work hard also and we put our best into an album or a song, if we are not even going to be mentioned for that, then what is the point of going through the grind...They are just making them feel that there is no point in working hard.
Will you be boycotting these award nights now onwards?
See, I really go to these award nights to have a good evening, to meet a few people who are from my industry. I don't really go for film parties and all so these are the only few places, like Radio Mirchi Awards, GIMA, Filmfare, where I go and I manage to meet a few friends. I don't go to these awards only when I'm nominated, I go even when I'm not nominated, if I feel like it. It's not that I'm here to boycott anything. It's just that I don't stand for anything which I feel is not right. Tomorrow if you nominate me for an album, which I don't deserve, I will take it and say I didn't deserve it. It all depends on that point of time. I am not in that space where I can boycott anything.
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