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Film actors take to music videos for visibility

Actor Jacqueline Fernandez reunited with singers Badshah and Aastha Gill in their new song Paani Paani that released on Wednesday.Premium
Actor Jacqueline Fernandez reunited with singers Badshah and Aastha Gill in their new song Paani Paani that released on Wednesday.

  • Film actors are looking at appearances in music videos for independent albums to stay relevant, as movies and web shows have taken a hit post-covid.
  • In the absence of film releases, music videos that trend on social media help create an aura of relatability around the celebrity.

With films, web shows, and brand collaborations on hold because of the pandemic, film actors are looking at appearances in music videos for independent albums to stay relevant. Jacqueline Fernandez, Tiger Shroff, Emraan Hashmi, Nushrratt Bharuccha, and Sanjana Sanghi have appeared in music videos brought out by labels like T-Series and Saregama that are looking to create buzz around independent music, a category gradually gaining ground in Indian entertainment. In the absence of film releases, music videos that take little time to shoot, trend on social media, helping create an aura of relatability around the celebrity.

“While independent music was already a strong category in Punjabi, it has seen growing traction in Hindi and Tamil in the past few months. It’s (featuring stars in music videos) a calculated risk to market the song and makes sure it gets discovered thanks to the eyeballs that artistes grab," said Shahir Muneer, founder and director at Divo Music, a south Indian music and media company. Music labels are increasingly looking not just at film actors but even influencers or people with social media following to help put together a better package, he said.

Mehul Gupta, co-founder and CEO at SoCheers, an independent digital agency said, for film actors, music videos are just a couple of days' work. Plus, right now they hardly have any film releases so music videos—which stick around (they keep appearing online) give them more time with the audiences, he added.

Sanujeet Bhujabal, senior director, marketing and syndication at Sony Music said the idea of featuring a celebrity from Bollywood, influencer community, or television, expands the potential of the song. “It is a trend that will remain, as it is a win-win approach," Bhujabal said. The past 18 months have seen a category of pop songs that are mounted on a larger scale and are released as singles. Sony has released songs like Genda Phool featuring Jacqueline Fernandez along with Badshah and a Tamil track called Kutty Pattas with film and TV actor Ashwin Kumar.

“Today, there are several songs that have the power to tell a story even without being a part of a film plot, such songs become singles. Especially during the pandemic, we have received a fabulous response to these," Bhushan Kumar, chairman and managing director, T-Series said. Independent music is a win for all music labels today as it helps composers, lyricists, and singers to give something to their fans on a frequent basis, he said, adding that non-film music singles will grow further.

With greater adoption of digital platforms, high levels of interactivity in events and content formats, and the need to connect fans with their celebrities at an individual level, digital content, digital concerts, and digital contests are the way of the future, media experts said.

“Indian celebrities have been quick to realize that and have reaped the benefits of higher engagement with fans via these platforms," said Gautam Sinha, CEO, Times Internet and Gaana adding that digital platforms were always poised to grow aggressively and the pandemic has only accelerated the growth.

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