Music has always held powers to heal, move, evoke memories, and remind us of change. The way we find new music we love, too, has transformed in the last couple of years—an audio clip on Reels or TikTok suddenly leads to the rediscovery of an old song or turns a new one into a viral hit. While the shares and listens are in the millions, the composer, singer and lyricist, especially in Bollywood, rarely see piles of cash. The way royalties are split in Bollywood is complicated, with record labels and studios usually being the main beneficiaries, which is the issue we dive into this week.
Music creators have been asking for a share of the earnings from the sale or use of their work for more than half a century—Lata Mangeshkar was, in fact, the first to try to get singers a share of royalties. A few court cases have gone in their favour but the struggle for a share of profits continues. For the singers, royalties would lead to a steady stream of income in a career that is based entirely on one-off hits and many misses. At another level—especially in an era when algorithms dictate what we listen to—it would encourage artists to think about creating work that will last longer than 30 seconds and give us a richer variety of songs to set our memories to.
On a different note, this is the weekend when Wimbledon winds to a close. Though most of the usual suspects are in the finals, the run-up has been truly interesting, with a diversity of talent on show, now that there’s some space at the top without Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer and the Williams sisters.
If you are not a tennis fan, there are other weekend watching recommendations, from the new Mission: Impossible film to the murder mystery-comedy The Afterparty. And if you are in the mood for some space exploration after reading all the news about Chandrayaan-3, try building some space shuttles of your own from the list of brick-building sets we have picked out for you.
Write to the Lounge editor shalini.umachandran at @htlive.com