Singer Daler Mehndi, who turns 54 on Wednesday, has revealed the reason why he doesn’t sing as many Bollywood songs as his fans would want him to.
Daler has said that he doesn’t work the way many young singers do these days. He asks for a fair amount upfront, which film producers are not always comfortable with.
Speaking with indianexpress.com, Daler said he charges ₹6 lakh per song with GST. “I’ll tell you the process of making a song today. A dummy singer first records it in Mumbai. Then it is recorded with several struggling or new singers, and then whichever voice they want, they retain the song in that singer’s voice. With me, first you pay ₹6 lakhs and GST, then I record the song. Hence, they aren’t able to remove my song from the film because they know it is them who approached me. That’s the reason why I have less songs, firstly because I’m too costly to afford, secondly I’m very choosy about the songs and thirdly, I don’t want to do dirty work in market,” he said.
About judging singing reality shows, Daler had a similar opinion. “I tell them I won’t do it for free. Reality shows have a budget of crores. When they are making money, even I should get it. And I will do honest judging, and say honest things. But, I want my fees,” he said.
Daler has delivered hits such as Bolo Ta Ra Ra, Tunak Tunak Tun, Dardi Rab Rab, Ho Jayegi Balle Balle and Na Na Na Na Na Re in his long career. He has also sung for Bollywood movies such as Rang De Basanti and Dangal.
Speaking to Hindustan Times about his plans for the future, he said, “I had always thought that I’d explore new areas after establishing myself in the industry, and that’s what I’m doing. I also plan to recreate some ghazals from my compositions which I used to sing in the 1980s.”