Monday, September 18, 2006

Sri Lankan Music - Newbies vs Golden Oldies

Daily News Feature Section (September 16 2006)

A small article about a "3-in-1" concert by Amila Perera, Malith Perera and Shihan Mihiranga appears towards the bottom of the page. It's also on the Daily News website - that's where I found this funny photo - check out where Malith's left hand is placed ;)

On the exact same page of the newspaper (top right hand corner), Chamikara Weerasinghe has written a Features editorial that effectively lambastes these guys. (Unfortunately the editorial is not available on the web and I could not find a link to it. )

In it, Weerasinghe comments on how new, younger singers including those labelled "superstars by a private tv channel" (oh what a hint, that is) are stealing the spotlight away from veteran musicians who have spent many years of their lives building careers.

The bitter truth is that everyone gets replaced, eventually. Showbiz is no different - in fact, it's probably the most unforgiving towards the older generation. The younger audience is not going to listen to music it cannot identify itself with and right now, the oldies show no signs of coming up with radical material. For all it's muck, the super stars did bring something new and exciting to the local music scene.

One cannot just write them off simply because the veterans feel like they are losing their grip. I was surprised the editorial so blatantly supported such views. Slamming the door shut on emerging talent is just a very "Sri Lankan" thing to do - if artistes want their music to be appreciated and remembered long after they are gone, new talent must be found and groomed to ensure their legacy lasts forever.

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