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#Eye4anEye: Abhay Deol takes on music industry giant T-SERIES

He’s known as one of the most talented and thoughtful actors in Bollywood and now Abhay Deol has shown that he’s fearless as well, breaking ranks and taking on one of the biggest corporate names in the business.

Deol, 37, appeared at the Screen Awards in Mumbai on Tuesday night sporting a black eye to protest what he called the “arm-twisting” of music giant T-Series with the music of his debut production ‘One By Two’.

Whilst the war-paint looked painful, it was a symbolic gesture against T-Series which Deol said has not released the film’s soundtrack with just two weeks to go for its 31 January release.

Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, who have composed the music of the film, are refusing to abide by the terms laid down by music label T-Series. Their contract is yet to be signed and hence the music of the film has not been released.

The trio has asked to collect the royalty of the film’s music directly. Their lawyers have advised them not to sign the agreement as it is illegal and cannot allow the music company to collect royalty on their behalf.

Deol has chosen to side with the trio, posting this defiant message on his Facebook page: “My friends I just did the unthinkable. I took on the giant record label of the music industry. Many of you on FB and those I meet on the road have been asking me when the music to my film will release. It is the 14th of January, my film is out on the 31st, of this month and yet there are no albums available in the market.

Well the entire music fraternity is up in arms against the record labels because they expect musicians to sign a contract with a clause that is against the law. Producers like myself are expected to make sure they sign. Which means if anyone is arrested for breaking the law it will be the producer!

I am also against the exploitation of artists. I believe in their rights and even if a musician is ready to sign it, I would advise him/her against it. As a result I have no album in the market. In fact, now, I wouldn’t be surprised if the music company pulls out my promos from TV channels. I don’t have radio play anyway.

So far, no producer or studio has taken on this record label. Me and Viacom have nothing more to lose, they have already killed any potential buzz the music could have created for the film had it been put up for sale weeks ago. At the moment I have the entire music fraternity behind me. Ram Sampat and Sona Mohapatra, Amit Trivedi, Vishal and Shekhar, Javed Akhtar and of course Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy have all expressed their support.

Now I am waiting to see which producers, actors and studios will come forth to highlight this issue.

I hope my film will not suffer as a result.

I believe in the power of the individual.”

The release of a film’s soundtrack prior to the cinematic release is crucial in creating awareness of a vast majority of Bollywood movies.
‘One by Two’ is a romantic comedy directed by Devika Bhagat and stars Deol and his real-life girlfriend, Middlesborough-born model and actress Preeti Desai.

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