How do you see your journey so far as an outsider?
God has been kind to me in all my years in the industry even though I am an outsider. While I have been rendering music for the past 15years, I have sung at more than 1500 shows across 18 to 20 countries. Each of these shows has been special for me and thus I have no regret in my journey so far. The learning has been tremendous over the years and I hope that the coming time will be equally entertaining and exciting.
What do you keep in mind when you compose for Ekam Satt?
Ekam Satt was composed about three years back with the thought of music providing solace and relief from the constant worldly stress and anxiety. When I quit my well paying job to start my own business and consultancy firm – AD Ventures, the primary aim was to produce musical IP’s with a distinct humanitarian cause with a social message.
We go to different parts of India and the world to reach out to the people with the ancient Indian cultural knowledge that we have inherited from various poets and saints like Kabir Das, Mirabai, Tulsidas, Gurunank Dev, Amir Khusro and other renowned saints. Thus this thought was put together and EkamSatt was devised to spread blissful and meaningful music with the message of spreading joy, happiness, love and unity.
What made you incline toward the genre of folk and Sufi songs?
Well, traditional folk and Sufi music has been extremely popular in our country. In fact, Indian country music which has its own charm has always been well received even abroad. Folk music from different parts of the country like the Maharashtraian Abhangs, Gujarati folk songs, Punjabi Tappe, North Indian folk music and Kashmiri folk music to name a few, have a very different flavour, which excited me to explore the subject.
How was your experience when you collaborated with other renowned singers, instrumentalists?
The experiences have always been extremely good. Be it the collaboration with ace music arranger and drummer Ranjit Barot, the flute maestro Rakesh Chaurasia, the tabla maestro Pandit Vijay Ghateji or be it with the renowned instrumentalist Niladri Kumar, all the collaborations of AD Ventures have always been exciting. It’s been a fantastic journey and we have had some beautiful time together. I look forward to collaborating with more such artists to create unparallel musical experiences with the audience.
Being a singer and finding success is not easy for everyone. How would you guide young aspiring singers across the country?
Well, I think my journey has just started and has a long way to go. I don’t think I am in a place where I can say I have achieved it all or I am successful. I think God has been kind to me, we have achieved a fair amount of success but have more to explore. But would like to share to all the aspirants more as a colleague rather than as a mentor, however, one advise for all aspirants would be that in order to make an entry into this field one has to be sincere, honest and practice good music.
Did you ever encounter any unruly audience. How did you manage to handle them?
Thankfully, I haven’t encountered any unruly audience so far, but yes there have been odd occasions when you know that the audience sitting in front of you comes with different types of expectations than what you have planned to deliver. Hence, I believe one has to be versatile enough to cater to the needs of the audience and make changes in the plan spontaneously.
Who was your favorite singer as a child?
Kishor Da, Pandit Bhimsen Joshji and Lata Mangeshkar
Among all the musical gharanas in India which one mesmerizes you the most?
Jaipur and Kirana Gharana
As a singer what is the most important thing you have to make sure is in the correct form every day?
What was the first tune(s) you learned?
How often and for how long do you practice?
Every day at least two to three hours
Were you influenced by old records & tapes?
Yes, Geet Ramayan by the legendary Marathi Composer Sudhir Phadkeji (babuji)
Who are your favourite musicians?
I really admire Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
More than a group I have been influenced by western musicians like Michael Jackson, Bryan Adams and Ronan Keating.
Well in CDs I have been inspired by the legendary Jagjit Singh Sahab – Maa
Do you attend sessions? What makes a good session?
Yes, of course, I have trained with my mother, Dr. Anuradha Dabli. I believe a good session is not merely hitting the right notes, it is when one receives guru appreciation.