Having carved a niche for themselves as multi-genre artistes, singer Roop Kumar Rathod and wife Sonali are out with their latest offering -- a sufi album titled Kalmaa.
“This is our first sufi album together. In the past, I have sung a few sufi songs for Bollywood movies, but with this project, I have found a new direction in this form of music,” says Roopkumar, who is best known for hits like Sandese aate hain
… (Border, 1997) and Tujhme rab dikhta hai
… (Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, 2008).
Released by T-Series, Kalmaa features nine songs, including Ishq ka kalmaa…
and Sona yaar
…, the videos of which are on air and on video sharing website, YouTube. Keeping pace with changing times, the duo have incorporated newer sounds in the compositions. Says Sonali, “Society today is moving at a fast pace, and music reflects society. So keeping this in mind, we have brought in more rhythmic sounds to the songs.” Adds Roopkumar, “We wanted an element of contemporary sound in our songs, since I believe that at one level, all forms and genres of music converge to form a whole.”
Ask them what they feel about the lack of viable avenues available for promotion of independent artistes, and he says, “It is sad that things have changed, especially for traditional music. It is a beautiful art form and I hope that there are enough opportunities for it to flourish,” says Roopkumar.
Taking cues from the growing number of indie bands in the city, Sonali, too, gives her reasons for staying optimistic, “I see so many independent acts and singers rising. I am sure that very soon, we will have our own music icon with their own unique identity, just like in the West where performers like Lady Gaga or Mariah Carey carry their own style.”
Some of the duo’s upcoming alliances include a ghazal project, which will be launched next year. Roopkumar has also lent his voice to songs in the soon-to-be-released film Agneepath, with music being directed by composer duo Ajay-Atul, besides a documentary on Narmada Dam, composed by Iliyaraja.