Gone are the days when musicians from India complained about not getting enough global recognition. Actor Priyanka Chopra’s pop success in the last two years, is an obvious indicator of a certain reversal of winds. This trend stands for not just the mainstream or Bollywood singers, but also independent musicians.
This year’s Celtic Connections, an 18-day-long cultural festival in Glasgow, Scotland, which celebrates world music, saw as many as five acts from India.
The one-lakh-strong audience stood witness to an Indian musical panorama, unfolded by the like of folk-rock/pop icon Raghu Dixit, Kyun-famed-singer Papon and East India Company, Ruhaniyat (Kolkota-based band), sarangi player Suhail Yusuf Khan and folk-singer Saurav Moni.
We caught up with three of our desi stars - Raghu, Papon and Suhail Yusuf, to get a backstage view of the videsi platform.
The Scottish-English crowd connected so well with Assamese and Hindi lyrics. We had Ross Ainslie play bagpipes for the Papon and The East India Company show, and in just 2-3 days, we managed to connect and play together with such comfort.
It is very interesting for us to go, watch and learn from them, while also showcasing our brand of music. The learning from just watching them play different genres will help artists expand their sound and music.
Many Indian ragas sound similar to Celtic tunes, but what differentiates them is the perception of the composer. I wore a kilt on stage. We moulded everything into a group sound. So, there were Scottish tunes, Bangla tunes, as also Welsh.
Suhail Yusuf Khan