Come July, and Indian folk rocker Raghu Dixit will go on a ‘Invasion tour’, gigging all over, and taking his music to the heart of the United Kingdom. The musician is back in India to catch a breath, after performing at biggie festivals like Womad, Spain and The Great Escape, on the first leg of his tour.
Dixit, whose band, The Raghu Dixit Project, is one of the only indie bands to get signed on by international management, is rightfully excited. “We are becoming a face in the UK,” he says.
“There are four record labels vying for my debut album around the world. It’s a big deal for an indie label like Vishal-Shekhar’s label, which I’m signed on. It would be a big deal for the Indian music scene if an indie artiste is able to take his music to the rest of the world.”
But like all good things, Dixit admits that he’s had a rather heavy price to pay for his success so far – 36 lakhs, to be precise. He laughs, “This year has been a disaster, money-wise. But we have spent that money on important things like hiring good PR, sound and halls to showcase our music to people from the industry in the UK.
“By next year, it should yield fantastic results. The uniqueness of our band, along with our sound, the way we dress, and the fun we have on stage, has created a curiosity amongst the music industry there, because they only thought that Indian music is limited to Bollywood.”
Dixit, whose self-titled debut album sold a record 40,000 albums in India, is now planning collaborations with British musicians, which would further help him make inroads into the market. “We are not positioning ourselves as niche world music artistes – we want to make a mark in mainstream international music,” Dixit says.
“My ambition is to take my music not just to the Indian disapora, but also to the white man, because I truly feel that we are as good as anyone else out there.”
The musician, who has also composed for Kannada movies and has lent his music to the film, Quick Gun Murugan, says that he is also proactively trying to break into Bollywood. After touring UK till August, Dixit will play in USA, Sweden, Kenya, Singapore, UAE and New Zealand later this year, and will also be working in the studio on his album.