Celtic Connections: a global stage for indian musicians

Papon and The East India Company at their soulful best at the Bacardi Arena (Photo credit: Danish RD)

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.
Raghu Dixit

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


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