The lady with the mellifluous voice that resonates with huskiness, a burning passion and power — that’s how Sufi singer Kavita Seth is described by her fans.
Just put on her award-winning Iktara track from Wake Up Sid in your car during the rush hour, and you’ll not just forgive the crazy driver honking in an off-beat taal to overtake you, but even flash a killer smile at the young biker racing past you to show off his new machine.
When HT City caught up with Seth, however, she was ranting about the traffic jams caused by heavy rains in Mumbai. “I hate the traffic but love the rains. Maine itne mazay liye baarish ke mausam kay, ki ab bakaida meri aawaz aur surilee sunai degi aapko (I have enjoyed the monsoon season so much that my voice has become even more melodious),” she says between bouts of coughing.
You cannot help but feel her excitement when she talks about her upcoming performance for the opening ceremony of the 2010 Commonwealth Games.
“I have prepared a special composition on Chaap Tilak by Sufi poet Hazrat Amir Khusrau. What better could I offer to the music lovers of Delhi than a kalam written by Delhi’s own Khusrau sahib?” she says.
“I have added sargam, gat and some classic old poetry to make the song lively. Sufi instruments such as the bamboo flute, rabab and the Irani duff will be used to decorate the sound.”
Not just satisfied with her innovations, Seth has also experimented with the song on various occasions during her live concerts to gauge her audience’s reaction, and so far the feedback has been “just great”, she reveals.
The 20-minute live act will also feature 12 musicians with a group of performing artists called Semazen, who’ll be presenting the famous Sufi meditative dance called Dhikr (remembering God). They are also known as Whirling Dervishes.
Seth has also recently completed recording a song for Hollywood movie Hiss, featuring Mallika Sherawat. “I was at first apprehensive about the project, but music composer Anu Malik did a great job of making the right composition that suits my style of singing and voice, as well as that of lead singer Sunidhi Chauhan. So, no regrets,” she says.
This apart, Seth has recently released her online album Jaam-E-Sufi, which has been made available for download free of cost so as to make it easily accessible to music lovers.