His father is a music legend and he too has carved a niche for himself as a Santoor player. Rahul Sharma, son of Santoor maestro Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, is now all set to entertain music buffs with his new album A Meeting By The Nile, a fusion of Indian and Egyptian music.
Rahul has collaborated with Egyptian artist Georges Kazazian and Indian playback singer Sunidhi Chauhan for the venture. "The album is a confluence of Indian instrument Santoor and the Egyptian Oud. The album comes under the category of world music and is a fusion of Indian and Egyptian influences. It is very contemporary and also features Sunidhi Chauhan, who has sung two vocal tracks, giving the album a mainstream touch," Rahul told IANS over telephone from Mumbai.
This is not the first time Rahul is collaborating with an international artist. He had earlier worked with French pianist Richard Clayderman and keyboardist Kersi Lord.
"I have collaborated with international artists before, but this is the first time I have done an album with an Egyptian. Since Egyptian music is quite popular, especially Arabic music, I'm sure people will like this album," the 37-year-old said.
The talented composer, who gave music for 2002 Hindi film Mujhse Dosti Karoge, isn't too happy with the music scene in Bollywood and says Hindi film songs lack Indianness and is moving away from Indian sounds.
"Today, film music majorly consists of fast beats and item songs. The tracks don't seem like Hindi songs at all. They have nothing to do with Indian music or Indianness of any kind," Rahul said.
"Technology advancement has led to the moving away from Indian sounds to a great extent. You will hardly hear any Indian musical instrument in a song today. Also the kind of music created today doesn't have retention value. I call it the 'soda fizz' effect. The songs are temporary unlike older compositions which we still remember," he added.
Asked why he didn't take up more film projects, Rahul said that after creating music for one film, he didn't feel the need to do another since his focus as well as priority was Santoor.
"I didn't venture deep into composing music for films because I didn't want to compromise on my concerts and my travelling because of films. That is my priority and not films," he said.
"After the music of Mujhse Dosti Karoge became a hit, I was offered Hum Tum, but I declined because I felt I needed to do much more with the Santoor. So I focussed and concentrated more on my live shows and albums. I knew films could wait," said the musician, who started accompanying his father to concerts at the age of 24 in 1996.
The musician is a sought-after concert artist and has released more than 40 albums including Maya, Fusion and Samandar.
Asked if he was constantly compared to his legendary father, Rahul said: "In my first year when I started playing, people did compare me with my father, but I made sure that these things don't bog me down. I did whatever I wanted to with my imagination.
"In the beginning, I was apprehensive whether I'm doing the right thing or not but eventually I realised that I did. It did take me some time to establish my name in the field but now after 12-13 years I feel content."