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Living the crossover dream

Delhi-based fusion act Mrigya is out with its debut album, World Harmony. Vocalist Sharat Chandra Srivastava talks to HT City

music Updated: Feb 18, 2010 20:21 IST
Himadree

Mrigya has been together since 1999. Why a debut album now?
The band is always exploring new musical avenues. We like to compose outside our comfort zone... almost as a rule. We have been touring the world for the last 10 years. Besides that, the Indian record labels were not keen on pushing any other form of music apart from Bollywood or devotional stuff. Our music needs a little more understanding. But the exposure of performing with some great musicians from across the world helped us grow musically and we finally decided to cut an album.

Tell us about the album, World Harmony.
It’s a collection of songs which were the first lot of our compositions. So the emphasis was more on establishing the band sound. Ganga, Pahari Funk, Deccan Queen, Mitwa and Rock the Raag — songs we’ve been playing all these years — feature on the album. We’ve used raagas from North India to fuse with Western instrumentation with the use of the piano, guitar and bass, to make it world music.

Mrigya, you say, is a fusion band. Fill us in on your influences.
Yes, we’re a world music or crossover music band. We were influenced by north and south Indian classical music, rock, funk, jazz and Sufi initially. But since we’ve been performing all over the world and drawing a lot from it, we’ve now come to develop a liking for Celtic music from Scottish Moors. The works of Pandit Ravi Shankar with Beatles, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Shakti and Joe Zawinul have also served as inspiration.

Ever thought of composing for Bollywood?
Of course. But we would like to keep our sound intact.

What’s in the offing?
We have enquiries from Latin America, Malaysia and Israel for gigs. But nothing is finalised yet. The promotion of this album — both in the domestic as well as international markets — is our prime focus. We also want to perform in as many gigs as possible.