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New-age hymns

London-based, twenty-three year old singer Shivali, mixes modern beats with traditional songs in her album titled The Bhajan Project.

music Updated: Nov 22, 2010 15:26 IST
Manali Shah

The Gayatri Mantra, Hanuman Chalisa and

bhajans

such as Shiva Shambo and Hey Ram, among others, now have a different sound, as 23-year-old singer from UK, Shivali, fuses them with modern music. Her recently launched album, The Bhajan Project blends R & B, rock, soul with pop, and lends it to the expression of spirituality.



“I have used a lot of acoustic guitar, bass and a synthesizer mixing tabla and sitar, to create a very global sound,” says Shivali. The idea for a modern version of bhajans came to her when she realised that only traditional instruments like the harmonium are used for their compositions. “Young people today cannot relate to the old sounds. God is not old-fashioned, so why should the sound be?” she reasons.



Thus was born the idea of her first album. “It came out of love for the divine. I have always been a devotional person and devotion should be joyous, embracing, and even fun and entertaining. You can listen to my songs while you jog, drive, or as background music. Devotion should be a part of our daily life and routine,” she asserts. Shivali insists that her album is not just for the youth and claims that even the older generations have taken a liking to it.



“My album is for people of all ages, faiths and cultures. The sounds are modern but not so much that they lose the devotional element or spirituality connect,” she explains. “I know a lot of elderly people who appreciate this album. My guru, Morari Bapu, is in his late 60’s and he absolutely loved it,” she adds. The Bhajan Project has been released in India and UK, with other releases on its way. “I would like to continue with this project. There are newer sounds to be explored,” she says.