Bollywood music buffs may find several songs in this album familiar. But singer Rajnigandha Kumari Shekhawat’s latest compilation, Banna Re, does not consist of remixes of film tracks. Instead, it comprises her renditions of original Rajasthani folk songs that have inspired many Bollywood musicians, including her in the past.
“These are folk songs, and there is no copyright on them. Popular songs like Morni from Lamhe (1991), Leta Jajo Ji from Bade Miya Chote Miya (1998) and Kesariya Balam from Lekin (1991) are all versions of folk tracks. So I thought of singing the originals for a change,” says Shekhawat, whose album was launched by actor Vivek Oberoi in Mumbai on Wednesday.
The music in her last album featured more fusion and comprised traditional music from the desert state. This time, she decided to go with a more contemporary concept. “The tracks may be folk, and the sound may be local and rustic, but anyone can dance to these songs. I used to hear local DJs add beats to tracks from my previous album at parties. So I thought I’ll make their job easier this time,” smiles the artiste, who has no qualms accepting that she can’t get herself to compose and pen lyrics. “I am only a singer. Someone has to tell me what to sing.”
Interestingly, in the past Shekhawat has sung a song for an untitled Himesh Reshammiya film, but the production is yet to release. “I’m still waiting for that big debut,” she adds, smiling. For now, she’s already looking forward to her next release — a Sufi album. “Having grown up in Jaipur in Rajasthan, I know a lot of local artistes and Sufi singers. And I feel I’ll be able to reach out to a larger audience through that music”, she says.