When Taufiq Qureshi watched his father, Ustad Allarakha Khan beat the tabla while growing up – he was fascinated with his high-energy expression during the height of a crescendo. “He would say TaDhaa with such force and clarity that I was enamoured. That vision of him has smitten the entire world,” recalls Qureshi.
Years later, in order to honour his father’s legacy and also set a benchmark for contemporary Hindustani classical music, Qureshi is launching the country’s first classical indie label, called TaDhaa on Feburary 24. The first album on the label will be Qureshi’s TaDhaa, of the same moniker.
“Alternative musicians in today’s music model need to digitise their sound in order to reach out. The new audience is online, which is why my student, Abhishek Tendulkar and I, decided to launch our own label,” says Qureshi.
The dying global-label syndrome pushed Qureshi to release Tadhaawhen he compiled a nine-track album with songs that he had recorded with many avant-garde classical musicians.
“In my label, I am my own boss. I own my own music and I can compile an album with the songs I feel fit. That kind of freedom is liberating, which is why TaDhaa, the record, is very special to me,” says Qureshi, who has collaborated with brother Zakir Hussain, Niladri Kumar, Ranjit Barot, Roop Kumar Rathod and also has re-produced a rare recording of Ustad Allarakha’s ‘Tanaderna Sarna’ for the album.
“That song is from an old Punjabi film that my father gave music for. I somehow managed to reproduce it. I chose this because I remember my father playing this song when I was young,” recalls Qureshi.
The title track, TaDhaa is a live concert recording with brother Hussain from a show in Boston. Rathod sang a ghazal for the album and Barot shared an instrumental percussion track with Qureshi on Harissa.
He also hopes that TaDhaa will help him breach the commercial music of Bollywood. “I have collaborated on scores with Pritam and Sajid-Wajid. I’m hoping TaDhaa will get me my first soundtrack,” Qureshi says.