National Award-winning singer Rekha Bhardwaj, is looking forward to the release of two new albums this year. The classical singer, who released her sufi album Kabir Chaura Sufi Chaura a fortnight ago, says, “I am working with Vishal (Bhardwaj) on an album, which is a tribute to the poems of Padma Vibushan winner Dr Bashir Badrsaab. While Vishal is composing songs, both he and I plan to sing together for this album.” She adds that another album Ishka Ishka 2, written by Gulzaar and composed by Vishal, is also on cards.
Long overdue Rekha reveals that the Badr tribute album was in the pipeline for a long time. She says, “He was instrumental in Vishal’s musical growth. As a college student, my husband would sit and listen to his poetry. It influenced him a lot.”The other album is a sequel to her debut album Ishka Ishka (2002). Rekha says, "Vishal was working with Gulzar in Maachis (1995) when I first met him." During a conversation, Vishal told Gulzar that he was composing Bulle Shah’s poetry for Rekha’s debut album. She reveals, "When Gulzar heard the compositions, he offered to write those songs for me. That’s how our association started. For the second album, we hope to start work this year and release it latest by year-end or early next year."
Rekha credits her growth as a singer to her husband Vishal. She says, “When I got married and moved to Mumbai, he was still struggling. I supported and assisted him when he was working full time as a music composer. That’s when I learnt the process of creating and arranging music, and the seeds of playback singing were sown. I observed how passionately singers worked and learnt to stay patient and confident, despite rejections.” Her last album Kabir… consisted of Sufi Zikhr, which is a form of remembering and surrendering to God. She says, “Through them, we learn to celebrate every moment we live in. Accept the good and bad in life with gratitude.”