By Puja Gupta
“Collaboration brings communities together along with their cultural nuances, musical instruments and genres. It blurs the dividing line and creates something out of the ordinary,” says singer and songwriter Rahi, who’s latest song “Sarmast” is collaboration of Sufi and Garo language — an indigenous tribe of the Tura village, Meghalaya.
Born in Kashmir, Rahi is known for his songs like “Kasheer” and “Tu Le Ja Mujhe”.
IANSlife spoke to the artiste to know about the inspiration behind the song, the state of independent music in India and his future projects. Excerpts:
What inspired you to make “Sarmast”?
Rahi: I was travelling to Tura, Meghalaya to be one of the mentors at Tura Centre of Excellence in Indian and Western Music Institute there with my guru and the programme director Sucheta Bhattacharjee and Booma Hangsing, renowned guitarist of the band Boomerang. A tune kept circling my head while we were travelling to Tura. In that moment, I knew I wanted to build something out of it, however, I wasn’t sure of the approach. Upon reaching the village, I was happy to experience the hospitality and innocence of the people. With the breathtaking view of the mountains, the culture and the sense of music the people had a great effect on the journey of “Sarmast”.
What inspired you about the Garo tribe that lead this collaboration?
Rahi: I was fascinated with the Garo language and their sense of music and instruments. The atmosphere, innocence and cultural richness of the people of Tura inspired the mood of “Sarmast”. When I discussed its composition with my mentor, Shubhoshekhar Bhattacharjee (who is also the creative director of the institute) suggested this collaboration with the Garo tribe. He suggested bringing their unique language to the song, their style and instruments to give a unique flavour to the song.
Your music focuses the most on?
Rahi: I believe music is the purest way of expressing emotions. When I am creating something I try my best to express the emotion in its raw form through the lyrics and the composition. Lyrics that are relatable to the listener and paves way for them to tune in your frequency.
Are you exploring any other specific music genre?
Rahi: I would like to explore everything that music has in store for me.
Is there anything in particular that you want your music to convey?
Rahi: As I mentioned earlier, I would like my listener to feel one with the song. The song should resonate with them, and should help them express themselves in a better way. After all, the whole idea of creating an art is to help one another grow in life.
Why do you support collaborations?
Rahi: Collaborations are a great way to tap new possibilities and explore more aspects there is to music. It enriches you as an artist and as a person. As for music or any other art form, collaboration brings communities together along with their cultural nuances, musical instruments and genres and it blurs the dividing line and creates something out of the ordinary.
How do you see the scene of independent music in India?
Rahi: It is lovely to see how independent music in India is growing. The artistes and bands are getting well-deserved recognition in the industry and I foresee an umpteen amount of opportunities ahead. Independent music paves way for a lot of off-beat creations and the freedom to explore and experiment and that itself is a morale boost for a lot of budding artists out there. I think Indie music will have a strong fanbase as of Bollywood in India.
What kind of songs are you working for in the future?
Rahi: At the moment, I am exploring and experimenting with music. However, my usual songwriting journey goes parallel with the emotions and atmosphere around me.
(Puja Gupta can be contacted at email@example.com)