We had lately got the chance to take the interview of a man who left his job to express his love for Music, Abhijit Ghoshal, a popular singer of Zee TV’s Saregamapa.
Do you believe in karma? How has it influenced your life and governed the role of music in your life? Obviously I have a huge faith in karma. The decision of leaving a secure job and coming to the creative field itself says that I have faith in my work and workmanship.
How was your experience of winning saregamapa for 11 consecutive number of times? Winning 11 times, and thereafter leaving the contest undefeated, that too voluntarily was an inexplicably wonderful experience. I would like to emphasize that Saregamapa did not have this SMS voting system then. I had the fortune of having judges like Pt.Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ustad Vilayat Khan, Naushad Saab, Ustad Rashid Khan and the other doyens of music industry. So getting accolades from those virtuoso in itself was a feat.
How was the musical experience of releasing ‘hum-ek-hum‘? Hum Ek Hum is as close to me as my own child. Creating something since inception is a serene feeling. Writing, discussing, sitting with my musi-buddies Aniket and Adil for long hours; discussing, approving as well as disapproving- everything into one. And it’s an eternal song. Hum Ek Hum is, and will be, relevant for India forever.
How was it working with Aniket and Adil? Our individual creativity gets Triple folded when we work as Abhijit Aniket Adil. It’s a treat always.
How does it feel to be a gold medalist? Feels good. Feels historic [laughs]…
Who has been your inspiration(s) in the early years of your music career? Lata ji, Asha ji, Pt.Manna Dey, Pt.Ajoy Chakraborty, Hariharan ji.
Has music always been your career preference? No. But when I look back, I find that throughout the formative years, it was being paved for me, by my circumstances, my inclinations, my interests, my friends…like that. I did not realize it then. But I get amused by looking back now.
Tell us something about the sheer devotion for Shri Maa, as you rendered the whole ‘Mahisasur Mardini’ solo. Mahalaya was the seed of music in me. As a little kid, I knew only Mahalaya singers get on to perform on the stage. Because in Allahabad, we used to witness Mahalaya as Aagomoni every Shashthi at early 4am.My mother Late Snigdha Paul, and all the singers would perform live and I used to feel “if I have to get on to the stage, I HAVE TO LEARN these songs”. So that was the seed. I started singing Mahalaya solos when in class 7th. And conducted whole Mahalaya with my peers and juniors when I was 19 yrs of age. When I came to Mumbai, LIVE Mahalaya was absent from the scene. Going solo was the only way to keep this treasure on. I did not know much people to make it a group affair. So I followed Tagore’s EKLA CHALO RE. But I am exhilarated to inform that today, our Mahalaya has 17-18 group members [mostly my students and musician friends] on stage and 2015 is the TENTH YEAR of our Mahalaya in Mumbai. All this is HER blessings.
Being a Bengali, how difficult is it, or has it been to sing in other vernacular languages? I am a Bengali from ALLAHABAD, which is one of the most cultural and educational cities of India. And I can proudly say that linguistically, probably the chastest Hindi is spoken in Allahabad. So that’s about my Hindi. And because of Mahalaya, my inclination to learn Sanskrit increased manifold. Once you start singing this elysian language of Gods, any language becomes easy. That’s the crux.
You share your music in Swarrit academy of vocal music in Mumbai and Shankar Mahadevan’s online music academy. Tell us something about this sharing experience. Sharing enriches your art. And one of my gurus, Pt.Shrikant Waiker, saw this inclination in me. He prompted me enough to start sharing my music with my fellow singers/ seekers. I don’t teach, I just share whatever I understand from/about/of music. And when the recipient sings better that his/her previous level of singing, I feel blessed; and thank The Almighty for this work done through me.
Tell us something about your struggles in the music industry. Loads of struggle which I believe is personal to me. It is like paving your own way after a heavy snowfall, and it requires a lot of perseverance to keep doing the thing you love. I am making my own path, that much I can say. Everyone has to make his own.
If given a chance, which director, music composer, lyricist and singer would you like to work with? Composer: Amit Trivedi, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, Ajay Atul Lyricist: Gulzar, Amitabh Bhattacharya Singer: Shreya
What kind of genre do you like working with the most? Soft romantic. Compositions with subtle notes. As well as peppy songs with staccato notes.
Any message for the viewers? There is no short cut to success. Always keep in mind that 2 minute noodles tastes acrid after 4 minutes are over. So prepare yourself like Rabdee. Take your time, toil hard, and be positive always, all ways.