- Journalists - Olivia Ganguly & Sreetama Thakur
•We would like to know something about the ‘The Paddy Field Festival 2017’. How was the event Kalpana?
~ Paddy Field Folk Festival is all about the Idea of Independent Music, so here in Mumbai city, giving Independent Folk Culture the centre stage is Revolutionary itself. Bollywood and Cinema music can’t represent Every Music.
•This year the theme was “Women Empowerment”. All the artists were women. How was this idea of the theme? Did you take any special preparations for it?
~ Its not exactly about Women Empowerment but yes celebrating Womanhood.I think any tradition and Cultural legacy is actually carried by women in any civilization. So Folk songs and women have a very strong connection. I prepared a Sohar, that is a folk form of Uttar pradesh and Bihar. This is a Labour Pain folk song, where a pregnant wife of a migrant husband talks to the baby in her womb and finally delivering it, she attains Motherhood.
•We are eager to know about the success of this event.
~ Show was all sold out. Besides the commercial success, I think the next generation is gaining so much of knowledge about India itself through the folk elements of different Indian States. The languages of diverse India is also an important element in the show. That ‘s Success for me.
•You’re an incredible multilingual singer. How do you manage to sing in so many languages?
~ I was a student of Literature and Phonetics. Reading Books was a very integral part of my Childhood. In every Birthday, my mother gifted a Pen to all our sisters. So I studied Music and researched a lot. To know the Unknown is the curiosity behind chasing all the languages. What you Love you need not Manage. I love to sing the diverse languages of India.
•How did the idea of archiving & documenting some of the endangered & indigenous languages through your mellifluous renditions in audio-visual format pop up in your mind?
~ I am from Assam but Bhojpuri is my Recognition. As the ardent follower of Dr. Bhupen Hazarika, I tried to find that element in Bihar. The Legacy Of Bhikhari Thakur was the result of it. Bhikhari Thakur was no where in Internet. Then I thought I have to Archive and Document it for the generation next otherwise it will be all Extinct subject after sometime. After that, every subject I am doing, My motive is always to document it first. The Sacred Scriptures of Monikut, Anthology of Birha, Champaran Satyagrah, Tribal Assamese folk Jimochhaya, etc.
•You are fond of singing folks in different languages & with variety of instruments. Any piece of advice for the young generation to culture about folk music & instruments.
~ I think our young ones should be a Thinker first. Be your own identity, no need to be a Junior Someone following their singing. Try to sing your own language and dialects also. Its very important. If my young ones are thinking in English, it’s not a good sign for any cultural society. Be Local and then only you can be a mark in the Global.
•Now, you are an inspiration to many. Who’s your role model?
~ There are so many role models. Bhupen Hazarika, Bhikhari Thakur, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Ramdev Baba, Mother Teresa, Gandhiji and many more.
•What are your upcoming projects?
~Mukkebaaz from Bollywood, A project on Gangasnan with Jazz maestro Louis Bankz, Chhath – the sun worship project, Sohar -recording and shooting it, Chatni Soca project from Carribean lsland and there are some projects from Assam presenting their tribal folk.
•What suggestions would you like to give to the aspiring singers?
~ As I told above. Try to sing your own language and dialects also.
•We are still now in the patriarchal society. What do you want to say to those people who neglect the eminent voice of a singer just because she’s a woman?
~ Bhojpuri Patriarchal society follows casticism. Here Pandey or Tiwariji wants to dominate. If you are with them, they are gaining from you, they will praise you. Otherwise you are not a Sanskari singer.
•Your fans are willing to see some special words for them.
~ Gratitude for my listeners. Love you all and hum ek dusre ki Purak hai. We are incomplete without each other.
•What would be your message for LaughaLaughi?
~ LaughaLaughi is an amazing platform, I wish the best for the entire team of LaughaLaughi.