• Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Entertainment

EYE SPY: ‘It’s played and sung live, just how we do at concerts’

Acclaimed singer Pratibha Singh Baghel reveals why her new Ghazal album is special

Pratibha Singh Baghel

By: ASJAD NAZIR

THE first brilliant album of 2023 has been the recently released masterpiece Ghazals &Thumris From The Musical Heart of Budapest.

Leading Indian artists have collaborated with the incredible Budapest Symphony Orchestra (BSO) for the cool collection of ghazals and thumris recorded live. This is the third South Asian led album featuring the amazing orchestra and Pratibha Singh Baghel has taken centrestage by singing nine of the 11 songs on the album.

The other two tracks have been sung by Kavya Limaye, on a collection of songs featuring musicians at the top of their game.

Eastern Eye caught up the versatile vocal talent to discuss the highly rated new album, greatness of ghazals, inspirations and the art of injecting emotion into songs.

How does this new album compare to other projects you have done?

This project is very different from others I’ve done because it’s absolutely played and sung live, just how we do at concerts. Yet, we never knew that it would turn out in such a grand manner. We prepared for it, and just went through the songs in one take. So, it’s extremely special because it was absolutely live.

What was it like being accompanied by the Budapest Symphony Orchestra and master guest musicians from India?

It was like a dream come true because this was my third time collaborating with them, thanks to the Sufiscore record label. I had the privilege of collaborating with the BSO on the albums Bole Naina – Silences Speak (2021) and Inheritance (2022). Both of them, like new album Ghazals & Thumris From The Musical Heart Of Budapest were produced by Deepak Pandit. This is the first album that we could record live, whereas the others were done online because of lockdown. So, this time it was really special.

Tell us about that?

We went to Budapest and recorded the songs absolutely live. We had the privilege to have some of the very best musicians from India, starting with violin master Deepak Pandit, who arranged and produced this whole album. The album also features flautist Paras Nath, pianist Santosh Mulekar, hand and sonic percussionist Swaranjay Dhumal, tabla master Prashant Sonagra and keyboardist Gaurav Vaswani. And very talented singer Kavya Limaye. These are some of India’s leading musicians, so it was an honour to share the music with them.

The Ghazals & Thumris From The Musical Heart of Budapest album

What do you most love about ghazal music?

I was introduced to ghazals when I was three years-old, so connected with them from a very young age. My father used to sing ghazals. That is how I developed this interest in ghazals and thumris. I love them because ghazals are poetry-based and about feelings and conveying things. I think that is the most important part of ghazals, where you convey the poetry, and emotions. I think that is why I connect with ghazals so much.

Who is your own favourite ghazal singer?

I have so many favourites in ghazals, but if I had to take one or two names then it would definitely be Ustad Mehdi Hassan Khan Sahab and Madhu Rani ji, both of whom I really look up to.

How did you generate so much feeling in each song?

It is really difficult to answer this question because you cannot generate feeling, you have to feel it. I think when I get into any kind of music, song, or poetry it suddenly just gets into my head and I feel every word I sing. I feel it, with full conviction.

What is your favourite song on the new album?

My favourite song on this album has to be Kabhi Kissi Ko Muqammal. If you look at the melody and poetry, they might seem very simple, but they are extremely deep. It kind of tells you reality. When I was singing Kabhi Kissi Ko Muqammal I actually went to that deep zone, where I felt every single word and related to it so much. The poetry and melody hit you really hard, when you feel it. That is why it is my favourite song of this album.

What inspires you as a singer?

For me, I think dedication, passion and discipline are what inspire me the most as a singer. I always get inspired by people who are dedicated, passionate towards their music, and disciplined. I think these things inspire me.

Why should we pick up the new album?

You should definitely pick up this album because it has a variety of music. We have popular ghazals which are already known to you, and some of them you might have not heard. But we assure you that when you hear them, you will definitely want to hear them again and again. We have also merged the music with a western orchestra in a very interesting way. It is absolutely live and very experimental. I think if you give it a listen, you will definitely like it.

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