Redefining the extraordinary in ordinary lives

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For someone trained in classical music, that base has been instrumental in shaping him. Adding that he cannot claim to have a deep study as he wanted to create his own music, Harpreet says Dhrupad always leaves him mesmerised…writes Sukant Deepak

From Pash to Bulleh Shah… from redefining the extraordinary in ordinary lives… Of constantly searching for lost simplicity to an ode to people’s power. He ensured that a peculiar calm enveloped everything while he performed. And that was perhaps something that overrode the excellent music he produced.

Singer and musician Harpreet, who performed at the ongoing Jodhpur RIFF (on Saturday), much active on the independent music scene in the country has been a busy man lately — from making an album on Nanak Singh’s immortal ‘Khooni Vaisakhi’ on the Jallianwala Bagh massacre to doing the background score and songs for the movie ‘Sehar’, his first outing in cinema.

“The work on the book is very close to my heart. I recently performed a part of it at the India International Centre in New Delhi and it was such a spiritual experience for me. I have never felt that emotion before and I did not feel like ‘me’ during the entire length of the performance. The voice was coming from someplace else, someplace deep.”

While he feels that there are a decent number of music festivals in the country, but points to the lack of platforms for young independent artists. “We must understand that it is the young independent artists who have just started out who need all the support in the world. We need festivals that are not looking for big names to splash on their line-ups.”

For someone trained in classical music, that base has been instrumental in shaping him. Adding that he cannot claim to have a deep study as he wanted to create his own music, Harpreet says Dhrupad always leaves him mesmerised.

During the pandemic-induced lockdowns, the singer started learning the piano. “You know I started out with a keyboard, but never practised it enough. Lockdowns gave me the chance and space for studying it deeply.”

While the lockdowns proved to be an opportunity for him to work on himself, he says that after a time, the absence of live gigs was quite depressing. “The magic that an audience facilitates is unparalleled. No digital performance can come even close to that. Every live performance is unique and the artist takes away something from it.”

Even as some major corporates have started supporting music as part of their CSR, Harpreet points out the work done by Mahindra in the field of music. “They have really supported me. But more companies need to realise their social responsibilities towards the arts, just like abroad. Young artists need people to invest in them so that they can focus on their work.”

Looking back at his journey that started in 2007, the singer says that his biggest success has been the moment he decided he would do only music. “And my journey, well it has just begun,” he concludes.

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