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News |  08 Jun 2020 18:25 |  By Tolika Yeptho

Culture, hospitality and sense of music had a great effect on the journey of making 'Sarmast', says singer Rahi

MUMBAI: Kashmiri singer-songwriter Rahi brings “Sarmast” to life with a unique collaboration associating with garo community choir group of Meghalaya. It brings together a special and distinctive cultural mix of a Kashmiri artist and the beautiful north-eastern music community.

The singer is known for songs like “Kasheer” and “Tu Le Ja Mujhe”.

In an exclusive interview with Radio and music, Rahi shared the concept on how he created the song “Sarmast”, While he was travelling to Tura, Meghalaya to be one of the mentors at Tura Centre of Excellence in Indian and Western Music Institute, Tura, Meghalaya with his Guru and the program director Mrs. Sucheta Bhattacharjee and Booma Hangsing, renowned guitarist of the band Boomerang. “During the journey, I hummed a tune continuously. Upon reaching Tura, we were welcomed warmly. The vibe of the place had me mesmerised at first sight, in addition to that, their culture, hospitality and sense of music had a great effect on the journey of making ‘Sarmast’”, he adds.

The singer admits that it was a beautiful experience to get to know their distinct culture, musical instruments and folk music. It was good to see and learn something new, exchange cultural experiences.

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“The idea of bringing Kashmir’s music with north-eastern music itself seemed different to me” sharing the initial idea of mixing the culture of Kashmir and the north-eastern music. “However, my mentor, Mr. Shubhoshekhar Bhattacharjee (who is also the creative director of the institute) suggested this collaboration with the Garo tribe of Tura after listening to the raw draft of the song. He suggested bringing their unique language to the song, their style and instruments to give a unique flavour to the song. The journey of making this happen was truly beautiful”.

Further, Rahi expressed his thoughts on the unique collaboration with Garo Community Choir Group, “The people were brilliant. Since the tribe had their own language, it was difficult for them to pronounce certain Urdu and Hindi words, but despite all the language barriers they managed to bring the correct emotion out.

“And when I heard them sing this composition live, it was something out of the ordinary. Truly impressed with the people”.

As the singer is from Kashmir, he has grown up around the majestic mountains and has felt the calm of the atmosphere and that inspires his music majorly. His style of music is Sufi, because he feels Sufi has the strength to express emotions such as love, peace, innocence with ease. “Sufi not only expresses these emotions but lets the listener connect with your emotions easily”.

The singer delves into his life at home during lockdown, “Music is made under lockdown only. However, this lockdown is completely different. There is pain, agony, suffering around that is beyond expression, I am trying ways to express those emotions through my poetry, hope I can create something that holds some meaning because we need hope right now. So, I am keeping myself occupied with prayers and writing”.

Signing off, Rahi said he believes that music is limitless with umpteen amount of opportunities and possibilities to explore and he wishes to explore them as much as possible. However, the singer would love to explore folk music around the world, Bollywood music and western genres.