SINGER DISCUSSES HER SONG-FILLED JOURNEY AND SHOW

ACCLAIMED singer Kiran Sachdev was first connected to music as an infant sitting in her grandmother’s lap while she recited Gurbani and then as a four-year-old attempting to sing while her father played the harmonium.

Not long after she was playing complete compositions on the harmonium, and this led to the talented youngster getting formal training in music. That early connection kick-started a beautiful journey that has included training in western classical music at Trinity College, London, a successful singing career, participating in high-profile music reality TV shows, a Bollywood duet and performing with legends like late ghazal maestro Jagjit Singh.

Having sung in various languages, she has been compared to Asha Bhosle and will headline a concert at Elliot Hall in Harrow Arts Centre on April 9, as part of the Women in Arts Festival.

Eastern Eye caught up with the singer to discuss her musical journey, love for Bollywood and forthcoming concert.

What has been the most memorable moment of your musical journey?
Every moment of being connected with music is very special. Very close to my heart are opportunities I have had to render melodies alongside singers like Arijit Singh and Javed Ali ji, being a part of a reality show like Sa Re Ga Ma Pa, and blessings I have received from maestros whom I have grown up revering, including Jagjit Singhji, Usha Mangeshkarji, my guru Tulika Ghoshji and Javed Bashirji.

How much are you looking forward to being a part of the progressive Women in Arts Festival this year?
Women in Arts Festival is a beautiful initiative that attempts to put forth performances involving various facets of the performing arts by women who’ve made a mark in their respective fields of interest. I am honoured to be a part of the initiative, and thankful to Mr Jay Visvadeva for being the driving force who made this possible. Truly looking forward to being a part of it.

What can we expect from the show?
I, along with the wonderful musicians who accompany me, are looking forward to bringing forth honest, heartfelt music, which speaks to us as artists. The music we are putting together is very close to our heart, and from my experience is going to be performed before an audience who are an artist’s delight.

How much do live performances mean to you?
Live performances are like oxygen for a performing artist, for they truly make the artist come alive. Being on stage gives me a high, as this is an opportunity to be able to communicate and express through my music, and converse with listeners through the beautiful language of music. The jugalbandi between the singer, musicians and audience is what makes a performance potent. I truly love being on stage.

Which era of music do you most enjoy?
It is undoubtedly the ‘classic’ era of Bollywood, with the sixties and seventies being a highlight. The melodies, compositions, singers, and acoustic arrangements of that era are timeless. It is food for my soul to be able to listen to these classics and makes my heart rejoice. This era of Bollywood music combines the best of all worlds; superlative compositions combined with poetic lyrics, rendered by legendary singers. We are fortunate to have such a treasure house of music as a legacy with us.

Who is your own Bollywood music hero?
I think it has to be Lataji for me. Of course, there are so many artists who have adorned Bollywood and Indian music with their voices, and I have grown up appreciating, listening to and learning from all these greats. But the legend of Lata Mangeshkar is unmatchable. She has been an institution for me, and I have learned in so many ways about what good music is, simply by listening to her.

What made late singer Lata Mangeshkar so special according to you?
I think what made Lata Mangeshkar so special was her simplicity. She had a pallet with so many colours at her disposal, yet she only used the ones she really needed to. This was her most special quality, and the one I took inspiration from the most.

Do you have a favourite song of hers?
It is hard for me to pick one special song of hers, as there are so many. Some that are very close to my heart are Yun Hasraton Ke Daagh, Hum Pyar Mein Jalne Waalon Ko and Aapki Nazron Ne Samjha. But really, there are innumerable gems of hers and it’s unfair to pick only select ones from those.

Why do you think Bollywood classics were so timeless and brilliant?
I think the sincerity with which they were crafted, with so much love, care, passion, intricacy, and, of course, knowledge makes them eternal. The lyrics were penned in a way that made the songs so classy yet simple, and impactful. The arrangement was so brilliantly done, and the sound of each musical instrument was placed so effectively. The rendition by legends like Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, Lata Mangeshkar, and Asha Bhosle was so impeccable and impactful. A treat to the ears, and gratification for the soul.

Is there one song you enjoy singing most?
It is difficult to pick just one. It depends on my mood, the ambience and so many factors. In general, I love to hum old classics. I love to learn the art of simplicity through them. Lataji and Ashaji are my favourites. I also love to hum Kishore Kumar’s or Rafi saab’s melodies.

Why should we come to your concert?
The concert is a sincere effort to put forth my most favourite music and interpretation of it for an audience who I know appreciate good music. The musicians are some of the best! I have handpicked songs which are a beautiful amalgamation of melody, lyrics, and good arrangement. If you love timeless classics of the golden era, I’m sure our musical rendezvous would be memorable. Looking forward to seeing you there.

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