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Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Music and Lyrics

There is sudden interest in the forthcoming Sufi music concert with Jaswinder Singh,titled Rehnuma,and singer Kavita Seth admits that she is pleasantly surprised.

Written by Dipti Nagpaul D'souza |
March 23, 2010 3:03:39 am

After winning accolades for her chartbuster Iktara,Kavita Seth takes stage for a Sufi concert

There is sudden interest in the forthcoming Sufi music concert with Jaswinder Singh,titled Rehnuma,and singer Kavita Seth admits that she is pleasantly surprised. “It is all because of the love and recognition that Iktara has brought with its success,” she smiles,referring to the track from Wake Up Sid,one of the biggest chartbusters in 2009.

A shelf in her living room is lined with half a dozen awards for the song,all of them won recently at various award functions. Though this wasn’t her Bollywood debut – she has previously sung for Vaada and Gangster—Seth admits that she has always been very picky about the work she does. “It’s all about the poetry for me. After all,with any song,it’s usually the words that stay with the audience; the tune comes later.” Her unusual approach towards music probably takes root in the 46-year-old’s education. After having trained in music from the famed Gwalior Gharana,she did her MA in poetry as well as music from the Gandharva University,Delhi.

Born in Bareilly,the talented vocalist admits that she dedicated herself to Sufi as a genre only a decade ago. “As a youngster,my father would take me to dargahs and I would find Sufi music very haunting. But as I grew up,I tried my hands at everything—I would sing bhajans,film music and even ghazals. I never pursued music as a means of living but I would sometimes be on radio or even perform live. But deep down,I was dissatisfied,” she reminisces. When Seth moved to Delhi after her marriage,she once attended an international Sufi concert. “Listening to greats like Sain Zahoor brought about the realisation that Sufi is my true calling.”

Seth asserts that the understanding and passion for poetry comes if one shares a deep connect with one’s roots. “A small town,Bareilly was home to mushairas and unofficial poetry recitals by poets like

Krishan Bihari Noor. I would attend and often even be humoured by them to recite a few lines. That helped me refine my pronunciations and expand my vocabulary.”

After nearly two decades of performing in the public arena,it was only last year that Seth released an album of her songs that she had performed at the International Sufi Concert. And it instantly caught composer Amit Trivedi’s attention. “I was introduced to him through Anurag Kashyap but he called me only six months later with the offer to sing this song.”

She lauds the fact that her most celebrated colleagues like Sukhwinder Singh,Rahat Fateh Ali Khan,Kailash Kher and Rekha Bharadwaj are all Sufi singers. But at the same time she is skeptical about the lyrics of the “so-called Sufi songs” in films these days. “Just using the word ‘maula’ in a song doesn’t make it Sufi. One needs to be submerged in Sufi music to be able to pen a couplet that will remain with people for years to come. The likes of Rumi and Kabir weren’t thinking of record sales when they wrote,” she quips.

(The concert is at Nehru Centre,Worli at 7 pm today)

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