We need more festivals for indie music, says singer Harpreet


By Sukant Deepak

Jodhpur, October 9 (IANS): From Pash to Bulleh Shah…from redefining the extraordinary in ordinary life…from the constant search for lost simplicity to an ode to the power of the people. He ensured that a particular calm enveloped everything as he performed. And maybe that was something that outweighed the great music he produced.

Singer and musician Harpreet, who performed at the ongoing Jodhpur RIFF (Saturday), very active in the country’s indie music scene, has been a busy man lately – since making an album on the immortal Nanak Singh’s “Khooni Vaisakhi” on the Jallianwala Massacre of Bagh to do the background music and songs for the film ‘Sehar’, his first cinema release.

“Working on the book is very close to my heart. I recently performed part of it at the International India Center in New Delhi and it was such a spiritual experience for me. I had never felt this emotion before and I didn’t feel like ‘me’ for the duration of the performance. The voice was coming from somewhere else, from a deep place.”

Although he believes there are a decent number of music festivals in the country, he points to the lack of platforms for young independent artists. “You have to understand that it is the young independent artists who have just started who need all the support in the world. It takes festivals that aren’t looking for big names to splash out on their line-ups.

For someone trained in classical music, this foundation helped shape him. Adding that he can’t claim to have extensive study as he wanted to create his own music, Harpreet says Dhrupad always leaves him mesmerized.

During the pandemic-induced shutdowns, the singer began learning the piano. “You know, I started with a keyboard, but I never practiced it enough. Lockdowns gave me the chance and the space to study it in depth.”

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

Even though some big companies have started to support music as part of their CSR, Harpreet highlights the work that Mahindra does in music. “They really supported me. But more companies need to be aware of 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 on his journey which began in 2007, the singer says his greatest success was when he decided to just make music. “And my journey, well it’s only just begun,” he concludes.


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