Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
RED FM recently collaborated with The Bhoomi Project, a musical movement featuring some of India’s finest artists across genres that reflects upon the tradition and culture of India. The radio channel will broadcast these songs for two hours every Saturday under its segment Red Indies segment. Through its compilation of 10 songs, Bhoomi 2021 has captured India’s traditional folk, classical raagas & instruments in a novel way.
The Bhoomi Project was started back in 1999, by music director duo Salim & Sulaiman Merchant as an ode to the rich Indian folk. The idea germinated from the stark absence of Indian folk CDs in the market. “We were travelling, and whenever we would go to a CD store, we would find folk music CDs of different countries like, Africa, Ireland, Spain but we never an Indian folk music CD anywhere,” says Salim, adding that Bhoomi 2021 is unique because it has songs by different composers like Shor Police (Clinton Cerejo and Bianca Gomes) along with Ricky Kej and Assamese composer Anuag Saikia, unlike earlier.
Life And More spoke with Salim Merchant who is hosting the 10 weeks of The Bhoomi Project on RED FM, for more:
How do you go pick and choose artiste?
We don’t, we welcome all. Any singer who has something unique to offer in terms of tradition and culture and is connected to our roots can be a part of The Bhoomi Project. Be it a folk song, a romantic song, a bandish or a bhajan, we have a lot of variety in this project.
I like to feature good unique voices who have something beautiful to say. I don’t have a straitjacket approach to music. The only thing is music should be more heartfelt and be able to connect with the audience in an organic way.
Tell us about your association with Red FM.
RED FM supports independent music, so the collaboration has been amazing. Film music has its own charm but the lines are now blurred between film and independent music and RED FM has always supported to showcasing and promoting indie music on their show Red Indies. I am very happy to host 10 weeks of The Bhoomi Project on RED FM
What do you enjoy most about being a musician?
So many things, but the top most is that as a musician I don’t feel I am working it’s as if I am on a long vacation.
You have performed show all over India. People of which city understand music the most?
I think it would be Mumbai, Delhi, Bhopal, or Lucknow. I am just looking at the sheer population of these cities. I think Pune also would be a good candidate.
What are your views on new-age experimental music… Where is it headed?
I don’t know where it’s headed but I am doing my bit as a musician and keeping my focus on creating good music. Every music has its own experimental thing and new age ness; it’s all about the audience how they accept it.
What are Salim-Sulaiman doing when not making music?
Well we both are focusing on a lot of music and we have started a label so we are doing a lot of things for other people who can make music and release through our label. We are not just composers anymore, we also run a label which is a big responsibility.
Are there differences when you guys make music?
Of course, there are many creative differences, but ultimately music wins.
What is the biggest problem you have encountered in this journey of music?
There aren’t big problems but many hurdles when you make music. There have been some creative blockages and disappointments but it’s all a part of the journey. You can’t always be expecting happy things to happen.