Love plays a huge role in everyone’s life

 Love plays a huge role in everyone’s life

Hariharan, Bickram Ghosh join hands for the love of music

Saurabh Tankha

When two of the country’s greatest musical icons, one a renowned playback, bhajan and ghazal singer and the other a tabla maestro, decide to collaborate, you expect magic to reach your ears. So it has with the super-genius duo of Hariharan and Bickram Ghosh releasing an album, Ishq, together, featuring six songs on love. While the album reached out to the music-lovers on February 23 on all music platforms, only three music videos have been released so far.
Excerpts from an interview with Bickram Ghosh:

Tell us about the creation of the album, Ishq.
Hariharanji and I have known each other for long and performed on several occasions on stage, very interesting collaborations each one: once me with him and Shivamani in London, once with us and Ustad Rashid Khan at Kolkata and on another occasion with U Srinivas. But never had we collaborated on an album. So four years back, he had recorded one of the songs, Naina, but only the first antara which I had sent and two antaras were not done. Then we got busy with our careers.
During the pandemic, we were texting each other and I wrote if I should send the remaining antaras. He immediately replied with a yes and one after the other, we recorded the six  songs and rearranged a lot of compositions to suit Hariji’s voice. Later Sufiscore came on board the project and they did something unusual, ie, they agreed to do six music videos. We then roped in our noted Bengali filmmaker friend Arindam Sil to shoot the videos in two phases amid pandemic regulations and SOPs. It was tough and hectic but we could shoot the videos with Hariji participating very enthusiastically.
Here we are with fabulous response after the release of the first two music videos, hitting the million mark. The reaction has been fantastic and listeners feel it is a return to melodies, loving the arrangement as well as lyrics along with the timelessness of Hariharanji.

Share details about the album.
There are six songs with different takes on love. Sometimes, it is ruthna manana which is baton baton main and on others, it is dying for love which is Radha. There is Dil Hawai Hain which is a travel/ journey song; Mora Mann, a rhythmic song which is in the video portrayed by my wife, Jaya Seal Ghosh, a filmi take on the song and there is Naina, an ode to the eyes of a woman.




As the theme of the album is love, what role has love played in your life?
Love has played a major role in my life in different forms. My love for my family, my parents, my love for my children: Aadit (15) and Arav (7) and my wife, Jaya. We met at the sets of a superhit Bengali feature film, Hothat Neera Jonnye, where we were the main lead role. Jaya has starred in several films in Bollywood, down South with Prabhudeva, Vikram and Bengali films. Besides this, of course, is the love for music which is a huge influence; love for my music gurus, S Sekhar and my father, Pt Shankar Ghosh, my accompaniment and mentor, Pt Ravi Shankar. Love plays a huge role in everybody’s life and romantic love is only one form of love. There are several forms of love and it all stems from the human soul wanting to reach a form of permanence gaining a bigger space and that is where the desire for love stems from.

What are the key elements of a creative collaboration?
Chemistry which Hariji and I discovered while working for Ishq. There was no space for differences during the making of the album. There was no place where we didn’t see eye to eye, every suggestion by everyone was considered important and incorporated. We struck it off. He is like my elder brother and we could hang out and chill apart from sharing the union of two musicians who believe in rhythm, melody, the two people must have enough knowledge of the craft and this is what which makes it a very potent collaboration.




When two experienced and established musicians like you two join hands, what is that one looks in the other?
I look at Hariharanji for his incredible finesse for his singing; I hoped that would bring in his vast nuances to the project and not only did he do it but much more and so much so that I had to hit the recording the studio to rearranging the soundscape. Yes, camaraderie, love, affection and understanding play an important role and we had full of that doing the project.

Creative differences are bound to take place during a collaborative process. In such a situation, who gets to have the last word?
I always thought but with Hariji there was none. There was nothing he suggested that I didn’t appreciate and similarly whenever there was a suggestion from my end was overlooked by Hariharanji. He was forthcoming and generous. It was stunning and incredible that it did not happen as there were so many videos and recordings that happened.


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