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Back with a bang

The Guide chatted up with singer Shubha Mudgal about the fourth edition of the music festival Baajaa Gaajaa

Few music festivals in India are solely dedicated to indie music and Baajaa Gaajaa happens to  be one of them. Singer Shubha Mudgal and Tabla maestro Aneesh Pradhan's annual music festival, which is in its fourth year, has garnered a lot of attention nationwide.


Hariharan performing at Baajaa Gaajaa 2011

Singer Shubha Mudgal is one of the curators of Baajaa Gaajaa and she explains why the festival is popular even after three editions. "The vision for the festival is that we should be able to eliminate the isolation that indie artists are prone to. An indie artist in Kerela might not have an idea about an artist in Pune and that is what we aim to change. We hope to bring together people who are driven by the love for music. There are a lot of indie artists; by indie I mean individual artists who make their own music," she said.


Singer Shubha Mudgal is the curator of Baajaa Gaajaa

This year Baajaa Gaajaa will consist of two events -- the Baajaa Gaajaa Music Festival and the Baajaa Gaajaa Music Conclave. One of the main events of the festival is the tribute to Papa Rock. Talking about the tribute, Shubhaji says, "Amit Saigal realised the potential of Indian Rock when people had to call for their CDs from abroad. He started the Great Indian Rock Festival (GIR) and the Rock Street Journal when festivals like Baajaa Gaajaa didn't exist. He isn't called Papa Rock for nothing, after all he pioneered Indian Rock. We couldn't have him at Baajaa Gaajaa but we thought it would be a befitting tribute at the festival this year. We are extremely happy to pay a tribute to Amit Saigal. Adil and Vasundara Mishra, Pink Noise and Soulmate are the perfect choice for the tribute."

One of the unique selling points of the festival is the conclave that will bring together individuals such as Amol Palekar, Jerry Pinto and Kiran Nagarkar to discuss various aspects of music. Talking about the initiative, Shubhaji says, "It is important to bring like minded people with a passion for music together once a year. The exchange of ideas, the problems we face are facilitated with these discussions. We can share ideas, strategies and our eventual aim is to just celebrate music."

When asked why Pune is the location for the festival, Shubhaji jokes, "Would you rather we go somewhere else? On a serious note though, the generosity of the city and its people brings us back time and again to Pune. We are lucky to have partnered with Ishanya who have multiple venues so that we can have multiple performances simultaneously."

We quiz Shubhaji on whether festivals such as Baajaa Gaajaa help increase the shelf life of indie music and she says, "Recorded music has a shelf life not live concerts. We will create awareness among music lovers. There are a lot of independent musicians producing their own work and the main problem they face is being discovered and getting a platform. We hope that through a festival like Baajaa Gaajaa musicians like Arjun Verman and Chintan Upadhya get heard. People listen to them and go online and download their music or buy their CD. This is the gap we aim to fill which will prompt music lovers to look for them." 
 
On February 10 to 12
At Ishanya, opposite Golf Course, off Airport Road, Yerawada.
Log on to
http://baajaagaajaa.com/

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