He'll make Queen Elizabeth II dance to Mysore se Aayi
From microbiology to music, Raghu Dixit has tread many paths, to finally make his passion his profession. And now, the singer will perform for Queen Elizabeth II at the celebration that will mark 60 years since her accession to the throne
Raghu Dixit, who is the frontman of the Raghu Dixit Project, a platform for musicians from different genres to come together and collaborate, has carved a niche for himself with his brand of music, which is an amalgamation of ethnic and contemporary sounds. Apart from his performance for the Queen, a lot is happening for the musician, including a performance at London’s Alchemy Festival and a collaboration with the musical A Tale Retold, among other things. Excerpts from an interview:
You are the only Indian to be selected to perform for the Queen of England; has it sunk in as yet?
It’s a great honour to be invited for such a high-profile event. Every time I am told that I am representing India and am the only Indian in a line-up, it is slightly overwhelming, There is a lot of planning and co-ordination to make this work according to plan, and I only hope we are able to pull it off smoothly, and it turns out to be a roaring success. I hope she gets up and jumps along to Mysore se Aayi, like the rest of the world does!
What will be part of your performance, and when is it scheduled for?
We’ve planned a musical and dance extravaganza with my song Mysore se Aayi. Accompanying me will be 12 dancers choreographed by Mayuri Upadhya, co-founder of Nritarutya, one of India’s best contemporary dance companies. If all of this was not enough, I will be backed by a 70-piece orchestra that is learning the music score for Mysore se Aayi.
Many things seem to be clicking for you around the same time; do you get a sense of fulfilment now? Do you feel you’ve achieved the success you aspired for as a musician, or do you aim for higher?
I’ve always believed that my music deserved to be heard around the world and for many years I have been investing a lot of time, money and hard work towards achieving this goal. I am at the cusp of so many wonderful opportunities coming my way right now. I am happy that some of the dreams that I envisioned years ago are finally taking shape. But this is only the beginning. There is more hard work ahead and many more milestones to reach.
Could you tell us a bit about your association with the musical, A Tale Retold?
It started as a discussion Gaurav Vaz (manager and bass player) had with Tasneem Vahanvaty from the British Council. We have always wanted to make a musical with an Indian story and things fell into place and we managed to rope in some of the best people to work with. The members of Bellowhead, with whom we share music responsibilities, are fantastic, and we always have a blast together. Until now, we have written 15 new songs that will make up the musical.
What are your future plans?
We’re off to UK, Europe, and perhaps, to the US as well. After that, we are looking forward to the festival season in India. Our new album will be out later this year; likewise with our musical project. This week, we’ll be debuting at the Alchemy Festival in London as well.
Raghu Dixit will be performing for The Queen on May 13.