The bond of music

An interview with Kolkata-based composers, Sourendro Mullick and Soumyojit Das

Q. How did you first come together?
A. Strangely we met on stage, to perform for then President, late Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the host being our alma matter, St. Xavier’s, Kolkata. The institute was hosting the prestigious International Jesuit alumni, with delegates from across the globe. This performance led to a chance for us to perform all across Europe, meet Grammy winner Klauss Vormann, Stephan Stoppok, Reggie Worthy and perform for WDR, Duetschewelle and other brands. We were extremely inspired by a new set of music followers who relished the innovative space of music. We created our first song together and wanted to collaborate with Kavita Krishnamurty — our childhood icon. Her agreeing to sing for us was a huge leap. The song, Khamoshi was released and earned regional popularity. Digital promotions had not started in India back then.

Soumyojit Das and Sourendro Mullick. Pic Courtesy/Sanjib Ghosh
Soumyojit Das and Sourendro Mullick. Pic Courtesy/Sanjib Ghosh

Q. Tell us about the Jaya Hey experience.
A. We came across a few paragraphs by Tagore, which we had never read earlier and found out that they were the following verses of our national anthem, Jana Gana Mana. We approached some of the best musicians to sing these verses and everyone promptly agreed. Sonu Nigam, Sunidhi Chauhan, Pandit Jasraj, Hariharan, Hariprasad Chaurasia and many others came together to support us and create a historic archive of the first ever recording of all the five paragraphs of Jana Gana Mana. This brought us appreciation from Indians abroad too, who started to know of our music.

Q. What’s next?
A. We had earlier created a series called Tagore & We, where we fused a pop-ish interpretation of Tagore’s compositions with a Classical touch. Prasar Bharati took over to archive it. Sunidhi Chauhan was a part of this project along with the German star Stephan Stoppok. We are planning to create a sequel to this with singer, Rekha Bharadwaj who has agreed to voice Tagore for the first time. We are also recording with Benny Dayal and Papon on a project that will revive Bollywood classics to present it for the youth.

Q. What brings you to Mumbai?
A. Mumbai had always been our dream town. It is where we have recorded most of our
landmark music; be it the songs with Asha Bhonsle, Papon or Kaushiki Chakroborty - who had sung for our debut movie, Parapaar that was directed by National award winner, Sanjoy Nag. We won the Mirchi music award for it too. We are trying to feature a special show in Mumbai with two legends who have always performed with us on concept shows - Sharmila Tagore and Aparna Sen who shall be a part of the celebration of our decade long journey together, this December

About the duo

After completing their 1,000th live concert and ten years together, Classically trained pianist Sourendro Mullick, who trained under Vilayat Khan, and his partner in music, vocalist, Soumyojit Das, a sishya of Guru Ajoy Chakraborty, have several new projects up their sleeve.

The duo, who first came into  limelight on August 15, 2011, as the first to record the entire version of Tagore’s Jana Gana Mana, are now planning a special show in Mumbai with Sharmila Tagore and Aparna Sen, this December

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