Time for band bajaa

Nov 16, 2011, 13:13 IST | Hitlist team
Singer-composer Roopkumar Rathod feels as fit as a fiddle. Yes, the Sandese Aate Hain singer has lost seven kilos in the past two months, and is looking much leaner. "I had gained weight sitting all day in studios and eating non-stop. But I realised that I had to get up on my feet and act fast," says Roopkumar. Musically too, he's looking at attaining full finesse at tomorrow's concert to be held at Shanmukhananda Hall. CS caught up with him for a chat in the midst of a recording session:

Who: Roopkumar Rathod
What: Talking about an upcoming concert
Where: At his recording studio in Andheri

Joining the band
I am really looking forward to performing with Trilokbhai (Trilok Gurtu) tomorrow. I feel that he's one of best drummers and percussionists ever. I am also keen to jam with people like Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Ronu Majumdar and saxophonist George Brookes. Jamming is good fun because you get to perform extempore, and that can be very inspirational at times. Zakirbhai (Zakir Hussain) is one of the best when it comes to impromptu jam sessions. Last year, I had gone to attend a concert in memory of Abbaji (Ustad Allah Rakha) and Zakirbhai spotted me in the audience. Immediately, he called me up on the stage and we had an absolutely fantastic session. Recently, I had performed with Ajay and Abhijit Pohankar, and that was a fabulous experience as well.

Tabla talk
Like many musicians, I too started off as a tabla player. But I gave up my tabla practice, as I wanted to concentrate on my vocal training. I feel that it's very important for upcoming musicians to be knowledgeable about musical instruments. Being a tabla player, I know my rhythms by heart. So, I just have to concentrate on the melody. Musical personalities like Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, Suresh Wadkar and Ghulam Ali Khan are also known for their understanding of tabla.

On phoren shores
When it comes to foreign artists, I like listening to Yanni, Seal, Bryan Adams and Bobby McFerrin. Whenever I am in London, I go to Ronnie Scott's jazz club. Recently, I met up with a few musicians in the US, where I had gone for a holiday. One of the cities with the best street music culture is Prague. I remember once visiting the Artist's Colony in Paris, which is a haunt for painters, singers, musicians, etc. There, I met a frail old man who told me that he loved Indian music. Initially, I thought that he was bluffing, but when he sang Kaaton Se Kheeck Ke Yeh Aanchal for me, I realised that he was indeed a fan!

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