The most striking thing about Indian classical music is that one can relate to it, without even knowing the grammar of it. And that’s something classical singer Sawani Shende-Sathaye swears by. No wonder, that Shende-Sathaye is the only Indian artiste, who has featured in spiritual group Beyond’s third album Beyond: Love Within. The album features Regula Curti from Switzerland and Dechen Shak-Dagsay from Tibet and Tina Turner, who has also lent her voice to a couple of songs. Sawani talks about the experience of working on the album:
Q. How did the collaboration with Beyond take place?
A. A common friend, who’s a tabla player, knew that Regula Curti, the brain behind the album, was in search of an Indian singer who could not just chant classical mantras but had a good classical base as well. So he invited her to one of my concerts in Switzerland and she was really happy that she found who she was looking for. I was honoured to be a part of such a wonderful album.
Sawani Shende-Sathaye with Tina Turner, Dechen Shak-Dagsay and Regula Curti
Q. Tell us more about the album.
A. I have sung for many spiritual albums in India, but this is a unique venture for me. This is the first time that three religions have come together for the purpose of spreading peace and love across the world through an album. All the singers are accomplished in their own right. And then, to have the legendary Tina Turner singing with us is a dream come true. She is an inspiration to all of us. The whole album was recorded live.
Q. All the singers come from different backgrounds and have varied influences. What do you think was the binding factor?
A. Apart from the music, the main binding factor was a common spiritual mind. Regula is a spiritual person and she teaches yoga in Switzerland. I, too, strongly believe in God. It’s the same thing with Dechen Shak-Dagsay, the Tibetan singer who’s representing Buddhism in the album. Of course, there is Tina, who we know for her pop and rock songs. She is singing devotional music for the first time here. We sat together and exchanged notes in praise of the Divine Mother. We realised that we have such a lot in common and religion was never a boundary at all.
Did you know
Tina Turner, who was raised as a Baptist, has been studying and practising Buddhism since 1975