Tablaman is here!
His experimentations and neo-fusion compositions are world-famous. Now, Bikram Ghosh is ready with his album Khamaka, a collaboration with Sonu Nigam. In an email interview with Ruchika Kher, he shares his thoughts about his father, playing an animation superhero and opening a drumming institute. Excerpts
Tell us about your forthcoming album with Sonu Nigam.
Khamaka is an incredibly maverick song-driven album where we have created out-of-the-box songs in interesting rhythmic cycles. This will make the music industry sit up and take note. International drummer Greg Ellis (Iron Man, Matrix trilogy, 300) has also played as a guest. We plan to release the album by January, 2014. Besides, I have collaborated with Sonu on some other projects that include upcoming films Sooper Se Oopar, Jal and Happy Anniversary.
What sort of challenge is it to collaborate with artistes who hail from a different school of music?
The schools don’t matter. The quality of people in the collaboration does. We are very close and have similar belief systems in life. The genre of music doesn’t matter since we are both open to different styles of music. This open-mindedness allows us to assimilate diverse musical ideas and make ours a very honest collaboration. When we work it's like a picnic! It is easy, unstressful and exciting.
How did you get drawn towards the tabla?
My father Pandit Shankar Ghosh is one of the greatest tabla maestros. I grew up around the tabla and started playing since I was two or three. My first performance was at nine! Finally, after I completed by Masters in English, my father asked about what I intended to do with my life; without batting an eyelid, I said that I wanted to be a tabla player!
Did you ever feel sceptical or face fear of not making it big in the music industry?
Of course, I did. Being the son of a successful father was a big responsibility. But God was kind and in both my avatars — as tabla player and later as, fusion artiste I got early success.
What do you prefer as a musician — going solo or sharing the stage with other musicians?
Going solo is great sometimes but most of the times, I like interaction, especially, if there’s a palpable chemistry!
Your future plans…?
Right now, shows and film composition are taking up most of my time. I have a few interesting album projects lined up for release. Tablauntabla is a big project that includes two 3D animation videos featuring myself as Tablaman, an animation super hero. Drumrasa — where I’ve explored the nine rasas is another album that is ready. In future, I wish to open a state-of-the-art international drumming institute in my hometown Kolkata. It will be a haven for drummers from all over the world.