Vasudha Sharma: Music is western, but lyrics are desi

Updated: Sep 23, 2019, 07:40 IST | Sonia Lulla | Mumbai

Blending Bhojpuri, Haryanvi and Hindi into her debut four-track EP, Aasma fame singer Vasudha Sharma on creating BeDesi

Vasudha Sharma
Vasudha Sharma

Following the disbanding of the 2000's pop band, Aasma, even as her co-members forayed their separate ways, Vasudha Sharma found herself grappling with a pertinent debate that plagues artistes — deciphering what she wanted to do with her craft. Upheld immensely for her vocals, Sharma concluded that her first love, in fact, lies in composition. Even though the launch-pad she had been offered could have paved a smooth inroad into Bollywood, Sharma admits she couldn't "visualise myself as a playback singer when I wanted to create music".

"I urged Makrand Deshpande to give me a chance to compose one song in his film, and if he'd like it, we'd take it further." Shahrukh Bola "Khoobsurat Hai Tu", her debut vehicle as music director, was not a profitable agreement for her. Yet, it enabled her to decipher where her heart lies. She jetted off to Boston to study composition, learning the art of arranging and writing music. She began to create tunes live on stage, and also dabbled in electronic music. A few days ago, she released her first EP, BeDesi, as part of her band, Sharma and the Besharams, also comprising Rahul Hariharan, Chirayu Vedekar and Chaitanya Bhaidkar. "The Banjo is the crux of our album. The instrument has a country vibe, but here, Chaitanya has given it an Indian touch." Usually known for his loud drumming skills, Hariharan hopped aboard the group in his bid to give a go at creating "softer sets, and pop-rock music".


After taking the tracks to several music festivals, it was at Sharma's behest that the band decided to release them as a record. "We wanted to present the songs like we do in our shows. So, we didn't want them to sound heavily produced. The music is western, but the lyrics are desi. Ganga is a Bhojpuri folk song that was taught to me by an aunt. I wanted to rework the instrumentation. Another track comprises dohas by Sant Rahim. The third number is Bailgadi, which has been written by my mother in Haryanvi; it has a regge instrumentation. And finally, Jasbaa is a pop rock number, but it has been rendered in Hindi."

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