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    In conversation with young classical singer Rahul Mishra.

    In a world where youngsters are often seen following their heart and leading their life the way they want, there are a few who prefer to do the same by following their family legacy and sticking to their roots. One of them being Varanasi based classical singer Rahul Mishra and his younger brother Rohit Mishra who have made classical music their way of life but have never failed to create magic with interesting fusions along their band Des~Pardes.

    Speaking to us about the importance of classical music especially for youngsters who want to make music their career, Rahul says, “One has to be trained in classical music to strengthen the base. Vocalists can sing all kinds of songs only if their base is strong. From Sonu Nigam to Arijit Singh, almost all Bollywood singers are trained classical singers.” He adds, “I myself have worked with Jazz and Blues musicians and it really becomes easy if you have a classical base.”

    On the rising popularity of the genre he says, “People from the West come to India to learn the form. In Varanasi you can often see guitarists enthusiastically learn sitar and other Indian musical instruments. Last year I had five foreign students, this year I have fifteen.” He also says that most films especially those of Sanjay Leela Bhansali has at least one classical or semi classical number, which is highly popular among the audience including youngsters. It is indeed true as once in while you may come across someone rendering Laal Ishq or Aayat at a function or musical event. Rahul also talks about Coke Studio which has given a new meaning to fusion.

    Rahul says that it was sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar who brought Beatles to India as George Harrison became his disciple after witnessing his performance in the West and thereafter followed a series of collaborations.

    Rahul, who is the grandson of tabla maestro of Benaras Gharana, Pandit Sharda Sahai wanted to be a tabla player but his parents realised that he has a good voice and that he should be trained in classical singing. He was trained initially by Rajeshwar Prasad Mishra. He shares, “At the age of seventeen I got an offer to go to Australia for cricket training as I was passionate about the sport and was actively involved in it. It was then that I was told to choose between the two by my parents and I chose music and at the age of nineteen we gave our first concert at Pandit Kishan Maharaj’s organisation.” After this both Rahul and his brother were sent to Girija Devi for professional training and as a part of Guru-Shishya Parampara, they stayed with their guru for around ten years.

    About the beautiful parampara he says, “My guru has taught me more than my parents. Not only did we receive musical education and training but lessons of life as well. She taught us to clean, cook, wash, iron and respect women.” He adds that because of wonderful women like his guru, grandmother and mother he has learned to respect womanhood. Not only this, but he has also learned how to teach from his teacher. He shares, “More than my father my mother was strong enough to send us away for our training.” He also shares that his fusion partner Itida, an American Jazz musician with Indian origin has also taught him a lot.

    About Bollywood and reality shows Rahul says that he would definitely take up Bollywood projects if the lyrics and music touch his soul but he doesn’t want to participate in reality shows. “I love watching them but don’t want to be a part of it,” he adds. Along with his brother and cousins Rahul is currently involved with Pandit Ram Sahai Sangeet Foundation which offers various diploma courses in music.

    The musical story doesn’t end here. Rahul who has performed in India and worldwide with his brother Rohit wants to do more, not for others but for his own self. “I am researching on the connection between music and nature and I have found that there is music in everything including the mountains, wind, waves, rain drops and leaves. I want to establish a relationship between the beats and compose something which captures this connect.”

    For Rahul life is all about music, However he also loves to travel and spend time with friends especially jamming with them and also watching documentaries on renowned musicians.



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