conversation with young classical singer Rahul Mishra.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.