Jashan Bhumkar To Perform At KGAF 2024: 'Artists Get Tempted To Recreate Songs, Criticism Inevitable'

Jashan Bhumkar To Perform At KGAF 2024: 'Artists Get Tempted To Recreate Songs, Criticism Inevitable'

While hinting about what's on the line-up, Bhumkar spoke about his nostalgic moments from the annual festival, his love for classical music, and more.

Swarna SrikanthUpdated: Monday, January 22, 2024, 12:37 PM IST
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Mumbai-based music artist Jashan Bhumkar is set to perform at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival taking place in the city, where the singer gears up for a live concert on a special theme striking the chord with a young audience. Ahead of him taking to the grand stage for the second time this Monday, we had a candid conversation with him to know what we could expect from his upcoming performance. While hinting about what's on the line-up, Bhumkar spoke about his nostalgic moments from the annual festival, his love for classical music, and more.

Excerpts

With hours left for the live performance at KGAF 2024, how are you feeling right now? 

I am very very honoured and proud to be ascociated with the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival which has a legacy since 1999. When I was first informed about my performance, I instantly started planning my music line-up and thinking what best I can offer to my audience. The excitment continues, and it's actually at its peak now. 

Can you give us a sneak peak about the upcoming performance? 

I usually perform pure classical music, but, here, I have taken a challenge to blend the beauty of Indian music and its different forms. It will be a fusion with an ensemble of musicians. We have created medley of classical, semi classical, sufi, and even Bollywood which will give people a very unique experience. So, one can expect beautiful ghazals and at the same time filmy tunes too. 


Your performance falls on the historic day of the Ayodhya Ram Mandir inauguration, Jan 22. Is a musical tribute to Lord Rama on your list? 

Absolutely! I would be performing on the theme "Love through the ages." Love for God and the love of God are the highest forms of love, so definitely there will be a few short pieces which are dedicated to Lord Ram on the occasion of the grand opening of the temple.

Classical beats, amazing ghazals to film songs, you have vibed to several genres of music; what’s the closest to your heart? 

My heart beats the most for classical music. I remember what my Guru Padma Vibhushan Kishori Amonkar told me that 'Sur' is God, God is in everyone, and no one is 'besura.' So, I have learned to love each form equall as there is ‘sur’ in every music. Also, Asha Bhosle ji has been my inspiration since childhood who is a versatile artist and I look up to challenge myself and sing every form, be it ghazals, jazz, or just anything.

Deep diving into music: Is the audience losing interest in embracing 'aalap', an integral part of classical sangeet? 

People love attending classical music shows and performance for the pure touch which includes ‘aalap,’ but if it goes too extensive like for 30 minutes straight, they aren’t sure how to receive and enjoy it. 

What I have started doing but not very comfortable about is placing this integral segment in the middle of the line-up. But this makes us question whether the true ethos and format of the musical form is getting compromised. We need to bridge the gap, and I am still looking for a solution that can make them not only appreciate but also embrace the beauty of ‘aalap.’ 

As your version of ‘Aaj jaane ki zidd na karo’ has won several hearts, we ask why artists recreate an existing piece? 

The reason why artists get tempted to recreate songs is that we get enamoured by the beauty of the musical pieces. We feel like giving our touch to them. But one can’t ignore that there’s a lot of criticism musicians get for recreating songs. Nevertheless, I have on plan recreating a list of ghazals sung by Gulam Ali ji and my guru. I wish to introduce these works to a more modern setting. 

Your album 'Do Pal' is a top pick for people going through a breakup or a sad phase in their love life. Do you agree that lyrics hit deeper when one's sad?

When we give some beautiful lyrics to rhythm that people can relate to and that expresses the pain of people, it hits a different kind of high.. When people are sad, they want those lyrics that are there, to comfort them. However, people want to listen to those lyrics, such as ‘Do Pal’, or  ‘Channa Mereya,’ in a certain melody. The melody hits first and makes them fall for the lyrics.

Are you fulfilled with your achievements or is it Dil Maange More? 

Fulfillment never happens by achieving a milestone. It happens in the journey. The journey is more fulfilling… I am blessed and happy that I am always looking ahead for progress. 

As a Mumbaikar, can you share some nostalgic moments from the multidisciplinary fest?

I have visited the festival for years. As a musician, I enjoy the musical events for sure. What I also love about KGAF is that it is a place that recognizes every art form that exists, right from western to Indian music, dances, and theatre performed across parallel stages. 

One of my best experiences happened to be the performance I gave last year, where I sang semi-classical and Indian classical. I was wearing a kurta and carrying Indian instruments. It was a very traditional feel; that’s nostalgic and unforgettable. 

After Kala Ghoda, which stage awaits you?  

I will be performing at a few music festivals and intimate 'baithaks' spread across Mumbai and Pune in January and February. 

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