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At a gig!  Credit: www.raghudixit.com/gallery

At a gig! Credit: www.raghudixit.com/gallery

Originality is a rare commodity in these media-governing, cynical times, but every now and then a band comes along that produces music of such mind-bending brilliance that only the culturally blind could fail to recognize.Fusion may not have as yet fully infiltrated mainstream, but a major breakthrough seems at hand.The forerunner for that movement is the ‘Raghu Dixit Project’, founded by Raghupathy Dixit which is an open house for musicians and artistes from different genres to come together, collaborate and create a dynamic sound and expression.

Raghu has performed over 250 concerts all over the world as the founder of his band ‘Antaragni’, meaning ‘inner-fire’.Raghu’s music is a unique, contrasting blend of Indian indegenous music and styles from different parts of the world.His lyrics, a clever amalgamation of ethnic folk, Sufi and classical phrases, convey a lot with a deep meaning attached to it are simple and speak about the common man’s emotions, experienced everyday, perhaps why everybody can connect with his wonderful music.

“From a parched throat in the desert, through the rattling teeth on a mountain top, from a voice drowning in the blare of horns on a crowded street – I sing – on the banks of a tinkling river, inside the courtyard of an old home, from under the canopy of a grand old tree-I sing everywhere …sing with joy, to drive away pain, I sing when in love, when in the quiet of solitude – I sing – as fatigue seeps out at the end of a long day. I sing my prayers, I lament my woes, I celebrate my existence – there’s always a song in me. It is me – to weave stories from words, to breathe life into them – to string sounds together, make and sing a song. This is why I sing. This is why The Raghu Dixit Project is.” says Raghu Dixit in his website. Raghu’s voice shows his passion towards music.His singing style, vocal range and versatility has often been appreciated with reverence.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

The band!  Credit: www.raghudixit.com/gallery

The band! Credit: www.raghudixit.com/gallery

Raghu, who is a university topper and a gold medalist in Masters in Microbiology and a proficient Bharatnatyam Dancer is  known more as a self-taught guitarist-singer-composer-songwriter based in Bangalore. It was during his last couple of years in Mysore where he spent most of his younger days that he formed his band ‘Antaragni’. He moved to Bangalore in search of a job where he jammed with a number of musicians. The band soon started making news and became a platform for many musicians to exhibit their talent and added new dimensions to Raghu’s songs every time. From one to ten to hundreds and then thousands, the fan following kept growing for Raghu’s songs. Unrelenting crowds made Raghu sing ‘Mysore se ayee’, his most popular song, 4 times in a concert!The current members of the band include:

Gaurav Vaz-the bass guitar player provides the solid base that the group’s music stands on.He is always upto some mischief and is very witty.

Vijay Joseph- is the most recent addition to the project. He is a true guitarist at heart and adds his own dimension to the band’s sound.

Jithin Das- is a violinist from a small town called Thrissur, Kerala which has produced wizards like Jithin, who comes from a family of legendary folk musicians.

Darbuka Siva-A self taught drummer and percussionist.He is  responsible for the beat to which the Raghu Dixit Project grooves. He is a tremendous bundle of energy on stage and a total riot off stage.

In 2008, The Raghu Dixit Project launched its debut album by the popular music director duo Vishal-Shekhar on their new independent record label ‘Vishal & Shekhar Music’ which collaborated with Counter Culture Records for this release. He happens to be the first artist to be released on this label.The debut album consists of 8 songs and the track listing is:

*Hey Bhagwan:
This hindi song celebrates life. Sounds a lot like the Bob-Marely stuff.A huge hit among the crowds because of its pleasing chorus and score, this song requests God, ironically, to give a blessing to live this wonderful life once more despite all its difficulties, materialism and despair!–”Hey Bhagwan mujhko tu…Zindagi dubaara dede!”

* Mysore se ayee :This hindi track, as mentioned earlier happens to be Raghu’s most wanted track.It is about Raghu’s hometown- Mysore. The song joyously describes the charm, innocence and beauty of a girl from Mysore. Its frolicsome tune and rhythm makes the audiences get up on their feet and dance… every time!

* Gudugudiya sedi nodo :This Kannada track is Raghu’s interpretation of a poem written by Saint Shishunaala Sharif, a 19th century spiritual poet of North Karnataka. Shishunaala is popular for his simple metaphors to explain intricate philosophies of life. This song urges the listener to smoke a ‘Hookah’  to understand how one should lead life! “Open the small cloth bag called mind, pull out the hash called greed/lust, crush it in a chillum called faith and light it with a fire called intelligence, Smoke that Hookah”, he says.

*Ambar:This Hindi track is another awe-inspiring song with expressive lyrics.This song, with its soothing music and Raghu’s brilliance is a must-hear.

* Khidki: Another Hindi track about a simple subject-Khidkiyan which takes you on a nostalgic trip and gives you a sleepless night.It starts of with a wonderful beat and the transition of the beat is simply flawless.

* No man will ever love you, like i do: Writtern by Deepti Musley from Banglore, this hindi-english love song is passionately  sung in folk style.

* In Mumbai, waiting for a miracle : This Hindi-English track sounds like a balladeer in Mumbai on its famous Local train, with the Beatles backing him up. The song describes Mumbai- the city of dreams where thousands come and get lost in search of glory and wait for that miracle.

*Soruthihudu maneya maaligi :
Yet another Kannada track  writtern by Shishunaala Sharif, this song is one of the many versions rendered by the many singers of Karnataka.The singer laments about his roof leaking with ignorance.Raghu’s melody gives it a blues feel and a latino beat to the Kannada lyrics.That’s some innovation!

Decked up for the performance. Credit: www.raghudixit.com/gallery

Decked up for the performance. Credit: www.raghudixit.com/gallery

Apart from this, there is another composition by him, called Antaragni, which is popular among the rock fans. This song urges everyone to keep ‘Antaragni’, the fire within, burning. Raghu has also composed and produced music for contemporary dance and theatre productions.Girish Karnad’s Hayavadana for TopCast and Black Coffee’s Body Catcher and the compositions for ‘Nritarutya’,one of the leading contemporary dance groups of India have been his most famous works that brought him critical acclaim as a composer for theatre productions. He debuted to Kannada Movies in 2008 through a film called “Psycho”.

In May 2008 Raghu joined Springboard Surprises’ Roots Festival for a number of shows, touring many towns and cities within the North-East of India, with international acts including Israel’s DUB LFO and England’s Too Late Lucy.Some of the major performances by Raghu Dixit include:
* Opening act performance for Bryan Adams concert, May 04, 2001
* The IIT-Mumbai festival, Mood Indigo 2003
* The IIM-Ahmedabad festival, Chaos 2004
* Vasanthahabba – The spring festival of music and dance at Nrityagram, Bangalore (2001 and 2004)
* BITS Pilani festival, Oasis 2004
* The Young Presidents’ Association Concert at Hampi 2004
* The RadioCity Live Winners Concert 2002
* The Yuva Dasara Concert at Mysore for the world famous Dasara Festival.
* Featured on Radio 21, Europe’s hottest RBTF FM radio station based in Brussels, 1999
* The showdown artist for World Music Day concert at Alliance Francaise de bangalore for 4 consecutive years.

A documentary about the project was made and can be viewed at :
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8812005016933145592

More about the project can be known at Raghu Dixit’s official website:
http://www.raghudixit.com

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