In the process of harmoniously uniting different talents and listening to their success stories, ARTSOUL brings a new avatar called "A talk with the Artists"
This time let's begin our new genre of artists who are the famous singers. Today we have a person who has his own style of rendering music all over the world. His fans are crazy over his tracks and dance with every joy forgetting all the things in life.
Raghu Dixit is a well-known singer but let's dig deeper into what he is.
What made Raghu Dixit hold the guitar?
"I started singing since I discovered my voice. I was in my second year of graduation studying Botany, Biochemistry and Microbiology. My classmate Jeffery used to play the guitar and sing in English but I was a studious student. I loved Bharatanatyam and at the age of 8 I started dancing. I used to perform in my college fests and all. So one day, when I finished my performance and went to the makeup room to remove my makeup, Jeffrey holding a guitar started laughing at me saying he was a macho by playing this instrument and I was just a person who was so feminine by wearing makeup, kajal, lipstick and danced like women. I challenged him saying that in two months I shall learnt that stupid instrument of yours but you need to show me four to five steps of Bharatanatyam. I didn't take it seriously then, but the next day when I woke up, I took it as a challenge again and ran to all my Christian friends to teach me guitar and lend it to me for a couple of days. And none of these should be told at home, because it was Western music. It's been two weeks and I've not found anyone to teach me. I met a friend of mine in my university. I asked him if he could find me a guitar teacher and Leo to my luck goes to a feminary which is outside Mysore. He attends the Sunday Mass and after the mass Leo is learning how to play a guitar. So I went with him to the feminary and started singing. After the mass he goes to the brother saying that this boy wants to learn the guitar. He started yelling at me and I requested him to teach me just one song and told him about my challenge. He agreed and I started bunking my classes every day and sat there playing my guitar. One day the father stopped by and yelled at me for playing it without tuning and playing it wrong. But he told me to keep practicing. The father and brother Ivan told me that they would teach me. In my head I thought it would be a rock song, but it was a gospel. And I'd learnt this gospel in two weeks. I didn't know that it was a gospel, the first time I opened my mouth and sang. Brother Ivan was stunned and said it was a naturally gifted voice and I was so excited and it felt like nothing I've that experienced. I had learnt how to play a guitar and how to string it. I went to my college calling for Jeffrey and was putting his arm around me and asked me where I learnt it from and that's how I started singing without looking back. It was absolutely liberating. It kept me completely away from my family, rules and traditions especially from the classical stuff happening. And I was never ashamed of it."
When you initially started, what were the problems you faced?
”The fact is that I made my music of my own. Whatever I made was different and no labels were ready to support it, hence I was rejected by many for a long time but never gave a damn. I never had a difficult time I can say, I see it as a drama when someone says it's a tough journey. I never looked at it as a profession, rather I used to enjoy it for fun and it would even pay my bills. But getting an album was a struggle. I loved playing as a single and in a band. I used to sleep at railway stations, sell tea and many other things is pure drama to me. Any musician can call his journey a struggle because music is a privilege that you can do and now I feel I'm a failure compared to the initial stages when I sang. Because I was the happiest guy back then when I strung my guitar and played a song. It still makes me happy. But I was more successful back then."
Raghu Dixit is famous for his own set of songs and genres. Isn't he?
”I think it's just being me. I avoid getting emotionally attached to any music. When I make music, I don't know where it comes from. It's more like a fart, you don't anticipate it. Rahman sir says that 'If you stand next to a tree and listen to the rustling of the leaves close and there you find music.'
Music is not to be made. I really wait for it, very rarely I force a song to come out of me and 99% of the time those are the worst ones. It maybe musically the worst songs I've composed. Because, subconsciously I'm forcing it out of me."
How much time would you require to develop or make your own composition?
“There’s no single process or a defined timeline. In my third album I composed 23 schemes in 10 days. I locked myself in the studio and kept on going at it. But some of the songs haven't been finished yet, it's been more than a year. Because music is not something which is to be forced. It must come on its own. Sometime I take a day to complete something and a few songs take me a year or more. I have to wait for my songs to come out of me. Probably, music is something divine and musicians are just a medium through which it comes out. I'm just a medium which we can connect to the spiritual world. It's is something which cannot be expressed."
You've represented INDIA and Karnataka in a lot of countries, how do you feel about it?
“It’s a funny thing because a lot of people say me that I am doing a great job being from Karnataka. The primary reason I started doing it was to make a living out of it which in turn came in as a bonus and it is another privilege for me. A language will never depend on one person for its survival, it needs a generation for it and I will be happy as in an achievement when 10 more bands come out and do it and sing in their local language. A part of me would be angry if someone tries to be like me because I want them to be whoever they are."
Many of them assume that the people who play instruments in a band aren't recognized. Is it true?
"No band is made after a particular person. The human mind is capable of grabbing the amount of information they want to know. When someone is attending my concert, unless he is truly interested in knowing who the violinist or the Drummer is he won't give attention to it. It's only about what you're interested in. So when my shows are getting promoted, it's not only me but my whole band gets promoted. And after the show I make sure to introduce my band members. And my band members have no ego issues about who's famous and not. We are all collaborators, paid for a certain job and amount. Becoming famous is not a part of the contract, they'll become famous if they play well. It's also true that people who play with me are becoming famous and go on to form their own band."
What makes your different in a panche rather than any other attires?
“There are two reasons for that. One Technical reason is that I want to represent who I am on stage through my music. Like my music or the way I speak everything makes me a South Indian and I'm very proud of my roots. And I've worn panche all of my life but when on stage I just made it colourful to match my music and the folk style I carry. I dress up with my junk jewellery to uplift myself.
Secondly, I use it because of my dance background. I was a classical Bharatanatyam dancer."
There are so many young budding composers and singers. What would you like to tell them?
"When people ask me this, I ask them back saying who am I to tell them? They're supposed to do whatever they want to do and it's not my responsibility. Let them do whatever music they want to do at any point of time. Everyone has their own journey and no one can direct someone else's journey. If it is working for them and they'll know it better. When it comes to career, no one can define it. There is no shortcut to success. It's subjective. If it's something you truly love, you should do it."
Raghu Dixit is the front man for the Raghu Dixit Project, a multilingual folk music band. Raghu Dixit Songs are famous not only in Karnataka but across the world!
Raghu Dixt Concerts are well known for unique engagement with Fans.
Songs like Lokada Kalaji , Jag Changa, Gudugudiya are must have songs in every Kannadiga's playlist!
He has composed music to many Kannada Movies - Just Maath Maathalli,Psycho,Happy new year
and these melody kannada songs are all time hits in Kannada Music History
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