Gang of girls!
Coming from a musically rich background, Sawani Shende has made a mark of her own in the Classical music genre. She started performing at the age of 10 and has never looked back since then. She has now started an international venture with the music icon Tina Turner. Read on..
How did your musical journey start?
The journey of my concerts started when I was invited to perform at the Pt. Vishnu Digambar Jayanti Samaroh in Delhi when I was thirteen. On the same day, I was honoured when I performed for the then President of India, R Venkatraman at the Rashtrapati Bhavan. I have come up with numerous albums since then. I have been performing abroad in concerts right since 1998. I have toured many countries like USA, Canada, Qatar, Switzerland and Germany.
Tell us about your album Beyond and how is it different from many others?
Beyond Love Within is a really unique album. It’s not just any other spiritual album but its an album comprising of three different religions and cultures - Hinduism, Christianism and Buddhism. This venture is all about female power.
What are your contributions in the band that makes it special?
I have chosen some traditional Hindu shlokas as well as some new self composed verses for this album in praise of Goddess Saraswati, Lami, Parvati, Durga etc. I have also sung a Meera Bhajan in this album. The striking feature is that I have composed all the tunes for the Hindu texts myself. My training in Hindustani classical music made it easier for me to adapt to the western harmonies keeping the gist , originality and grace of our material intact with its own individual identity.
How would you define your musical philosophy?
I strongly believe that music is the fastest and the nearest path to reach up to god! I sing not only to please the audience and make them happy but to please god as I want to worship Him through my singing.
In our country, how easy (or difficult) is it to make a mark in the music scene? What do you think the main issues are?
Our country has great musical heritage which we should be proud of. The great Indian classical music tradition is acclaimed worldwide and people have started to know the importance of this music not only for entertainment but for great spiritual values like peace and meditation. The main problem I think is that the youth should understand the importance of this rich musical heritage rather than just running behind commercial music and show biz. We should strive to preserve our own culture with pride and try to take it across Indian boundaries.
Tell us a bit about your music. What defines your music and songs?
My music is a blend of the kirana and Gwalior gharanas of Indian classical music. Also i love to perform semi classical genres like thumri, dadra and bhajans. I always like to combine my performance with strong traditional values as well as aesthetical values
What suggestions/advice would you have for newbie’s in music?
There is no shortcut to success. Music should have values of dignity, peace and meditation. You should keep on adding new things to the mainstream but at the same time be grounded to your roots. Be proud of your country and its cultural values.