Sweet Homecoming

Sweet Homecoming
She reveals to Millennium Post that she is super excited about showing the country’s cultural heritage to her sons and she hopes to make this trip the best experience for her family.

What are the activities that you indulge in(other than music) when you visit different countries to perform?
I love how much I have travelled as I learned through travelling when I was a child and teenager. I had very rich life experiences at a young age and learned how to interact with people from all cultures with ease and comfort. I would love my son to have that as well, but I certainly want to balance that to the best of my ability with a solid base he can call home.

Now that you are performing in India after two years, How do you expect the crowd to react? 
It’s been a long gap of two years since I last performed in India, because I was heavily pregnant with Mo (Mohan) last winter and therefore didn’t come to visit. Naturally I’m very much looking forward to the concerts, as playing in India is always a special experience. We will be taking a holiday together over New Year’s and I look forward to showing Zubin many things about our country and culture, as at nearly five years old he is now old enough to create memories and understand so much more.

You are an internationally recognised classical musician after your late father. Do you think a musician requires more recognition especially when the art is left with few noble hands? How does this recognition make you feel? 
I believe honesty and integrity are paramount to making music of value. Everyone has something unique to offer the world, and as an artist if I can tap into that internal core when I make my music, then I am bringing something of value into the world.

You are carrying the legacy of your late father. Does this responsibility make you emotionally or creatively vulnerable? And in your personal space, do you take decisions in life with his essence or thought in mind? 
One thing my parents were really smart about when I was growing up was avoiding letting me feel too much pressure as it’s difficult enough to be disciplined enough to commit to learn the sitar or any skill set properly and with the right frame of mind. Also, my father was never harsher on me to prove a point to other students that he’s not favouring me either because that’s not who he is as a person. For him, the commitment is yours for you to take responsibility of. Without that personal commitment, there’s no real understanding of the art form.

What is your schedule like and how do you prepare for a concert? Any special routines?
 I enjoy my routine before a show as it calms me and helps me prepare. I do a thorough sound check with the band and then spend an hour or so doing stretches and hand warmups, getting dressed and putting on makeup. Just the act of sitting at a makeup table alone can be a nice quiet time to think, before the frenetic activity on stage.
What kind of music do you listen in your spare time? 
My music taste is quite eclectic and diverse. I enjoy a wide range from both Indian and Western classical to alternative artists like Bjork, electronica from the Chemical Brothers and world music such as Tinariwem.

Tell us about your new studio and the experience of recording the album Home. 
Oh, I can’t say how pleased I am to have my own studio! It’s totally changed the way I work, both on Home and on the next album I’m working on. It’s so freeing to have my own space and to feel comfortable and casual whilst recording. The need arose in recent years as a parent, to be able to work from home more. However, writing and trying to create whilst surrounded by the noise and chaos of young children is very difficult! Having my own studio at home is a dream, as I have a totally sound-proof room I can escape to when I need to write, and I have an impeccable room to record in. My studio was built with a team of experts to record the sitar at the highest level possible, and I’m very happy with the results.
Rishibha Kumari

Rishibha Kumari

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