Shekhar Ravjiani, the well known singer, song writer, composer and budding actor has taken upon him to celebrate the exemplary Ghazals of his mentor, Shri Jagjit Singhji. Accompanied with him will be the musicians who originally performed with the legend for years together. After the outstanding performances in Singapore, Indonesia and at the prestigious Jaipur Literature Festival 2018 in India, Hong Kong is next in line to go down memory lane with “Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi” on the 23rd of September 2018.
In gasps for the same, HKYantoYan sounded Shekhar out on the few questions to which he generously answered:
When and how did you decide to start ‘Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi’ as a tribute to Shri Jagjit Singh’s music?
As a student of Jagjit Singhji, I have always wanted to express my heartfelt love, respect and gratitude for his blessings and unconditional love, that has showed me the way in my musical career. He was an inspiring presence and when a person with so much soul sings, you learn more from them in a single hour than many do in years. A concert seemed like the most apt way to pay tribute to this great man and his legacy. To sing his songs and bring peace and happiness to people through his music. ‘Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi,’ is one of Jagjit Singhji’s most iconic songs. Those three words encompass everything that this concert stands for. Our dreams, our wishes for ourselves and others are what push us to live more, love more and be more.
What can a fan and a non-fan of ‘Ghazals’ expect from ‘Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi’?
One of the other reasons that prompted me to present this ensemble of ghazals, was to revive the love for a form that once ruled the hearts of millions. If we look deep within we are all fans of ghazals even if we don’t know it yet. It is one of the few genres of music that can tug at the heart both through the mesmerizing words and the music that strings them together. Every person who loves music has a latent love for ghazals which I hope to bring alive through my renditions. It is a genre that is deserving of far more love and respect than it has received in recent times. It’s time to bring back the magic and I hope to play my part in that endeavour.
How has the response been to the show so far in other places?
I have performed Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi for audiences in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Jaipur and Jakarta and the love that we have received has been unprecedented, making each show an even more resounding success than the previous one. I’ve witnessed an energy in the people who come for our shows like never before. A genuine appreciation for good music coupled with a super encouraging, fun-loving vibe. It has been a dream for the whole team to go on stage in front of an audience like that. There have been countless beautiful moments when it has felt like we are performing in front of family. I look forward to many more such heartwarming moments and memories.
Vishal & Shekhar have always kept their music trendy and grown with the times. What is the secret to this?
I think just like with every field, music too is an ongoing education. You can never sit back and claim to know it all. On the contrary, you have to be constantly on your toes, learning from people decades younger than you sometimes. It’s the only way to stay relevant. If you don’t adapt to change, you become extinct. We try and constantly keep a finger on the pulse of the current music scene so that we can create tracks that are held together by our years of experience but still sound modern and relevant.
With Bollywood movies going global – do you feel the need to make your music more ‘Internationally digestible’?
Bollywood may be going global, but if you ask me, Indian music has been taking the world by storm for the past decade or so and continues to do so. I don’t think we need to try too hard to make our music ‘digestible’ for the world as it is already being consumed wholeheartedly! If anything, I would say that we should stay as true as possible to our roots and always maintain the integrity of what our cultural uniqueness brings to our music.
There are numerous song streaming services now and it’s completely changed how people listen to music. What are your thoughts about this transition? Where do you see the industry moving towards?
The way music is being consumed today is something that none of us could have anticipated back in the day. I think it is wonderful that people can access music so easily and it has given a number of young musicians find a professional platform for their talent. Like with all kinds of change, initial discomfort is inevitable. Everyone is forced to change the way they approach the business and are pushed out of their comfort zone. I see great things for our industry if we adapt to these changes in the right way and make the transition fair and financially viable for all the players in the field.
Are we going to see you perform as an actor in the near future?
Performing in Neerja was a very special experience. Even though it was a short role, the love and appreciation that I received was overwhelming and I am very grateful that I was able to make my very first on screen performance a memorable one. I have been offered a few roles already and would absolutely love to revisit the world of films as an actor once again if the right script comes my way.
Does your daughter aspire to follow your footsteps into the music industry?
Like all her peers, my daughter belongs to a remarkable generation of bright, young minds who are clear about what they would like to do. She plays the piano beautifully and is my greatest critic. She has music in her soul so, no matter what she chooses to do or be I will always feel glad to have given her the gift of music.
Tell us about some of your upcoming projects?
For now, Dubai Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi and Delhi Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi are on the cards for 2018 and I’ll be the judge on Zee Saregama 2018, my 16th reality show! Other than that, making music for SOTY2, Hrithik vs Tiger, and Bharat. I am also working on 2 private albums and 4 singles that will be releasing in 2019.
We are looking forward to be a part of the very first show of Hazaaron Khwahishein Aisi In Hong Kong as we believe for this event to a blessing in disguise. You should not miss out on it either!