Jashan Bhumkar wants to make ghazals more appealing to the millennials
An accomplished singer, who is appreciated for his purist approach in classical music, Jashan Bhumkar is equally appreciated for his heart-warming renditions of ghazals, abhangs and other forms of music having a classical touch. The singer’s rendition of the classic ghazal – Aaj Jane Ki Zidd Na Karo, originally sung by Farida Khannum, is an attempt to make the genre more inviting to the new generation. Jashan tells us more about his version of the ghazal and more. Excerpts:
The ghazal is a classic one and has been sung by almost all singers. What encouraged you to release your version of the ghazal?
As an artist it’s natural to be attracted to beauty, and the composition Aaj Jane Ki Zid Na Karo is so, so beautiful. It’s that very beauty of the ghazal that made me want to make it my own in some way, and hence I worked on recording and releasing my own version of it.
Tell us about your treatment and music of the classic ghazal by Farida Khanam?
Farida Khannum-ji’s version is the original version, a truly classic piece. There is never a replacement for a classic, and that is not my intention either. The most obvious difference a listener might notice in my version is that the track has been totally modernized, hopefully making it relatable to a wider audience, especially that of my generation. Given my strong background in classical music, my classical touches are evident, especially the enunciations and finer details in some of the words and lines. Whenever my Guru, Gaansaraswati Kishori Amonkar would sing a light music piece, be it ghazal or even a bhajan, she would never repeat the same line, in the same way, more than once! Every time she sang a line, there would be at least a slight variation. Of course, this is not to show vocal acrobatics; there is a much deeper thought to it. Singing is just expressing a feeling, so just as in a conversation where you are trying to express something, you would build on what you previously said, the same way in singing these finer touches and word-play intensifies the soul of the song.
Goa was chosen as the location for the video. Tell us about the video.
Though this song is very popular and widely loved, it was surprising that there are not many videos picturizing the song, hence we decided to go all-out with the video which I’m sure all the viewers will absolutely love. Shot in Goa at beautiful locations by the beach, by the river and on top of an old fort, we are depicting a love story perfectly capturing the romantic mood of the song. The video stars actress Kashish Chopra opposite me, and has been directed by Aslam Khan.
Do you have any memory of the ghazal?
I have many fond memories of this ghazal going back to my college days in the UK, in the beautiful town of Cambridge. I remember listening to the classic version on loop on cold days, in beautiful settings by the river and amidst the classic British greenery. Being very involved in the music scene at Cambridge University, I performed it first live at an Indian music festival there, after which pretty much at the end of every concert I started getting requests from the audience to sing this ghazal, a trend which continued when I moved back home to India 5 years back!
What's next after this?
I have been working on two Hindi original songs; one is of the soulful romantic genre, and the other is a totally different experiment leaning towards the electronic space. There are also a few traditional semi-classical compositions and Ghazals that are very close to my heart which I plan to bring forth in front of a wider, modern audience. I am also very actively involved in the Marathi music space and have a string of Marathi songs, originals and covers slated to release soon. At the same time, I continue to pursue classical music and as we are now looking towards the brighter end of the lockdown, live performances are resuming again which always gives me a lot of joy.