Here's what maestros Hariharan and Bickram Ghosh think of next-gen singers

They performed together at the 4th edition of Dumdum Marga Sangeet Utsav and we couldn’t miss a chat with the duo.
Bickram Ghosh (L) and Hariharan
Bickram Ghosh (L) and Hariharan

It cannot go wrong when maestros like Hariharan and Bickram Ghosh meet. The camaraderie of the musical genius and master percussionist goes a long way and they have joined hands for quite a few albums. Recently, they performed together at the 4th edition of Dumdum Marga Sangeet Utsav and we couldn’t miss a chat with the duo. Excerpts:

Hariharan, how has been your work experience with Bickram?

Hariharan: We met late in life but it felt very natural, as if we have known each other for years together. It’s very easy to work with him. We are like-minded when it comes to music and that eases out the process of creation. It rarely happens when one of us says something and the other is not agreeing — it is so incredibly smooth. He’s like my brother, and I cannot say that about anyone and everyone.

Bickram: We did two albums and both are doing great. We have plans for more collaborations. It’s like almost every day that we brainstorm as to what else we can do together.

You have spent so many years in the industry. If you could throw some light on how the soundscape has changed?

Hariharan: What’s increased in cities? Clutter, buildings and noise pollution. Similarly, in the music scene too, there’s a lot of noise pollution. You have to be loud enough to get yourself heard. No one will listen if you are too soft. It is a subconscious feeling that makes you do everything loudly.

Bickram: Also, for a considerable period, music was for individual consumption, people used to listen to music alone according to the mood they had that day. Now, people are just waiting to dance together. This is a bit tragic because I think people have many more needs than just the need to dance and as musicians, we try to address that and create something that enriches the listeners.

Hariharan: This is one part of it. There are good musicians, mediocre musicians and bad musicians too. Kids today sing very well, but they face much more competition than we did in the yesteryears and also being popular on social media platforms has become very important. The young musicians are going through a difficult phase, which luckily, we haven’t been through.

Do you think a musician needs to change his or her genre with t ime to be relevant?

Hariharan: First, you have to be good in your genre. You have to be sincere enough to learn about the genre. You cannot just be smart and quick. Each of these genres has evolved through the decades and you need to become a good student first. Bickram: I think we are not from that school that adheres to the thought you mentioned in your question. For instance, so many restaurants are coming up in Kolkata every other day, yet the iconic ones will always stay the same. They wouldn’t have to tweak their recipes to fit in! Hariharan: Or, even if you tweak it to be relevant, it should have truth in it!

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