“When a composer and a singer match each other's wavelength, it's easy to work.” - Hariharan
STARDUST INDIA|March 2021
Legendary singer Hariharan has collaborated with music maestro and composer Bickram Ghosh on an album titled Ishq – Songs of Love. Read on as the remarkable duo chats with Nikita Nikhil about the album, their musical journey, and their take on the contemporary music scene of India…
Nikita Nikhil

Please tell us about your new album Ishq – Songs of Love?

Hariharan: We were playing table tennis for two months and the ball was the song. He used to send me a song, then I used to sing it and send it back. Then re-sing certain portions. It has lovely compositions and the genre is geet. Yeh 6 gaane aise khelte khelte ho gaya in one-one and a half month. And I loved the compositions because they had Indian melody, the beat is raag or folk-based. I really liked the subject because it was six stories of love with different endings to the story but the basis was love. I really enjoyed singing and when you enjoy something, it finishes up quickly. So I sent the songs back to him. Then Bickram worked on the songs and arrangement of the sound aspect of it. He added some beautiful rhythm and harmony. So the voice was gliding on a streamlet of beautiful compositions of harmonies and rhythms. The tabla has its place and it’s very musical. It’s traditional but used in a very innovative and modern way. That is what drives the songs and makes the songs sound different. We really enjoyed the process. After this came in six videos. The recording company – Sufiscore, supported us in every way and gave a tremendous kind of push from their side, and we really enjoyed it.

Bickram Ghosh: Well, four years back, I had sent Hariharan Ji a song and I had requested him to sing it. He immediately sang and sent it back - but I realised at that point and he too mentioned that I had only sent him one antara - normally a song has two antaras. That’s when I realised that my engineer and I had made a mistake. Strangely, after that, four years just went by and we never got down to getting the second antara done of that song. Of course, Hari Ji and I have performed together on several occasions including one massive concert we had done at the Royal Festival Hall in London in 2010. Then there were other occasions when Ustad Rashid Khan, Hariji and I have performed. So we have done shows in the past but we have never collaborated on an album before. So, during the pandemic, we suddenly got chatting and I said, “Can I send you the song again?”. He said, “Sure, send it!”. Now this time I sent it with both the antaras and in two days, it came back, sung like a dream. Then I sent him another one and then again, he sang and sent it in a couple of days. So, this became a process over the next month or two. And in a couple of months, we had done all six songs. During that time, it was pretty crazy because of the pandemic so we were not travelling. If one is constantly travelling, you can’t do a project from start to finish. So, we got a break in the middle. In this case, there was no travelling for either of us. It just got finished very quickly in record time. And as Hari ji has said it himself, this is the fastest album he has done. I then spoke to a very dear friend, a famous director from Bengal, film director Arindam Sil and he came on board after we spoke to Sufiscore. Sufiscore was really excited and very supportive of the entire project and said, ‘Please do whatever you need to do’. We decided to shoot all six songs as videos. Then we got Arindam on board and I requested Hari Ji to come down to Kolkata to shoot this entire project. He came twice to Kolkata and we did all six videos in about four or five months. And of course, I travelled to Mumbai also, due to mixing and mastering which was done in Hari Ji’s studio in Mumbai. So that’s it! The project was ready.

Hariharan sir is a singer and Bickram Ghosh sir is a percussionist as well as a composer. How did this collaboration happen?

Hariharan: When a composer and a singer match each other’s wavelength, it’s easy to work.

Bickram Ghosh: There are two aspects to what I do. One is being a tabla player or being a fusion artist, and the other, is a composer. So as a composer I make the melodies and do all the arrangements of all the songs and drive the soundscape of the song. So I had done some melodies initially and basic arrangements and then sent it to Hari Ji. But you have to understand that Hari ji is a mammoth singer, and when he digs into a song, he sings the song as his own and gives it a different kind of life. So when he sang the songs, I felt that I had to arrange it one more time because then it would be more in-sync with what he has done. He had given some interesting and new thoughts to the songs. That’s why I worked again on the songs and we really achieved a wonderful synergy of sound, arrangements, singing and of course, my tabla playing pretty much came right at the end because I wanted to play it in a way that it does not disturb the flow of the song and yet, doesn’t sound typical. That’s how it was done and I think that’s how it stands out. There is a unique freshness to this album. It is not like what you would hear today or you may feel some feelings from the past may creep into the songs. But eventually, it’s a very fresh sound and a special kind of approach for making these songs. As Hari Ji described as “geet” which are soft melodies that are hummable. And the soundscape is very different. Also, the way Hari Ji sang it, he has sung in such a way that you won’t find similarity of his singing with the body of work he has done. So it’s very unique what he has done. So I think that’s what made the album special and I would say that all of this was possible because we were so focussed throughout the period. We have really put our heart and soul into this project.

Hariharan sir, you are a legendary singer with so many wonderful songs and your musical career has been amazing. How did it all start?

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM STARDUST INDIAView All

Has ‘real' hero Sonu Sood out-raced and out-beaten all the ‘reel' heroes?

Is Sonu Sood stealing a march over the other heroes in Bollywood? In a candid interview, Sonu Sood tells Sumita Chakraborty why he doesn’t care about name, fame and fancy titles of being ‘biggest influencer’ etc.

10 mins read
STARDUST INDIA
April 2021

"Once in a while, I do look back, and pat myself on the back."- Deepika Padukone

One of our favourites the super gorgeous Deepika Padukone is as articulate as one can get. In a throwback interview, Deepika elucidates her opinion on equal pay, her many milestones, adversities and more.

4 mins read
STARDUST INDIA
April 2021

I think when you have the right intentions, good approach to the work, sense of business and the desire to make good content, everything falls into place. – Anand Pandit

The film The Big Bull starring Abhishek Bachchan is creating quite a buzz. Anand Pandit, the co-producer of the film – Ajay Devgn is also the producer – talks about the film, Abhishek Bachchan and why they opted for an OTT release.

2 mins read
STARDUST INDIA
April 2021

“Whenever I finish shooting, I never say ‘it's a wrap'… because I truly believe that there are so many stories out there, and yet so less a time to tell them.” – Shashant Shah

The amazingly talented director of Chacha Vidhyak Hain Humhare Season 2 and so many other webseries and feature films, Shashant Shah tells Sumita Chakraborty why as a director, he is never scared of failure and more…

10+ mins read
STARDUST INDIA
April 2021

Salman Khan says that we (Radhika) and I think alike… and calls us Siamese Twins.

”From working with music industry stalwarts like Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhosle, Jagjit Singh to today’s singers including Jubin Nautiyal, Neha Kakkar, Meet Bros, Anjaan to directing films… director duo Vinay Sapru and Radhika Rao have directed a plethora of music albums. In a candid conversation with Nikita Nikhil, Vinay Sapru of director duo Vinay and Radhika, talks about 21 years of his career, the challenges faced while working as a director duo, and their future projects. Read on to find out more…

9 mins read
STARDUST INDIA
April 2021

WILL THE PANDEMIC CRIPPLE THE FILM INDUSTRY?

Top actors have tested positive for Covid-19, big budget films like Sooryavanshi and Thalaivi have been postponed and cinema halls have shut down again… Sumita Chakraborty wonders if the pandemic has made the future of Bollywood rather bleak?

4 mins read
STARDUST INDIA
April 2021

It's ‘Kay' To Be You!

The gorgeous Katrina Kaif eyes a game changing eyeshadow palette that touches your soul.

2 mins read
STARDUST INDIA
April 2021

NO, that way I feel I am very lucky as I never had to face any kind of casting couch. – Rajkummar Rao

Rajkummar Rao is like a chameleon - give him any role or character, and this performer par excellence transforms into that persona almost instantly.

3 mins read
STARDUST INDIA
April 2021

STEP DOWN SHABANA AZMI!

“Living with somebody’s husband is not liberation!” An Emancipated Moon Moon Sen Strikes The Scene!

10+ mins read
STARDUST INDIA
April 2021

Yes, I'm looking forward to acting in my music videos too.

”The talented Amit Mishra who comes out with his newest single Tera Deewana talks to Sumita Chakraborty about his new song, journey and more.

5 mins read
STARDUST INDIA
April 2021
RELATED STORIES

आज से लोकल ट्रेनें बंद, सीमित घंटों तक काम करेंगे बैंक

सीएम पद संभालते ही एक्शन में ममता बनर्जी, उच्च स्तरीय बैठक कर लिए कई बड़े फैसले

1 min read
Samagya
May 06, 2021

Mamata Takes Oath As CM Of Bengal, Urges All Parties To Maintain Peace

Says first priority is to tackle pandemic situation

3 mins read
Millennium Post Delhi
May 06, 2021

प्राथमिक रुप से 25 बेड के साथ महानगर में शुरु हुआ राज्य का पहला ऑक्सीजन पार्लर

सोमवार से महानगर का पहला ऑक्सीजन पार्लर को शुरू हुआ। कोरोना संक्रमित मरीजों की समस्या को करने के लिए उत्तीर्ण स्टेडियम में राज्य सरकार व कोलकाता नगर निगम की पहल पर एक निजी स्वयंसेवी संगठन के सहयोग से यह ऑक्सीजन पार्लर तैयार किया गया है।

1 min read
Samagya
May 04, 2021

महानगर में कोरोना संक्रमण के बढ़ते मामलों को लेकर मध्य कोलकाता के कई बाजार चार दिनों के लिए बंद

पश्चिम बंगाल में कोरोना का संक्रमण तेजी से बढ़ रहा है। विशेष रूप से कोलकाता और उत्तर 24 परगना में नए कोविड -19 मामलों की संख्या चिंताजनक है।

1 min read
Samagya
April 30, 2021

बंगाल विधानसभा चुनाव : कोरोना व हिंसा के बीच आखिरी चरण का मतदान समाप्त, 76.07 फीसदी हुई वोटिंग, 2 मई को फैसला

बंगाल में 108 मतदान केंद्रों पर होगी मतगणना

1 min read
Samagya
April 30, 2021

कोरोना : दूसरे लहर का असर एअरलाइंस कंपनियों पर भी, कई उड़ानें रद्द

गत फरवरी माह में कोलकाता एअरपोर्ट से प्रतिदिन औसतन 40 हजार से अधिक यात्री यातायात करते थे, वहीं वर्तमान समय में यह संख्या औसतन 20 हजार पर पहुंच गयी है।

1 min read
Samagya
April 30, 2021

कोलकाता में आक्सीजन की कालाबजारी को रोकने के लिए कोलकाता पुलिस ने गठन की विशेष टीम

राज्य में तेजी से बढ़ रहे कोरोना संक्रमण के बीच कोलकाता में अचानक ऑक्सीजन सिलेंडरों की कमी चिंता का विषय बन गया है। इस वक्त पूरे देश में ऑक्सीजन सिलेंडरों की कमी है। वहीं कोलकाता में भी हालिया कुछ दिनों में लोगों को ऑक्सीजन सिलेंडर की खरीदारी के दौरान काफी परेशानियों का सामना करना पड़ा। ज्यादातर दवा दुकानों में ऑक्सिजन सिलेंडर उप्लब्थ नहीं है।

1 min read
Samagya
April 25, 2021

Capital plans

How the BJP is trying to gain a foothold in Kolkata

6 mins read
THE WEEK
May 02, 2021

कोलकाता एअरपोर्ट पर फिर से सभी यात्रियों की कोरोना जांच की व्यवस्था शुरु

सभी यात्रियों के लिए कोरोना जांच की व्यवस्था कोलकाता एअरपोर्ट पर की गयी है। यहां जांच करवाकर देश के किसी भी कोने में जा रहे यात्रियों को आरटी-पीसीआर रिपोर्ट मिलेगा। बताया जाता है कि यह रिपोर्ट 8 घंटों में दे दी जाएगी।

1 min read
Samagya
April 22, 2021

बहुत हो चुकी चुनावी रैलियां अब जनता को करने दें विचार

कोलकाता हाईकोर्ट ने बंगाल में बढ़ते कोरोना के बीच आयोग पर किया कटाक्ष, कहा-

1 min read
Samagya
April 21, 2021