Siddharth Mahadevan doesn’t mince words when he acknowledges that he had front row seats when it came to getting an education on this music making planet from an early age. Shankar Mahadevan’s son aptly admits that his musical sensibilities developed while the doors to his father’s studio were always open as he watched the veteran and his equally established colleagues at work. “It was a blessing. I went to Boston to check it out and will have reached a level [from there]but what higher institute could there be than my father?” asks the singer-songwriter, who has teamed up with his cousin Souumil Shringarpure to create Boom Padi for Madhuri Dixit Nene’s successor Maja Ma.
While this isn’t the duo’s first collaboration, it’s a pivotal one. “Everyone we wanted on board this mission immediately agreed to take action,” Shringarpure enthuses of the monitor we authored Priya Saraiya, and rendered by Shreya Ghoshal and Osman Mir, with Sivamani becoming a member to help create the rhythm. Mahadevan adds, “We all felt that there couldn’t be anyone higher than Siva Unkel, who is known for his world music strategy, that we could work with. He recorded another tune at Yash Raj [Studios]and recorded for [a full day] with us. Vocalist Osman Mir brings out the Gujarati flavor that we wish we had. We wanted that [power] in his voice as a result the melody opens along with his singing. Finally, Priya did an incredible job. Souumil and I are not of Gujarati background. She especially helped us with the verses within the language.”
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With Navaratri just around the corner and considering how few unique Garba numbers have hit the music market lately, the duo agrees. “The crew needed a real Garba monitor. They needed a unique one but didn’t jump at the idea of committing to a game. But we had to aim for a unique goal and embrace a human part that sounded so real it looked like it [an existing folk song]. This was always a fabulous, upbeat and danceable display, even when it mattered [Dixit]we made some additional rhythmic adjustments because we needed it to do her justice,” she says Shringarpur.
To add a shocking component, he says they often introduce music of a particular style right into a melody. “For example, in an acoustic crowd, we might add a bit of lock and pop. Now that we’ve gotten to know all the genres, let’s mix them up. The instrumentation we’ve used now for this piece is residency because we wanted it to sound like an ensemble really having fun at a Garba occasion.”
Shringarpure, like Mahadevan, grew up in an environment where “chance musical gatherings and mehfils” were the norm. “We both usually jam together. For us, our idols were Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy. As we began to engage with our personal concepts, we switched to [Shankar] for suggestions,” says Shringarpure, while Mahadevan states that his composer father was by no means charitable with his settings. “Today everyone appreciates you in your face. So there’s value in getting brutal suggestions from someone who knows music. He always told us to be unique and create our personal area of interest and elegance. But he wouldn’t bother or tell us how to tweak tunes.”
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