Shruti Pathak of ‘Mar Jawa’ fame talks about the Influence of Gujarati music in the film industry to performing this Navratri at the Great Indian Dandiya Festival from 4th -7th October in Mumbai. The versatile singer shares her journey from singing folk music to entering into mainstream Bollywood playback to becoming a versatile performer in a tet-e-tet with loudest in.
Born into a Gujarati family of Ahmedabad Shruti Pathak received encouragement from her father to pursue her passion in music from an early age. She grew up listening to all kinds of music especially Gujarati folk, Classical, Ghazals, Thumri, film music which helped her groom into a versatile performer what she is today.
Shruti Pathak has performed extensively at many Cultural festivals like The Culrav 2012 Cultural fest, The Flare (Techno-Cultural Fest), The Protsahan 13 Cultural, Sports, and Technical Festival, The Udaan 2014 Cultural Fest.
Talking about the Dandiya concert scene in India and globally Pathak says, “Well, you’ll find the Gujarati community in every part of the world. So I guess Dandiya is global already, as people love grooving to the beats of Garba. The recent wave of Gujarati music’s influence on Hindi film music is a good enough example.”
Talking about performing at Dadiya Festivals and when did it begin Pathak said, “Being born and brought up into a Gujarati family it runs in my blood. I have been playing Dandiya since forever, but began singing just after Shubhaarambh, which I wrote and sang for the film Kai Po Che.”
So what was her initial grooming in music like reminisces Pathak, “I learned classical music from my first guru Shri Divyang Thakur. Eventually, I moved to Mumbai and found my guru Shri Sunil Borgaonkar to whom I owe a lot.”
Eventually, her passion drew her to the tinsel town as she moved to Mumbai after her graduation, while she was preparing for her masters in psychology. Her first break happened much later, after singing many remix songs, television title tracks, jingles, while the song ‘Leke Pehla Pehla Pyaar’ for the Baby Doll series in 2004 gave her the much-awaited appreciation. With the song ‘Mar Jawa’ from the film Fashion in the year 2008 Pathak became popular as she earned nominations in both Filmfare and Screen Awards for the song.
Pathak shares her experience of how destiny changed its flow, “I’m grateful to Salim Sulaiman for ‘Mar Jawa’ and everything followed it. Salim actually recognized and discovered the lower octave tone of mine, while recording a regional project for him. Eventually, when he created ‘Mar Jawa’ for fashion he made sure of having me sing it, for which I am very grateful for my dream debut song which he gave me.”
So how has been the experience working with different music directors and who’s inspired her the most Pathak says, “Everyone I worked with, they all inspire me in many ways as I’ve learned a lot from them all. Amit Trivedi is a very dear friend so working with him is like the home ground and his compositions are priceless so I absolutely love working with him. While Vishal Shekhar has given me some of my best songs. They’re such brilliant musicians, I owe a lot to them for always inspiring me. I haven’t worked a lot with Pritam Da, but he’s one of the finest and working with him is like a dream come true. A.R.Rahman and Vishal Bhardwaj are my biggest inspirations and I would love to work with them.”
Pathak has appeared in all three seasons of MTV Coke Studio India where she has sung the songs like ‘Kya Haal Sunawan’, ‘Glorious’ and ‘Shedding Skin’ and ‘Haal Ve Rabba’. She has also appeared on MTV Unplugged season 4 with Sachin – Jigar.
Sharing her memories of her stint at the MTV Coke Studio Pathak says, “It has been one of the best experiences and such episodes become memories you cherish for life. I’m grateful, that I got to work with such extraordinary musicians like – Shafqat Amanat Ali, Karsh Kale, Hitesh Sonik, Hans Raj Hans, can only count my blessings.”
Pathak highlights her line up of songs for the Mumbai audience this season at the Great Indian Dandiya Festival, saying, “I would be performing lots of traditional Gujarati songs dedicated to Maa Durga and Lord Krishna.”
“Apart from the traditional repertoire I will be performing my own songs like ‘Shubhaarambh’ & ‘Radha ne Shyam Mali jashe’ which is a beautiful composition I sang for Sachin Jigar last year which turned out to be a rage hitting more than 24 million views!” added Pathak.