By Ojasvi Kapoor
Srijani Ghosh is one of the most well-known and talented Indian singers in Australia. She has taken Hindustani classical vocal training from Guru Imam Ghulam of Allahabad (Prayag Gharana), lessons in bhajan and thumri from Esha Bondopadhyay (Kolkata) of Luckhnow Gharana, training in light vocals from Debasis Bannerjee in Kolkata and is currently taking vocal training under Shri Gautam Ghosal and Pt Parthasarathi Desikan (Patiyala Gharana) in pure classical. Srijani is a reputed music guru in Sydney. She has performed at various venues across India & Australia, with over 100 concerts to her credit.
In an exclusive interview with loudest,Srijani Ghosh spoke about her music journey and more.
Q1.Firstly,As you are an Indian artist and you are working from Australia,So do you miss working in India? Do you face any challenges working internationally?
I very much miss working in India, I always look forward to coming to India and work whenever possible. As an Indian artist being based overseas is not a very easy place to be in. Geographical constraints do make things very challenging. So the chances of being at the right place in the right time is almost slim but life is all about overcoming the barriers and make things happen within limitations.
Q2.What keeps you motivated ?The one person you look forward to/Who inspires you ?
Music itself keeps me motivated, it’s the food to my soul so there is no way I can do without it. My mother, and my Gurus inspire me dominantly apart from them there are many who I look up to but if I will have to choose only one then it’s Asha Bhosle ji. For me she is Maa Saraswati
Q3.With everything happening online, the live music industry went through a big transformation as well. How did you adapt to this change?
Somehow, things going online specially in the music industry has worked in favour of artists based overseas like me in a few ways. It gave us the window where distance became little less significant. The work from home concept was almost alien for many performing artists. The online concept came as a relief to that restriction. Now many musicians all across the globe are making music online, performing live with available resources though digital mediums from anywhere without being physically present. It allows the opportunity to work from far , yet closely. So for me to adapt this change was a not very complicated. Having said online shows can never match the vibes and energy level of live shows.
Q4.Tell us about your recent collaborations and upcoming events?
There are a few things in the pipeline. I have a global concert coming up which will be telecasted live all across the world via all the social media and digital platforms.This is an initiative taken by an USA based Bangladeshi Organisation in collaboration with their government with a very noble purpose of raising money to aid in the COVID situation prevailing in Bangladesh. I feel extremely privileged to be offered to be on board for this wonderful cause. I am working on a few independent projects, and some really good projects in India which will be revealed with time.
Q5.Have you had any bad experiences with your concerts? How could you overcome them and what would you do differently?
Concerts are usually highly driven by adrenaline so they are naturally very exciting. However, at some places I have faced issues with sound, which becomes an impediment that can turn an amazing concert with the best calibre musicians to be an absolutely painful disaster . Initially I tried to do my best in such situations but I realised I post such shows me and my co musicians felt creatively bereft as without a good sound system and a sensible sound engineer things easily go south. And to overcome that for the last 5 years I have ensured that I make no compromise with the quality of sound in any given auditorium or any open venue concerts in order to ensure that I don’t leave my audiences and musicians disappointed.
Q6.If the music seems a bit dull or boring, what can you do to lighten things up? What other types of musicians do you perform with?
I try to arrange the songs in the list in way that there is a balance so that they don’t sound repetitive or boring. I try and interact with audiences and noticed that from time to time, when you engage them with you while singing a song that is popular it cheers them up, they start relating and all of them join in for chorus and that’s so much fun.
I love performing with all sorts of musicians. Though my inclination is with semi classical, ghazal and melodious compositions. But apart from that I have collaborated with some Australian musician friends in concerts with typical western instruments which are not often used in Indian music. Surprisingly have turned out to be very interesting for the audience which is very fascinating.
Q7.What would be your suggestion about your fellow industry colleagues and how they manage or balance their work life in this pandemic?
Not sure if I should suggest but can share for sure, that, creative art is very powerful as it teaches how to break boundaries and set them all when need to be. So outside of work hours we all need to be us, doing the things that make us feel good in our personal life and which allows to connect with ourselves. That’s when you feel at home wherever you are. This pandemic has taught us many lessons, gave us the opportunity to reconsider our priorities and indulged in introspection. The most important thing that I have learnt is, all we have is “now” so live in the moment and make the most of it!