In Conversation With Jashan Bhumkar: Navigating The Charms And Hurdles Of Classical And Indie Music

By Ojasvi Kapoor
October 11, 2023
In Conversation With Jashan Bhumkar: Navigating The Charms And Hurdles Of Classical And Indie Music

In the realm of music, there are artists who not only touch our hearts but also leave an indelible mark on our souls. Jashan Bhumkar, a name synonymous with soul-stirring melodies and classical finesse, stands as a shining example of such an artist. Celebrated for his heartfelt ghazals, abhangs, and classical renditions, Jashan's musical journey has been nothing short of extraordinary.

His rendition of "Rangi Sari Gulabi Chunariya" has earned him well-deserved recognition, showcasing his ability to breathe life into every note he sings. Yet, his musical prowess extends far beyond the realms of traditional genres, embracing the world of jazz with grace and skill, as evident in the title track of 'Don't Worry Ho Jayega.'

Today, we will be delving into the musical world of Jashan Bhumkar and gaining insights into his remarkable journey as an artist who continues to captivate audiences worldwide.

Here are edited excerpts:

Q1.What ignited your passion for classical music, and how it has shaped your musical journey so far?

Music has been a part of my life since I was 4 years old, and now I am 30 years old, so there has never been a time when I was not learning music. From a very young age, I was inexplicably drawn towards classical music. I used to enjoy every kind of music whenever and wherever I would listen to it. However, when I used to hear classical music, I would feel that this music was meant for me, and I wanted to learn it even more. My family has always been my pillar of strength and incredibly supportive of my musical journey, but we don't have any musicians in the house. So I was born to sing, and I have been doing that, and I'm very happy to be where I am today.

Q2.Who was your biggest inspiration?

My biggest inspiration to this day has been my gurus. I started learning in a very traditional way and went to multiple gurus before I finally had the privilege of learning from my idol, Gana Saraswati Shrimati Kishori Amonkar. She was a legendary Padmavibhushan award winner, and although she is no longer with us physically, we are making every effort to carry her legacy forward.

I still vividly remember the first time I heard her sing; I was already learning music at that time, around the age of 12 or 13. I had the incredible opportunity to hear her perform live, and to this day, I recall every note she sang and the profound emotions I felt in that particular moment. I remember getting goosebumps, and that feeling remains with me even now.

She has always been my greatest inspiration, and her teachings went beyond just music; she imparted valuable lessons about life itself, not just about music.

Q3.Can you elaborate on emotional and artistic depth that classical music offers compare to there music styles, and do you think this a very tough genre to be in?

The depth that classical music offers also makes it very, very challenging. This challenge operates on two levels. Firstly, it's important to note that all music is beautiful, including the genres I personally sing, such as commercial music and ghazals. However, what sets classical music apart is its minimalistic nature. In classical music, we have the tanpura, providing us with the basic pitch and sur, and for rhythm, we rely on the tabla, and in modern times, the harmonium is often used. It's a minimalistic setup, and within that simplicity, you must create a profound impact. Achieving this requires looking deep within oneself.

This is not an easy task. The training and practice of a classical singer go far beyond just technique, although mastering technique is certainly challenging. We have highly accomplished ustads (masters) who impart their knowledge. Beyond technique, classical music is a journey of spirituality and introspection, which makes it even more demanding. However, once you immerse yourself in that space, it becomes the most beautiful and rewarding journey.

Q4.Tell us about some of your latest releases?

I have personally been involved in live music festivals, such as performing at the Kala Godha Festival and many others. However, in the midst of all that, I also released a Marathi song on Mother's Day.

Q5.As being an independent artists what challenges you faced in the industry?

Today is definitely more challenging when you don't have the backing of Bollywood and established labels. However, at the same time, today is a great time for indie artists because the live performing circuits are booming like never before. There are so many music festivals happening throughout cities.

Personally, I feel fortunate that I have other sources of income, so I haven't had to sing at private shows and weddings, and I don't do it by choice. But there's nothing wrong with doing so; it allows people to reach a wider audience, and for indie artists, it can be lucrative if they perform many songs that attract love and shows. These opportunities weren't available earlier, and there weren't as many opportunities for digital collaboration and cross-genre collaboration as there are now.

Inherently, you have to be passionate and dedicated to be a musician, and when you're in this field, you have to be prepared for challenges. However, I believe that today is a very promising time for independent musicians.

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