Tajdar Junaid of Ruhaniyat says that his boredom with commercial music led him to discover the dynamic Baul musicians.
“Ruhaniyat, a Kolkata-based band, was formed in 2010. Before that, I used to play with different bands. I got tired of commercial music and was curious about playing with different musicians. So, I met the Baul musicians at Shanthiniketan,” he says.
Tajdar also plays the Charango, a South American instrument. “I once watched 'The Motorcycle Diaries', which has this instrument prominently featured. I wrote to some of the craftsmen in a small town in Bolivia and got the instrument. Now, I am planning to get the Ronroco, which is an octave lower and is considered as the big brother of the Charango,” he explains.
Tajdar says that he is excited to perform at Celtic Connections in January 2014, marking the beginning of the cultural calendar for the Commonwealth Games in July 2014 in Scotland.
Musician Saurav Moni, on the other hand, began singing when he felt that there are many traditional songs lost from the annals of folk art. He believes that urban India is disconnected with the folk tradition, which emerges from the countryside.
“Most people in the cities like Bollywood. They want to listen to folk music from the countryside but they can’t access it. The reason is simple — folk music is not popular from the urban point of view.”
Saurav stresses the need for documentation of folk music. “There are so many country songs that nobody can source. But they are an integral part of our culture and need to be preserved,” he concludes.