Maverick musician Niladri Kumar who makes his debut as music director for Niruttara, was in the city recently. He let us in on his struggle with Kannada, experiences with music and of course, his love for the city! “I just love coming to Bengaluru. Look at this weather, it’s so beautiful. Which other place is 25 degrees in summer!” gushes the musician who looks for opportunities to visit the city more often!
After performing with a number of big names like Zakir Hussain, Pritam, AR Rahman and even John McLaughlin, Niladri finally makes his debut as a music director in both Bollywood and Sandalwood this year! “The music for Niruttara was particularly challenging because I was alien to Kannada and required each word to be translated and explained to me. But I like how it has turned out. The music has an unconventional twist to it,” he says with a glint in his eyes, about the film starring Rahul Bose and Bhavana Ramanna.
“I got lucky with both Niruttara as well as Shorgul because the producers realised my potential and gave me the freedom to make the music, the way I wanted it to be. Working with Kapil Sibal for Shorgul was equally phenomenal because that man is so passionate, it shows in his work. He truly inspired me,” speaks up the musician about the Bollywood political drama starring Jimmy Shergill.
Music was something Niladri picked up in childhood and has stuck with it ever since. “I was born into the field. By the time I realised what I liked and didn’t like, I had already started playing the guitar and was a musician,” says the fifth generation sitar player of his family who was trained under Ravi Shankar and gave his first performance just at the age of six! The musician who has come a long way since then,was trained under his father, Kartick Kumar who was a well known Sitar player.
Niladri has successfully managed to transform the face on an Indian instrument – the Sitar. “The Zitar actually has nothing to do with the guitar. It is just an electric sitar and with it, I trigger a distortion, which is usually associated with the guitar. That’s probably how the misconception came to be,” clarifies the Zitar maestro in conclusion.