When A. R. Rahman takes you under his prestigious wings, people stand up and take notice. The immensely talented and versatile, Hriday Gattani, is one of those voices that music lovers have begun to warm up to. The young 25-year-old singer has most recently lended his voice to the popular Udan Choo from the Riteish Deshmukh-Nargis Fakhri starrer, Banjo.
Hriday speaks richly about the influence of Rahman in his career. “Rahman sir is a phenomenal musician. I grew up listening to his music and it’s played a huge role in the forming of my musical sensibilities,” he said, going on to reveal a family connection with the maestro. “My father produced his events and I had the good fortune of accompanying him to the shows. He heard an original composition of mine and immediately took me under his wings. His tutelage has helped me immensely. I often drop in at his studios. That’s a lesson in itself.”
Vishal Dadlani is another composer who has taken a liking to Hriday, offering him the soulful Udan Choo. “Vishal-Shekhar are an excellent composer duo,” says the singer. “Vishal too had heard a few original compositions of mine, and loved my voice. They felt that my song would suit the beautiful romantic ballad. I had a fun time singing the song and am loving the feedback coming my way.”
For a singer who started off training in classical music, Hriday has successfully branched out to other genres. “A lot many genres and musical styles have influenced me through my formative years,” confesses the singer. “I trained under the legendary Ghulam Mustafa Khan saab, who has also trained legends like Asha Bhosle, Sonu Nigam, Hariharan and Shaan. He then asked me to take a break from my training, owing to my changing vocal chords. I switched to a new style, training under Sanjay Mishra of the Banaras gharana. I also moved base to Chennai and learned Western vocals. I developed a keen sense of song writing and have composed some 30 odd songs already.” Quite like his changing vocal patterns, Hriday’s influences have been varied. “Rahman sir has been an influence, as have John Mayer, Coldplay and The Beatles. I’ve also done an Indianised cover of Let It Be! My own band is a breezy, pop-acoustic, alternate genre specific ensemble.”
Hriday is all set to perform at the NH7 Weekender this year, and is understandably kicked about it. “The previous season was my band’s debut at The Weekender and it was a deeply fulfilling experience. Singing our originals in front of such an impressionable crowd is a liberating experience. We’re excited about this year as we have some fresh music lined up,” he excitedly reveals. “I also have three upcoming singles under Vishal sir’s label Vishal Likes That. He’s very encouraging of my endeavours. Besides, I have a Marathi project and a few Bollywood ones in the pipeline.”
But, most of all, Hriday hopes to bring together a confluence of the scene in India and the international one. “I’m looking to collaborate with international musicians with a similar musical wavelength. I wish to bring to India the cult status music artistes in the West get,” he signs off.