She wowed the audiences when she crooned on The Stage and now she enthralled Bengaluru too. After her gig in Bengaluru, songstress Isheeta Chakravarty got candid about her passion, performances and more...
“I’m here to perform a jazz and jazz fusion set with maestro Louiz Banks and his Matrixx Trio comprising Gino Banks and Sheldon D’Silva”, says the Kolkata lass. Having visited Bean Town several times, she loves spending time with her family and pals who live here. “I love the sheer energy and vibe of the city and would really love to spend a considerable amount of time exploring it because I haven’t had a chance to do that. I really enjoy Cubbon Park. I am a sucker for greens and vast open spaces. I have taken walks through some of the wilderness and it’s been wonderful,” she shares.
Growing up in a musically inclined family, Isheeta was all of three when she started singing! “Everyone on my dad’s as well as mom’s side are very passionate about music. My elder sister taught me the basic Sa Re Ga Ma for the first time; she was seven and I was four. I have been training in Hindustani classical music for almost over two decades and I still continue to do so,” she says. Pursuing music as a child was an organic process for her. “But it got a lot more serious for me when I first fell in love with the music of Sardari Begum, a film by Shyam Benegal with music composed by Vanraj Bhatia. I fell in love with the semi classical compositions and most importantly, the voice behind most of those, Arati Ankalikar Tikekar. Today I have been blessed to be training under her,” she adds.
For this bundle of talent, Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and his music has been one of her biggest influences so much that she sports a Nusrat tattoo on her right wrist! “Begum Abida Parveen is also someone I look up to. In classical music, my gurus Kaushiki Chakrabarty and Arati Ankalikar have been a huge influence too. In terms of western music, I love Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Esperanze Spalding, Stevie Wonder and Michael Jackson,” says Isheeta who also admires Adele, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus’s vocal texture.
Ask her if she’s’ familiar with South Indian music and she says, “I love Carnatic music. Bombay Jayashree is one of my favourite artistes. Recently, I saw Ranjini-Gayatri live and loved them as well. I have heard some really great film music from the South and would love to work here if given a chance.”
So what’s happening next for her on the music front? “I am working with Louiz Banks quite extensively. I am looking forward to performing in Mumbai for International Jazz Day and also sharing the stage with some of the finest jazz artistes in the country. I have also recorded my first Bollywood song under a big banner. I recently performed at the Java Jazz Festival in March 2016 in Jakarta, Indonesia as part of the jazz fusion set by Joe Alvarez and the Indian All Stars. A lot of interesting projects are underway and I am kicked about them,” she says.