Raghupathi Dwarakanath Dixit, who is famously known as Raghu Dixit needs no introduction as a folk musician. Dixit’s music is an amalgamation of Indian ethnic music and so hailing from Mysore, Karnataka the folk fusion music artist never gives up in giving a touch of South Indian music to his songs.
Excerpts from an interview:
What inspired you to choose folk contemporary music?
I really do not know, that is the kind of singing I do, probably I have never been trained in music. So, I think that is where folk music comes from; even the rural folk musicians are not trained. It is true and it comes from their heart.
It is the expression of the human mind that come out. For me, folk style is something that you cannot define and comes straight from the heart without any training. So, I guess that is how it came out and I have a naturally gifted high pitch voice which matches the folk music style.
What do you like about folk music?
I think it has got so much more scope than any other forms of music in terms of storytelling. There is more when it comes to this kind of music like it could narrate history, spiritual music, philosophy and lovely folk lures in the form of music.
There is so much more to it than just the linear approach to music when compared to modern music. It has a huge legacy and the amount of work that is done for hundreds of years. Then there is so much of expression to it, it is what the musicians play, unlike the computerised music.
Your concerts are different, what is the idea behind such different setups?
I think the music or any performance is not just for listening to music, people need to see the visual representation about what music is? Therefore, an effort is made on how we speak, stage looks, writing, costumes, etc. It is part of the whole creation of the atmosphere so that people truly feel that they are a part of the music. There should not be a barrier between an artist and an audience.
Why do you wear lungi at your concerts?
To represent where I come from. I come from a proud South Indian family and I have grown up wearing waisti. I also make colourful music and that is the reason I wear a lungi. I also wear bells, anklets and other kinds of jewellery which is part of folk. I am also a Bharatnatyam dancer and so wearing bells on my feet reminds me of my dancing days.
Share your connection with the Telugu industry?
I rendered my voice for ‘Chal Chalo Re’ in the Mahesh Babu starrer ‘Srimanthudu’. As I am not from this industry, I never thought about it after recording. And I had recorded it two months before the release and it completely slipped my mind. Later, I got a call from someone mentioning that the song was a massive hit.
I was surprised and checked it on YouTube. I am always grateful to DSP because I remember saying no to it, but he convinced me and I did it. After that, I have sung almost five songs for industry big wigs such as Mahesh Babu, Allu Arjun and NTR. I feel very good about it.
Where do you see folk music 10 years down the line?
The traditional folk music is, unfortunately, fading away. I don’t think the younger generation knows the existence of traditional folk music. So, both the government and folk musicians must make an effort to take it forward and also record so that the new generation will have an axis to it.
It is a difficult task, but there are bands now, who are singing in their own language. What we today call modern music will become folk music 10 years from now. That is what music is all about; hopefully, people will remember me after 20 years as Raghu Dixit used to sing a folk song that is how folk music has evolved.
How do you like Hyderabad?
Every time I performed here; we had a houseful gig. In fact, last time it was in Juri Cafe and it rained heavily till 11 pm. People waited for hours together listening to the songs. It was one of my most memorable gigs. And Hyderabadi food which has always been the best about the city.
What are your future projects?
There are many projects in the pipeline. One of the main projects is my next album, which will be in four languages and each song is recorded in four different languages like Hindi, Kannada, Tamil and Telugu. There will an entire album coming up in Telugu and I am really excited about it and would love to see the reaction of Telugu people.