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15th Century Saint Kabir’s Timeless Poetry now inspires Rock Music, Mumbai-based Band Kabir Café gives his Verses a Modern Twist

The band also annually perform in villages during Kabir Yatra

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A Music Band (Representational Image), Pixabay

Varanasi, November 8, 2016: Poetry of Kabir has inspired many classical songs, but now a Mumbai-based band Kabir Café is interpreting his verses through rock music and is giving a modern twist to his mysticism.

The inspiration of the band is the 15th century poet, fronted by rhythm guitarist Neeraj Arya, and the other members in the band include Raman Iyer (mandolin), violinist Mukund Ramaswamy, and percussionist Viren Solanki.

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The band, which has pioneered the genre Kabir Rock, fuses Carnatic elements with Kabir’s popular verses such as ‘Chadariya jheeni re bini…’, ‘Moko kahan dhoondhe re bande’, ‘mann lago mero yaar fakiri mein’.

According to PTI, Ramaswamy told, “We don’t change the basic tune and keep the lyrics same. We simply play around it. We follow Prahlad (Singh Tipanya) ji’s music, whatever he sings we sing the same, it is just that we try and make it peppy for the younger generation.”

Classical music is undoubtedly ageless but it’s important that the poetry of Kabir reaches the youth, says the violinist.

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“A lot of people have questioned the way we sing and try to experiment with Kabir. But with change, any form of music is prone to comparison. There were people who didn’t like it and felt offended but we have reached the people we want to,” he says to PTI.

After concerts in Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, and Chennai, the band has gained popularity. They also annually perform in villages during Kabir Yatra.

“We go to Kabir Yatra and perform in villages every year.

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In those places, people might not know what a sound track is but they enjoy music. It is a different experience playing there. There is a sense of collaboration as people simply cherish the music,” he says.

The musician further says, what Kabir spoke centuries ago is still relevant today.

“He spoke about humanity and gender equality and we do not see that. Caste system is still prevalent. The message from Kabir was unity and oneness, to forget all this and form a bond with human beings simply as a human.”

– prepared by Pinaz Kazi of NewsGram. Twitter: @PinazKazi

  • Ruchika Kumari

    Sounds interesting…I would love to hear them live

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IPRS and Google Sign Music Licensing Deal For India

YouTube has a strong and pioneering role to play in encouraging creators and connecting them with markets and users

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company's offices in Toronto. VOA

Mumbai-based Indian Performing Right Society Limited (IPRS) that represents composers, lyricists and music publishers on Tuesday granted a license to Google to utilise the group members work in India across Google-owned YouTube and related services.

“The IPRS-Google agreement is a historic milestone for Indian authors and music composers as well as music publishers. I congratulate and thank Google for backing Indian artistes, music publishers and the creative fraternity in such a strong way in India,” lyricist and scriptwriter Javed Akhtar, Chairman of IPRS, said in a statement.

YouTube has a strong and pioneering role to play in encouraging creators and connecting them with markets and users, Akhtar added.

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According to Christophe Muller, Global Head of Music Licensing, YouTube, this is yet another step in YouTube’s ongoing commitment to ensure that writers, composers and publishers continue to be paid fairly.

“We’re pleased to have reached this important agreement with IPRS that will bring more value to songwriters and artists, and deliver an incredible experience to music fans in India,” said Muller. (IANS)