'Original music will make you stand out'
Fusion music sensation Raghu Dixit is a whirlwind of cheerful music and colourful 'lungis'. His multi-lingual folk music has reached all corners of the globe and won him a huge fan following over the years. Recently in the city to perform for 'Red Live' hosted by Red FM, Raghu took time off to chat with Rajitha Menon about music, music and more music.
How has the folk music scene changed?
Folk music has changed in the fact that it is more accessible now, thanks to the internet. So the middlemen are removed from the equation and artistes are able to directly connect with the audience.
Why the focus on happy music?
I think there's enough pain all around us. So at least for two hours, people can let go off those worries.
Do you like covers?
I am not a big fan of covers myself. I believe original music will make you stand out. But many youngsters believe that by singing covers they will attract listeners on YouTube and after they have built up a subscribership, they can release their original material. I am not an endorsee of covers but there are certain singers who have given their own flavour to the original song.
What is your mantra then?
I started when there was no internet, not even 2G (laughs). So my philosophy has been to go on stage and give your 100 percent. It took us a long time but now we have a phenomenally loyal fan base who have stuck to us for 8-10 years.
How important are movies for independent musicians?
Young filmmakers are demanding new sounds and that's where independent musicians are finding their space. They can express themselves without compromising originality. For example, 'Chef' was one of those rare opportunities where I didn't have to change my sound. Then there are projects where you discover new sounds and expand your horizons. And the reach that film music has is incredible. After 'Psycho' was released and 'Mahadeshwara' reached the nooks and corners of Karnataka, my band and I became household names almost overnight.
How was the experience of working in 'Chef'?
I don't think I should get used to such a director (laughs). It was incredible to work with Raja Krishna Menon and to get all your songs approved in the first shot itself with very little changes. We became good friends after that.
What kind of music do you listen to in your spare time?
I listen to absolutely everything. For me there are only two genres - good music and bad music. Right now, I am listening to 'Panic! at the Disco'.
One thing about the audience that annoys you?
Watching me through the phone! I am right in front of you and singing for you and you want to watch me through your phone - what's the joy in that?
Three things about you that no one knows?
Oh, everybody knows everything about me! They know that I don't know how to drive or swim. But I can cook really well.
What are your thoughts about Bengaluru?
It's like a son who has become a spoilt brat but yet you love him. I remember how the city used to be and I see what it has become today. Thankfully, the spirit of joy is still kept alive.