Big dreams, humble beginnings

SOLITARY REAPER

Scottish songwriter and songstress Rachel Sermmani, surprises everyone with her melodious voice.

Singing talent: Rachel Sermmani Anyone who listens to this 20-year-old is taken aback by her amazing vocal range at such a tender age. Moreover, the highland lass from a small village, named Carrbridge never thought she would make it this big and go globetrotting.

Rachel was recently in Delhi for a concert to promote her upcoming album in collaboration with tabla maestro Bickram Ghosh and Assamese singer Papon.

Being in an environment completely different from her native place, Rachel explains, “My village Carrbridge is very small with a tiny population. It is situated in a valley surrounded by a mountain range. There is an old bridge in our village where children play and one school where all the children study.” She further adds, “We all eagerly look forward to the annual carnival of our village as it makes everyone come together to celebrate the joy of life through music.”

Music has always attracted this young singer who actively participated in all music events since her schooling. When asked about her inspiration, she says, “My parents aren’t very musical but they have always encouraged me and my sister to take music seriously. My sister is quite artistic and we both often sing together when at home. When there is a special occasion, our parents also join in but keep their performance restricted to such events.”

Rachel brings to the lands, the folk music of highlands which has its own distinct appeal, in a contemporary form. The young singer who is excited about her debut solo album talks about the contemporary folk genre in which her music is categorised. “I used to sing with friends in school. Later when I decided to take up music as my career, I took up singing in a genre which is called ‘contemporary folk’. Folk is close to my heart since it is in everything from where I come and its contemporary form is what keeps evolving with time,” she shares.

Being her first visit to Delhi, Rachel was overwhelmed with the love that Delhiites showered on her. She says, “Delhi is very different from where I come. It has lovely people who are extremely hospitable and form an amazing audience. I would love to come back and perform for such an audience which is so encouraging.”

And while in Delhi, Rachel developed a liking for Indian food too. She says, “I have fallen in love with Indian food. I have been purposely eating only Indian cuisine since then because I know that I will miss these delicacies when I go back.” While trying to recollect the names of the dishes that she liked, Rachel says, “I like the sweet pudding made of rice and milk served here known as kheer. It is delicious and one of the most amazing sweets that I have ever tried.”

The singer is enjoying her trip as she gets to discover new places while travelling from highlands of Scotland to the plains of India. Being unable to discover much of Delhi due to paucity of time, she rues, “I saw some architecture of the City while travelling from the airport to our hotel and feel like exploring more of the City but unfortunately there isn’t much time on my hands. I would love to come back and discover this City.”

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