'There's room for everyone'

'There's room for everyone'

Durga Jasraj, daughter of renowned Hindustani classical vocalist, Pandit Jasraj, was recently in the City for ‘Idea Jalsa’, a concert featuring Hariharan and U Shrinivas, organised by her music production company, ‘Art and Artistes’.

Metrolife caught up with her for a chat about music, childhood memories and experiences in Bangalore.

 Asked how it was growing up with a legend as a father, she says, “This is not something one can choose. Now that I’ve grown up, I realise that I’ve been extremely fortunate to have Pandit Jasraj as my father and V Shantaram (director) as my grandfather. How many people get a combination of both as family? And the common thing between the two is that they are self-made people. They have always given me the message of ‘you can do it too’ without really saying it.”

While she used to sing professionally in the past, she sings only for herself nowadays. “One day, I realised that in this world, there will only be one Pandit Jasraj. If I tried too hard, it would have led to frustration. Mentally, I was up there with him because that’s the aesthetics I was exposed to. But musically, I had to struggle with my voice and mind. I told myself that if I don’t do music, it’s not the end of the road for me,” she says.

“I decided to have my own career and do what really makes me happy,” confesses Durga, adding that her 14-year-long journey with ‘Art and Artistes’ has been unique. “I don’t want to do mediocre stuff because I cannot accept anything but excellence. I’ll get too frustrated,” she laughs.

Despite having worked with over hundreds of musicians spanning different genres, she has no one favourite genre. “I’ve developed a liking for almost everything — I work with so many musicians and I see beautiful qualities in everyone,” she notes.

About how a platform like ‘Idea Jalsa’ encourages new talent, Durga says, “You have to have the eye and ear for people with the passion, ability, drive and tenacity to make it. Somebody needs to recognise that potential and the business of music needs to be backed with the knowledge of it.

These aren’t megastars; they are young people. But if they perform well, people are going to lap it up. There’s room for everyone and there’ll always be new mediums to promote the next generation. YouTube, for instance, is making stars out of nobodies.”
She expresses a genuine attachment to the City, both musically and otherwise.

“Bangalore’s lovely — the weather’s beautiful, people are warm and there’s a great vibe. It welcomes you. Musically, it accepts all genres and there’s a special respect for it here. If you really want to do music, you can never forget to include Bangalore,” she concludes.

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