Revisiting Punjabi classics

Sona Mohapatra of ‘Ambarsariya’ fame to introduce a more electronic sound in anew album.

Ians July 20, 2015
Sona believes that no kind of playback singing can beat the experience of a live concert. PHOTO: FILE

NEW DELHI: Singer Sona Mohapatra, famous for tracks like Ambarsariya and Bedardi Raja, says she loves to perform on stage and there is nothing else that fuels her like a live audience.

“A live audience fuels me like nothing else and I really live to be on stage. It is as important as oxygen. It’s a very emotional thing to be on stage and to make people happy and to get them to give you that love in return,” Mohapatra said in an interview.

She added that she doesn’t consider herself as just a singer but a storyteller. She interprets songs like they are part of a larger narrative and her job is to find an emotion, a mood and a whole colour palette in which she can stay in. This is why the range of her songs varies from Mujhe Kya Bechega Rupaiya to Ghar Yaad Aata Hai Mujhe for Aamir Khan’s Satyamev Jayate.

Asked if she has a special connection to classical and folk music, she said: “Absolutely, that’s where my roots are, that’s the kind of music that I like. While growing up, I barely listened to any English music. Thumri was the genre (of Hindustani classical music) that I loved the most. Folk music made me dance more than anything.

“It’s a deep-rooted love for these forms, yet I’m someone who loves dance music too, like electronica in the right space is amazing.”

Mohapatra, who launched a cover version of Madam Noor Jehan’s Neher Vale Pul as the debut song of her new album Punjab Project — Volume 1 earlier this month, said the new album introduces old legends of Punjabi music to the new generation.

“There is a whole lot of music and poetry to be explored in Punjab. The ‘Punjab Project’ is about paying a tribute to that and yet we’re taking a risk in saying that we want to put it in an electronica sounsdscape to let the new generation discover those legends and try and do something from our side and innovate,” she said. 

Published in The Express Tribune, July 21st,  2015.

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