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June 04 2021
The Revolver Club
Written By The Revolver Club - June 04 2021
Rahul Sharma’s relationship with the santoor was no love at first sight, having picked up the instrument only when he was around 13; he recalls not taking the instrument seriously at all.
Instead, he started on the harmonium, only switching to the hundred-stringed santoor when he had mastered Hindustani music’s melodic fundamentals. He imbibed his father Pandit Shiv Kumarji’s style and has since built on it, taking the santoor to new corners of the world to a global audience and making it appealing to the New Age generation.
Now years later he has redefined the sound of the beautiful Kashmiri instrument with his adventurous approach fusing genres and blending it with several distinctly modern settings, working with pianist Richard Clayderman, Psy-chillout pioneers Deep Forest, smooth jazz artist Kenny G, Egyptian Oud maestro Georges Kazazian, to a first of its kind santoor Rock in his album ‘The Rebel’, while still retaining the instrument to its roots, recording with traditional Kashmiri musicians, exploring Sufi devotional music. His song The Chase with Clayderman puts you in a James Bond mood instantly.
The Brooke Bond Taj Mahal Tea endorsee who has also done a lot of work for Bollywood on many occasions is widely remembered for his compositions on ‘Mujhse Dosti Karoge’, besides having worked with a host of independent artists too like Sunidhi Chauhan on Marhaaba Jaanam which features on his album ‘Maya - The illusion’. Rahul also played at a luncheon that was hosted by PM Narendra Modi in honour of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
In late April, Rahul collaborated with Ustad Zakir Hussain for the web series Ramyug. Together they recorded a song Jai Hanuman which has the vocals of megastar Amitabh Bachchan.
In pre-Covid days, Sharma collaborated with the 46 piece Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra in Cape Town conducted by Brandon Phillips, the recording of which is soon to be released on an album ‘Symphony of Santoor’.