While many artists were unhappy with the restrictions imposed last year by the pandemic-induced lockdown, for singer Kavita Seth it was the other way around. “Containment gave me the opportunity to share more music with people around the world. Kanishk (his son; songwriter-singer) and I collaborated on Rangi saari, a traditional thumri with a new-age production ”, shares the singer.
Seth, who composed the music for Mira Nair A decent boy (2020), starring Tabu and Ishaan Khatter and also rendered a few songs for the series, hasn’t been heard in a Bollywood soundtrack for some time. “I’m pretty picky about the songs I choose to sing,” says the singer, adding, “I don’t want to sing all the songs that are offered to me. Tum Hi Ho Bandhu of Cocktail (2012), I was offered a lot of article songs, which I would be ashamed to sing in front of my children. I am happy to sing a few songs that stay with people. Good poetry is what I love.
Meanwhile, an ardent lover of Sufi music, Seth explains why the genre has become a rarity in Hindi film music today. “I think Bollywood is all about phases. Everyone follows what works with the fans and then a lot of the same kind is created in the industry. It becomes saturated and then something new pops up. Everything has its time, but good music always finds its way into people’s hearts ”, says the Iktara singer.
There has often been discussion about the authenticity of Sufi music and how new-age experimentation removes its essence. Commenting on this, Seth says, “I think there are two sides to it – a part that keeps the soul intact and gives it a contemporary twist in order to make it accessible to younger listeners, which I approve of. However, there is the other lot, which loosely uses words like maula or khuda and labels the songs as Sufi. I think the problem exists there. Sufi music is all about beautiful poetry with a truly divine feeling.