On a per­sonal note with mu­si­cian Vishal dad­lani

Mu­si­cian, singer, lyri­cist

Governance Now - - CONTENTS - As told to Gee­tan­jali Min­has

How has been your jour­ney into mu­sic so far?

it’s been fun. There are many, many sto­ries and none of them are short. This ques­tion could be an­swered over weeks. so i’ll just leave it at that.

How has the mu­sic changed in the in­dus­try over the years?

i think it has be­come bet­ter. There is a lot of mu­tual re­spect within the busi­ness. com­posers in­ter­act and even col­lab­o­rate. There are lit­er­ally thou­sands of new singers, mu­sic pro­duc­ers, en­gi­neers and in­stru­men­tal­ists. not only is it more fluid in terms of struc­ture but is more beau­ti­ful in terms of melody and depth as well.

How does the so­cial and po­lit­i­cal cli­mate in the coun­try im­pact your creative ex­pres­sion?

In film mu­sic, not at all for the most part. oc­ca­sion­ally, we get to do a song like ‘Bharat Mata’ from Shang­hai, which is an apo­lit­i­cal look at both the good and the bad in our coun­try. With Pen­ta­gram [mu­sic band], though, i do a lot of writ­ing based on stuff I want to say po­lit­i­cally with­out preach­ing be­cause no­body lis­tens to preach­ers but ev­ery­body lis­tens to a song.

What can the gov­ern­ment do to pro­mote mu­sic?

i would love to see an ac­tive mu­si­cians’ ex­change pro­gramme and an aware­ness at the gov­ern­ment level about the forms of mu­sic other than folk, in­dian clas­si­cal and Bol­ly­wood.

What does gov­er­nance mean to you?

gov­er­nance means the ser­vice of the peo­ple. as the wise co­me­dian Ku­nal Kamra puts it, “The gov­ern­ment is a ser­vice provider to the peo­ple, and that’s all.”

What are the gov­er­nance is­sues that mat­ter to you the most?

ed­u­ca­tion is what will slowly help us es­cape the morass of re­li­gion-based pol­i­tics that is cur­rently be­ing used to di­vide us. So that has to be the first. en­vi­ron­men­tal con­cerns should also be put on pri­or­ity. There is, of course, the obli­ga­tion of the na­tion to pro­vide for the poor­est of the poor and the weak­est of the weak. Wa­ter, elec­tric­ity, food, shel­ter, jobs are all cru­cial. For me, above all, we need an im­pen­e­tra­ble wall be­tween re­li­gion and gov­er­nance. We are a sec­u­lar na­tion, and must stay one.

Have you ever been at the re­ceiv­ing end of mis­gov­er­nance?

i live in Mum­bai. We have barely any roads left. Just pot­holes. i’m a vic­tim of mis­gov­er­nance, ev­ery day. all of us are.

What is your favourite pas­time?

For­tu­nately enough, my hobby is my job.

What are the fu­ture plans for your mu­sic band Pen­ta­gram?

We are writ­ing a new al­bum – our fifth, and we will be tour­ing ex­ten­sively this sea­son.

What are you busy with at present?

Three film sound­tracks, the Pen­ta­gram al­bum, and a project that Vishal & shekhar are work­ing on in london.

photo Cour­tesy: karan ghoda

Vishal Dad­lani is a ver­sa­tile mu­si­cian who com­poses, sings as well as writes lyrics. He is the co-founder of elec­tron­ica/in­die-rock band Pen­ta­gram– the first In­dian band to per­form at the Glas­ton­bury Mu­sic Fes­ti­val in the UK in 2005. He formed a mu­sic pro­duc­ing duo with mu­si­cian Shekhar Ravjiani in 1999 and pro­duced no­table works in films like Jhankaar Beats, Dus, Bluff­mas­ter, om shanti om, Dostana, stu­dent of the Year and chen­nai ex­press. Be­sides mu­sic, he ac­tively in­volves him­self in so­cial and po­lit­i­cal causes. He was one of the first celebrities to openly sup­port the Aam Aadmi Party. Af­ter the 26/11 at­tacks in Mum­bai, he launched a pe­ti­tion to ban live me­dia cover­age of res­cue op­er­a­tions. In Septem­ber 2009, he started an on­line pe­ti­tion against con­struc­tion of a Ch­ha­tra­p­ati Shivaji me­mo­rial in the Ara­bian Sea.

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