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- Rishabh Suri

On being conferred an honorary doctorate by the Birmingham City University, the musician explains what makes Indian music stand out

With his work spanning almost three decades in the music space, composer-singer Shankar Mahadevan is loved by music lovers across the world. And to celebrate his talent, an honorary doctorate is being conferred on the 55-year-old by the Birmingham City University (UK).

Mahadevan tells us how he was chosen for this honour. “I was travelling with tabla maestro Zakir Hussain in 2021 and we were invited to perform in Birmingham. When the panel saw my performanc­e, they deliberate­d a lot. There were presentati­ons on whether I deserved a doctorate,” the Namonishan (Dhaakad) singer recalls.

Mahadevan adds that the announceme­nt was made recently when the West

Midlands (UK) Mayor, Andy Street, visited Mumbai. “The ceremony will be held in Birmingham on a mutually agreed upon date,” he says.

And while Mahadevan’s music has transcende­d boundaries, he asserts that it isn’t because of his work in Bollywood. “Indian classical music is appreciate­d all over the world. That is the true form of global music. People say, ‘Bollywood has become global’, but I feel it’s not Bollywood, but Indian classical music that has gone global. I have noticed that foreigners attend classical concerts, whereas Bollywood shows mostly see an Indian crowd,” he tells us.

Speaking on why Indian music is loved across the world, the singer, who is trained in Carnatic as well as Hindustani classical music, says, “Indian music has flexibilit­y and a quality of improvisat­ion like jazz. It can find its place anywhere and that impresses the world.”

 ?? ?? Shankar Mahadevan
Shankar Mahadevan

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