Money & Careers

Sufi and soul

Kavita Seth  

She's won award after award this year for her beautiful rendition of ‘Iktara' from Wake Up Sid and is in celebratory mode. Kavita Seth feels Bollywood has opened up a new avenue for her to popularise her style of Sufi singing. “I had simply sent across my album Sufiana to Amit Trivedi who was asked to compose a few songs for Wake Up Sid. When he called me, I was only asked to sing in Sufi style — I didn't know which actor it would be picturised on or which banner or film I was singing for!” says the singer with the soulful rustic voice. So it came as a rather pleasant surprise when, even before the film released, ‘Iktara' became popular. The accolades haven't stopped since then.

For someone who belongs to Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh, the shift to Delhi and then to Mumbai brought along ample opportunities. She has trained with Pandit N D Sharma of the Lucknow gharana and is a Sangeet Alankar from Delhi. The singer credits her father for having instilled a sense of music in her. “When I was young, my dad would take me to the dargah. It was amazing to listen to the Sufi singers there and I started training in that genre. During my growing up years, I listened to Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhonsle on the radio so often that all I wanted to do was go on air too! But I used to feel that my voice was not suited to playback singing,” she confesses.

The singer, along with her group Karwaan, travelled across the country, enthralling audiences with sufi, geet, ghazal and folk songs. She has even given live performances in London, Birmingham, Scotland, Berlin, Oslo and Stockholm. It was at one such live performance in Delhi that director-actor Satish Kaushik approached her for working in his film Vaada. That was in 2005 and she won her first popular award for it. “I moved to Mumbai then and I am very happy that I have got the chance to reach out to a larger audience with Sufi singing,” she says. Kavita recently performed at IIT Mumbai (where her son Kavish studies) and also conducted a workshop at IIM Ahmedabad.

The singer is currently awaiting the release of her next album titled Hazrat Aamir Khusro and has recorded two songs for an untitled Rajshri film and a song with her son for Aman Productions' Admission Open.

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Printable version | Jun 17, 2021 9:08:57 PM |

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