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In praise of Raghu Dixit

Last night, I was privileged to attend another performance by Raghu Dixit at B-Flat. This would be the fifth time I am watching Raghu Dixit live – first was at Opus, second at a Nokia concert, third at foss.in, fourth at a TiE mixer, and fifth at B-flat yesterday.

More than a year ago, I watched Raghu Dixit live for the first time at Opus, and I am still enthralled by his music, and the sound is still fresh.

I had a clever little idea yesterday morning. I remembered I had a photo of myself with Raghu when he was meeting folks who love his music at a CCD to give away free passes to the Nokia concert where he was performing. I got a large print of that photo so that I could get his autograph on it – a simple autograph doesn’t look attractive enough to go on the wall, but photo of me + my favorite artist + his autograph – that will definitely go on my (physical) wall! :)

Raghu Dixit Autograph in Kannada

Due to the odd size of the photograph, I ended up getting two prints, which led to me requesting Raghu to sign one in English and one in Kannada, thankfully he smiled and obliged a fan’s request!

Raghu Dixit Autograph in English

There are a few reasons why I am a fan of Raghu Dixit and The Raghu Dixit Project:

  • His powerful voice. You got to see him perform to experience it. I had pulled along a friend yesterday, by the end of the show, a new fan was born.
  • His amazing ability to bring back old poetry by the likes of Shishunaala Sharifa and Dr Da Ra Bendre, into new life with the use of drums, guitars, violin, and of course, his voice.
  • His great sense of humor. He brings the audience to ease and gets them to participate and experience the music. He was in full flow as usual yesterday night.
  • The talented artistes that comprise The Raghu Dixit Project – Vijay Joseph (guitars), Karthik Iyer (violin), Gaurav Vaz (bass guitar) and Willy? (I could not catch this name yesterday) (drums) have such amazing stage presence that I’ve never seen a crowd not go wild when they do their solo bits.
  • Their universal appeal – Raghu was saying yesterday that they’ve just finished touring UK, Japan, etc. and they’ll be touring Abu Dhabi, Kenya, etc. in the rest of the year!
  • The greatest hack by Raghu Dixit is that he made the Kannada language cool for this generation.

If you haven’t heard them already, I recommend that you hear their music right away. My most favorite songs by Raghu Dixit are “En Ide” and “Ee Tanavu Ninnade” from Psycho soundtrack, the title track and “Yello Jhinugiruva” from Just Math Mathalli soundtrack, and almost all the songs of their first album. I wish Raghu would make it easy to buy these CDs on his website. On that note, I can’t wait for their second album and “Superman” soundtrack to come out.

If I go to watch them perform for the sixth time, I think they might get fed up of me, that’s when I’ll sing “Ninna poojege bande…” ;-)

Jan 24, 2009: