What happens when a group of some genius musicians come together under one roof? Well, they create magic.
I’m talking about the Delhi-based Hindustani Fusion band Mausiqaar. A six-member team — Rizwan Khan on vocals, Mohd Amjad Khan on tabla, Shubhanshu Singh on guitar, Kunal Netrapal on drums, and Sonic Shori on bass, Mausiqaar, formed in 2012, infuses Hindustani melodies with Western rhythms to create soul touching yet rocking music.
Last week, I had a chance to catch up with Mohd Amjad Khan – one of the finest tabla players in the country. Being a trained Indian classical singer and a lover of folk and Sufi music, it is very rare that I let go any opportunity to attend live concerts by my favourite bands and artists. I’ve seen Khan performed several times, and the way he plays with so much of passion and dedication is not just a treat to the ears but a visual delight too.
Khan shared with me about the band, team members, their influences, and why Sufi music is the latest trend in Bollywood.
- How did you conceive this band Mausiqaar? What does the name mean? Share in detail.
We’ve known each other for the past seven years, and have worked together at several events. The friendship became intense, and gradually we became the best of friends. You won’t believe we think alike — be it about music or life in general. And one fine day, we met and instantly decided to form a band.
The name Mausiqaar was suggested by our vocalist Rizwan Khan. It comes from the word “Mausiqi” which means music, and Mausiqaar signifies musicians.
- What genre of music appeals to you?
We like music of all kinds. However, if we have to choose the most-loved ones, then it would be Sufi Rock, Indian Fusion, and Indian Classical.
- What defines your music style? Languages you are fluent in?
We are into Indian Fusion. Classical music appeals us a lot. We love performing ragas by infusing western notes.
We are comfortable in Urdu and Hindi languages.
- Share with us about your bonding with the team members.
We are very, very close to each other. From hanging out together to planning vacations, and making music, we do them all together. We’re not team members; we’re family— more like brothers.
- What’s your opinion on the current music scene in the Hindi film industry?
There are some people who have been doing exceptionally well. The music that Amit Trivedi, Shankar Ehsaan Loy, and AR Rahman do is beautiful, and it takes a lot of hard work to deliver such awesomeness.
- Projects you are currently working on?
We will be coming up with our album which is Sufi and Indian classical fusion. We’re really working hard to deliver good music. The album’s name is yet to be decided.
- You’ve been performing live individually for decades now. How does it feel playing as a band now?
The good part is we’ve known each other for years and have always shared a beautiful bond. The feeling is undoubtedly amazing.
We’ve been receiving very good responses. People cheer up when we play, and even come to meet us to appreciate and share feedback. We’re absolutely enjoying the love and support.
- All of you being known faces in the music industry, how do you manage your personal and professional life?
We try to balance both. When we are at home, we devote our 100 per cent time to family. We do not want our private life to be in limelight. We’re musicians, our private has nothing to do with our work.
- There is a rising trend of Sufi music in Bollywood movies. Why do you think Sufi music is popular in movies?
May be because of the meaningful lyrics in the songs. Sufi music gives a sense of belonging, peace, and tranquility.
- What inspires you when you’re composing?
This is a tough question! Well, musicians such a Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Ustad Rashid Khan, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Mekaal Hasan Band, and Tribal Tech.
Our music is based on themes such as spirituality, nostalgia, life, and love.
Note: The blog first appeared on GoYaNo