There is something very unassuming about musician Raghu Dixit. He wears his stardom and talent lightly on his shoulder. The musician was in the capital recently to perform at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender. Along with his band members and the students of Nritarutya- Indian Contemporary Dance Company, Dixit provided a spectacular show on the first day of the Weekender in Delhi.
While Dixit performed his popular as well as new numbers, dancers took over the stage in colourful costumes and props making the whole act one of a kind. Music has always been celebrated at the Weekender, but perhaps it was the first time that Delhi got to witness something so spectacular at a music festival.
How did the idea come about to infuse folk and contemporary dance with his style of music? "I am married to a very talented person," beamed Raghu Dixit. Nritarutya is the brainchild of Madhuri Upadhyay who is a dancer and choreographer and wife of Raghu Dixit. "My wife had been telling me that how we should take my acts to another level."
The idea was first implemented in Bangalore on a small scale last year, Dixit revealed. "I pitched the concept to Vijay Nair (the man behind NH7 Weekender). He came to see one of the practices in Bangalore and we showed some of footage of our previous performance and he gave it a green signal."
"It is a large scale production. It needed a certain budget and a platform which NH7 provided us," added Raghu Dixit. But wouldn't his name and popularity also bring in more sponsors? "Not really. Vijay was only convinced about the idea after watching us perform. He saw there was talent here, there was something new here and then gave his approval."
The production this year was first staged at the Weekender in Pune and then in Delhi. While performing, most fans were seen requesting the musician to play some of his popular number, but Dixit stated that this time he was not playing any song on request and it was a production collaborating with dancers as well as a hand shadow artiste.
Lauding the people behind the music festival, Dixit mentioned that it was now up to the musicians to tap such a platform. "Music festivals like these encourage new artists. They want more and more musicians to come forward and showcase their talent. It is up to us, musicians, to take that initiative. People want to see new faces, new talents."
Commenting on the varied genres of music that's played at the festival, Dixit said, "Yes, there is opportunity for everyone here. But they don't have Honey Singh playing here though," he said cheekily and added, "Honey Singh will never play at NH7." Is he a fan of his music? "Sure. I like his music," said Raghu with a wink.
Having dabbled in Bollywood music as well, does he feel that music in the film industry has evolved over the years? "Yes, for sure. People like Amit Trivedi, Anurag Kashyap, have brought in independent music to mainstream cinema. It has evolved and thank god for that."