She’s grown up on ragas, blame her fabulous genes for that. With the golden-voiced duo Sunali and Roop Kumar Rathod for parents, it is no wonder that Reewa Rathod has found her calling in the world of music. And now her latest rendition, ‘Maula’, marks her collaboration with the iconic lyricist Gulzar.
Working with legends “Gulzar sahab is one of the most divine souls I have ever come across,” she says. “He is my mentor, friend, and biggest inspiration. I am enamoured by his life and work. He inspired me to create ‘Maula’. Last year I went to his place and played to him one of my songs. My style of composing left him intrigued and we decided to do an album together. That was the best day of my life.” She is the youngest composer the lyricist has ever worked with. That marks quite a coup for Reewa. “When he first wrote ‘Maula’, for this album, we brainstormed. I have challenged my limits with this song, by including many different vocal riffs and runs where east meets west rather seamlessly,” she says with a smile.
“I spend a lot of timw writing in my head or coming up with ideas. But when my mind is a blank slate, I simply say, ‘God please give me a new tune’ and I stay quiet for a few days, and it happens. That is how ‘Maula’ happened. It just came to me from the one above,” she says. Reewa perfected her moves on the piano under the tutelage of Shanti Seldon, went on to study Carnatic music from T R Balamani Iyer and Prasanna Varrier. “I am truly blessed to have received training under the doyens of Benaras Gharana, Padmabhushan Pt Rajan and Sajan Mishra,” she says, maintaining that she has her own unique style of singing and composing, with “of course, similarities in terms of vocal technique (with that of her parents)” but she usually tends to blend a few different genres. Of course, the DNA runs rather strong as Reewa is also the granddaughter of Late Pandit Chaturbhuj Rathod of classical Dhrupad tradition.
Shilpi Madan for Sunday Herald