With an aspiration to globalise the Kannada language, the album Sarvasva was put together by India’s first Kannada rock band, also called Sarvasva. It is frontlined by a powerhouse female vocalist, Sangeetha Rajeev. “I am essentially a playback singer and performer who is highly influenced by western music. My bandmates and I have come across many people who don’t like to speak Kannada or listen to songs in Kannada but enjoy western music. That’s what triggered the idea of a Kannada album which will appeal to not only locals but also others because the music would be a blend of Indian classical, progressive rock and alternative rock styles,” she says. Thus was born Sarvasva with tracks like Sidilu which describes the power of Lord Shiva, Aasey Aasey Aasey that talks of a girl’s fantasy and Doora Doora whose pop-rock feel compares passing clouds with human desires.
When a year ago Sangeetha wanted to create the band, she came across Sagar and found him to be excellent on the keyboard. Through him, many more got introduced to the concept of the band and joined it. Today, there’s Sagar Gururaj on keyboards and in-charge of programming, Yadhunandan Nagaraj aka ‘The Drummachari’ on drums, Himal Giri as lead guitarist, Amith Kumar on bass guitar and Vikram Parthan on rhythm guitar and Arjun on flute.
The album has an incredible blend of melodic keys, guitars, flute and the violin. “It also has a rap in one of the tracks,” says Sangeetha, who also takes credit for introducing European Symphonic Metal in Kannada music. “What add to the aural pleasure of the album are the strong lyrics penned by Rahul Devaraj, Vasuki Vaibhav, C S Savithri, Dhananjay, Girish and me. This is the first time in India that all the seven songs have a female vocalist in the lead,” she explains.
It took a year for band Sarvasva to complete the album at a cost of ` 2 lakh. “The album was recorded at Sound of Music Studios in the city while it was mixed and mastered by Michael Cushion in the USA,” says Sagar.
The team recently performed songs from the album in Mysore where Shivamani was among the audience members, and he was reported to have said that with this album ‘the genre of Kannada Rock has been introduced’.
Musician Praveen Godkini officially launched the album in Bangalore on October 21.
The band, which has over 200 public performances all over India and abroad to its credit, will now travel throughout Karnataka to promote Sarvasva. “We are confident that our music will reach a lot of people. Our audience loves listening to our originals and in many ways we have touched their hearts,” Sagar says.
Sangeetha Rajeev was trained in Carnatic music by her mother M K Sharadamba and professionally guided by Manjula Gururaj. She has lent her voice to quite a few popular Kannada films like Lucia (Thinbeda Kami), Aane Pataaki and the upcoming film Rebel. She sung for Malayalam and Hindi movies too. Sangeetha has over 200 jingles to her credit in various languages.