CHENNAI: Here’s some good news for Tamil fans of folk musician Raghu Dixit. The Bengaluru-based artiste, who has composed for Bollywood flicks as big as Quick Gun Murugan, is gearing up to set up base in Chennai soon. Speaking to this reporter on the sidelines of a concert by The Raghu Dixit Project at Phoenix MarketCity, he reveals, “I am in the process of meeting a few directors in the Tamil film industry. In fact, I happened to meet Karthik Subbaraj this time. I’m looking forward to work in Tamil films soon and will be setting up base in Chennai next year. It’s going to be a fascinating journey for sure.”
Ask him about the directors and musicians he would like to work with in Kollywood, and he responds, “There are a huge number of directors I’m looking forth to work with! The Kollywood industry has undergone a tremendous change and small musicians are making it big. I would love to work in movies of the likes of Soodhu Kavvum, Jigarthanda and Pizza, that made it big despite their small budget!”
What most of his fans probably don’t know is that Dixit almost gave up the idea of singing to switch to a teaching career back in 2006. “That’s when I got a call from director Shashanka Ghosh who asked me to perform at a nightclub,” he remembers. Fortunately, he didn’t let his lost hope at the time to discourage him to turn down the gig. Had he, he probably wouldn’t have met Vishal Shekar. “They liked my performance and asked me to sing on their new record label, he says, before adding, “from then on, there was no looking back”.
Dixit then went on to form the band Antaragni in 1998, which was dissolved in early 2005. And The Raghu Dixit Project, which was founded by him a year later, specialises in contemporary Indian folk music. “After Antaragni was dissolved, I had the urge to start something new again. That’s how the band slowly came into being. It almost became like an open platform for performers. In fact, each one in the band right now was unknown to me. We connected via social media and I happened to meet a few at music events,” says the man who was conferred with a GIMA Award for Best Live Performer earlier this year.
The band, which has collaborated with several international bands, has a unique, quirky style statement that its fans are aware of. The trademark veshti, bright sattai and the beads that the band members put around their necks have been a topic of discussion for a while now. “The vibrant clothes reflect the fact that we are going to perform folk. And the veshti sattai convey we are South Indians,” Dixit explains. “Although now it become a marketing strategy as well,” he signs off with a smile.