Amit Trivedi is on a mission with strings attached. The singer, composer and lyricist is spotlighting India’s varied cultural heritage using his musical talents. He is collaborating with folk artists nationwide, creating a mélange of melody, each piece dedicated to a different reason and region—Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Made under his independent music label AT Azaad, Trivedi’s latest song ‘Bhagwa’ was released last month as part of the album titled ‘SKODA Sonic Roots—Songs of Soil,’ and has crossed 48k hits already. The first song ‘Tedo Tedo’, released in October, recorded two million hits recently on AT Azaad YouTube channel.
“My country’s folk music has always fascinated me and so has our amazing talent. We are combining the best of our legacy and traditions with new styles and techniques and creating new music that will resonate with the entire nation,” says the 42-year-old Trivedi, Bollywood’s new-age music composer. Known for popular Bollywood compositions such as ‘Gal Meethi Meethi Bol’ and ‘Love You Zindagi’, Trivedi is expanding his horizon to independent music.
First came the album ‘Songs of Faith’ in 2020 which focussed on different genres of religious vocals. It was followed by ‘Songs of Dance’ that nudged people to shake a leg, ‘Songs of Trance’ are party anthems and ‘Songs of Love’ are for die-hard romantics. The current offering, ‘Songs of Soil’, also streaming on Voot, has Trivedi travelling across India to connect with local artists, learn their traditions and stories so that he can put to music their songs.
“I was simultaneously working on ‘Songs of Faith’ and ‘Songs of Soil’, with plans to release them back to back. The first lockdown delayed me. Fortunately, ŠKODA and The Back Benchers Company’s vision for a travel show based on folk artists was completely in sync with my idea, making our collaboration natural. This series has been three years in the making,” shares Trivedi, who entered the Hindi film music scene more than a decade ago from jingles and theatre work.
Every episode celebrates a distinctive cultural practice. ‘Tedo Tedo’, shot in Rajkot, Gujarat, has Trivedi joining hands with Garba singer Kirtidan Gadhvi from the state and in the video, they recreate a local wedding. For ‘Mooch’, shot in Jodhpur, Trivedi has collaborated with Rajasthani folk singers Mame Khan and Ruchika Chauhan and it is an ode to the iconic Rajasthani moustaches. ‘Fata Faati’ celebrates Bengal and is shot along with playback singer Rana Mazumder and Baul singer Goutam Das Baul. Trivedi pays a tribute to Chennai with Tamil folk singer Anthony Daasan belting out ‘Meenaatchi’. ‘Raunakein’, sung by Kavita Seth and Bhanwari Devi, is about inner joy and was shot in Mandwa, Rajasthan.
The Mumbai-born Trivedi pays homage to Maharashtrian pride through ‘Bhagwa’ with vocalist Nagesh Morwekar; it is shot in Mahabaleshwar. In all the videos, he appeared in front of the camera—a career first. The usually camera-shy Trivedi is seen lip-syncing and grooving in tandem with background dancers. “The version on Voot is based on a travel show concept where I drive in different states of India and meet celebrated folk artists, jam with them and create a song that reflects the local culture. The reviews have been excellent,” Trivedi adds. Welcome to the new age ‘Mile Sur Mera Tumhara’.