Ode to Odisha

Published: 04th July 2015 02:31 PM  |   Last Updated: 04th July 2015 02:35 PM   |  A+A-

With partner at Omgrown music Ram Sampath and India’s RAW Star winner Rituraj Mohanty, songstress Sona Mohapatra will be offering 'Rangabati' as a tribute to her motherland Odisha on MTV Coke Studio


Sona-mohapatra.jpgThe MTV Coke Studio Season 4 has something special in store for Odias across the globe. Singer Sona Mohapatra is recreating the magic of ‘Rangabati’ that has reigned over the hearts of Odia music lovers ever since it was recorded  in 1972, for the new season. Along with her critically-acclaimed composer husband Ram Sampath and India’s RAW Star winner Rituraj Mohanty, Sona has fused the Sambalpuri folk song with ‘Bande Utkal Janani’ and tempered the music arrangement with Tamil rappers.

Sona says the song with its inherent unbridled joy was an obvious choice for the show, which is being curated and composed by Ram. “I had been waiting for the right opportunity to put the spotlight on my Odia roots and my personal favourite, Sambalpuri folk music in particular. Coke Studio at MTV was the perfect platform since it reaches out to a young and musically evolved audience across the globe and is also a means of cross-cultural exchange. 2015 marks my 10th year as a professional music artiste and I wanted to present an ode to my roots and motherland to mark this milestone in my journey. The experience of performing this song with Ram, my band and three more incredible artistes, Rituraj, Tony and Rajesh was exhilarating and emotional at the same time. We have presented this as a conversation between the East and the South of India. Both regions have a common thread in their love for Lord Jagannath. I hope I do justice to the song and can count on the love of the State to forgive any mistakes that I might have made on any account. The idea and intention to present this song only comes from a place of love and reverence,” she says.

‘Rangabati’, she says, was the song she grew up listening to. As a singer, Sona drew inspiration from the earthiness of ‘Rangabati’ and the vocal phrasing of Jitendra Haripal, who sung it in 1972. “Listening to Haripalji, Krishna Patel, late Fakir Patnaik and Bhikari Bal in my growing up years fuelled my interest and love for Odia music, folk in particular, of our land,” recalls Sona, who is also the executive producer of the season.

Elaborating on the show, she says this season Ram presents ‘Bhoomi’ as an underlying theme with four songs from four regions of the country stringing them to tell a common story of love for one’s own land.

“This season I wear the symbol of the banana tree embroidered on my blouse which is considered sacred by Odias as well as a Odia handloom tussar skirt,” says the singer, who has a distinct style when it comes to fashion.

Present projects

Sona is currently busy with her forthcoming album ‘The Punjab Project’ The first single and music video ‘Neher Wale Pul’ is releasing by the second week of July. She says the album is a collaboration with Sumit Sethi and Paras Sunda from Delhi. “We are attempting to fuse traditional vocals with various genres in electronica, dub-step etc. This is not the kind of music I have done in the past but I am excited about pushing the envelope and trying something new,” the singer reveals. This apart, she has an EDM Qawalli , ‘Ishq Karenge’ ready for release in Excel’s Bangistan in the coming fortnight and a soulful love ballad in the film ‘Haye Dil’.

Watch out for Sona’s ‘Rangabati’ in the next episode of Coke Studio @ MTV Season 4 onJuly 5, at 8 pm.

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