In praise of Raghu Dixit

Last night, I was privileged to attend another performance by Raghu Dixit at B-Flat. This would be the fifth time I am watching Raghu Dixit live – first was at Opus, second at a Nokia concert, third at, fourth at a TiE mixer, and fifth at B-flat yesterday.

More than a year ago, I watched Raghu Dixit live for the first time at Opus, and I am still enthralled by his music, and the sound is still fresh.

I had a clever little idea yesterday morning. I remembered I had a photo of myself with Raghu when he was meeting folks who love his music at a CCD to give away free passes to the Nokia concert where he was performing. I got a large print of that photo so that I could get his autograph on it – a simple autograph doesn’t look attractive enough to go on the wall, but photo of me + my favorite artist + his autograph – that will definitely go on my (physical) wall! :)

Raghu Dixit Autograph in Kannada

Due to the odd size of the photograph, I ended up getting two prints, which led to me requesting Raghu to sign one in English and one in Kannada, thankfully he smiled and obliged a fan’s request!

Raghu Dixit Autograph in English

There are a few reasons why I am a fan of Raghu Dixit and The Raghu Dixit Project:

  • His powerful voice. You got to see him perform to experience it. I had pulled along a friend yesterday, by the end of the show, a new fan was born.
  • His amazing ability to bring back old poetry by the likes of Shishunaala Sharifa and Dr Da Ra Bendre, into new life with the use of drums, guitars, violin, and of course, his voice.
  • His great sense of humor. He brings the audience to ease and gets them to participate and experience the music. He was in full flow as usual yesterday night.
  • The talented artistes that comprise The Raghu Dixit Project – Vijay Joseph (guitars), Karthik Iyer (violin), Gaurav Vaz (bass guitar) and Willy? (I could not catch this name yesterday) (drums) have such amazing stage presence that I’ve never seen a crowd not go wild when they do their solo bits.
  • Their universal appeal – Raghu was saying yesterday that they’ve just finished touring UK, Japan, etc. and they’ll be touring Abu Dhabi, Kenya, etc. in the rest of the year!
  • The greatest hack by Raghu Dixit is that he made the Kannada language cool for this generation.

If you haven’t heard them already, I recommend that you hear their music right away. My most favorite songs by Raghu Dixit are “En Ide” and “Ee Tanavu Ninnade” from Psycho soundtrack, the title track and “Yello Jhinugiruva” from Just Math Mathalli soundtrack, and almost all the songs of their first album. I wish Raghu would make it easy to buy these CDs on his website. On that note, I can’t wait for their second album and “Superman” soundtrack to come out.

If I go to watch them perform for the sixth time, I think they might get fed up of me, that’s when I’ll sing “Ninna poojege bande…” ;-)

Jan 24, 2009:

8 thoughts on “In praise of Raghu Dixit

  1. One thing “I wish Raghu would make it easy to buy these CDs on his website.” — is this possible? And as of now has the record label given him the rights to his music?

    I still don’t think the artist has the freedom to own his own work.

  2. Raghu has really gone that extra mile which is making Kannada really global. When in groups we(Kannadigas) used to shy away from speaking in Kannada. But now others in the group want us to speak Kannada and also want us to translate what it means just because they want to understand what Raghu’s songs mean :) This is a real situation in my group now.

    I have attended only one live performance i.e and have been mesmerized by it. It was totally enthralling. “Ee Tanavu Ninnade” was much more awesome to hear live than in the movie.

  3. Agree with everything mentioned above. After following Raghu virtually (on internet and on radio/tv) for yrs it’s not hard to recognise his voice on the radio, especially when they play any old jingle sung by Raghu.

    Having said that it was a dream come true to watch Raghu Dixit and Gaurav Vaz perform live at Bflat…. Not to mention it was my first time and had the chance to watch them perform from such proximity. The band members have changed since I started following them but they are amazing, simply amazing. Vijay’s guitar solo, Karthik’s violin and his silent presence on stage is Innocence personified. The drummer was simply amazing especially when they pump up the beats on that beautiful song written by Dr. Da Ra Bendre.

    I’d say Raghu has come a long way from singing songs written by himself and Shishunaala Sharief to singing lines from Dr. Da Ra Bendre’s poetry. And that’s convincing enough for me that there is only one RD on roads and only one RD on vocals. Can’t wait to hear more of Dr. Da Ra Bendre’s poetry from Raghu Dixit.

    Most beautiful part of the evening was one of the lady (Not an Indian) singing a couple of lines in kannada when requested by Raghu to come on stage and sing along with him. I thought Raghu brought out the Amy Lee and Dolores O’Riordan in her to sing “lokada kaalaji maadutinanti, ningyar bedantara maadappa chinti…”

  4. Cool music!!Thanks for the link to the website

    Saludos desde Madrid(Spain)…so much indi influences over here(music and (quite) other things…(^__^)…thanks
    Knowing the meaning of lyrics would be so cool too…


  5. @Thejesh Agreed.

    @trdp Looking forward to more songs from you guys!

    @Pranava He can just link to websites which are already selling it. If there are no such websites, it’s a bigger problem?

    @Madhusudan Fantastic, that’s what I mean by saying he made Kannada cool :)

    @Bhavesh Very well put, you have captured the essence of that night’s performance very well!

    @jose Well, Raghu Dixit already did a tour of Spain, too bad it was not known to you then… meaning of lyrics would be understood best live :)

    @Sathyan Thanks!

  6. Hi Swaroop,

    Raghu Dixit is a great artist and has gone miles through his music and so has Kannada along with his voice!!! Eno Ide is one of my favourite songs as well.

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