Anup Jalota on winning Sahitya Akademi Award, remixes, his favourite bhajan and more
Bhajan Samrat Anup Jalota is a name that is synonymous with bhajans and sangeet.
The immensely talented singer, musician, artiste and a wonderful human beign who is just born to sing and mesmerise the world, recently was honoured with the prestigious Sangeet Natak Akademi Award from the President of India Draupadi Murmu in New Delhi.
Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy of Music, Dance & Drama. It is the highest Indian recognition given to people in the field of performing arts.
In a recent conversation with Cineblues, Anup Jalota poured out his gratitude to the Government of India and shared his excitement with us. Read on…
How does it feel after the most prestigious award conferred by the Government of India - Sangeet Natak Academy Award.
Anup Ji: I am very delighted. I consider it the most significant award in the field of music and the biggest for musicians. I get reminded of the lines from Tulsi Das’s poetry, “JA PAR KRIPA RAM KI HOI, TA PAR KRIPA KARE SAB KOI”. I feel humbled with the blessings of the Almighty.
You have sung ghazals, qawwalis, thumri etc but you are recognised as Bhajan Samrat? How do you feel.
Anup Ji: From the start, I have been versatile. I have delved into different forms of music - Ghazals, Film songs, Qawwali, Bhajans, Thumri etc. So, jab sab kuch gaata hoon, toh mujhe idhar udhar jaane ki zaroorat hi nahin hai. Since people loved my Bhajans, I got classified as a bhajan singer. No harm in that! I got recognition :)
What is your take on the new age singers and remixes that have infested the music space? Is it a culture degradation?
Anup Ji: Remixes karo, lekin uski dhunn mat bigado. We have had prolific composers in this field – R.D Burman, Laxmikant Pyarelal, Madan Mohan. Jaise unhone banaya hai, usko waise rehne do. Joh beech ka music hai , ussey khelo, uspe kuch experiment karo. Please don’t destroy the sanctity and the beauty of the music they have created.
Last year, you launched the ‘Bhajan Parampara' album with Bhajan singer Nitesh Kumar who happens to be your disciple and you have composed them together. How was the experience?
Anup Ji: It’s an experience I will always cherish. Nitesh is a very diligent, fine, and talented singer. He lends a unique style to the lines, and it matched my rhythm as well. Many people loved it. T-Series has released the album and has promoted it very well. I am very happy with the way things have turned out.
You have sung some of the most memorable bhajans including 'Aisi Lagi Lagan', 'Main Nahi Makhan Khayo', 'Rang De Chunariya', 'Jag Me Sundar Hai Do Naam', and 'Chadariya Jhini Re Jhini'. Which is your favorite?
Anup Ji: (Smiles) Aisi Lagi Lagan hamesha sey mera favourite raha hai. I make it a point to sing it at every concert.