Over the years Shankar Mahadevan has collaborated with many musicians, but Nirvana 2014 is different. This is a concert that will see him match wits and notes with some legends of music - tabla maestro Zakir Hussain, sitarist Niladri Kumr, percussionist Taufiq Qureshi and jazz genius Louis Banks. The concert will be held on January 25 at the Madinat Arena. An excited Shankar shares his joy at sharing the stage with such musical greats…
Are you more nervous or excited about performing with the great Zakir Hussain and other legends?
I have tremendous respect and honour for Zakirbhai. He is my mentor, guru and he inspires me as a musician and as a person. He has played an important role in my life and it’s because of him that I am this successful today. So it’s a mixture of both excitement and nervousness!
How do you prepare for a concert of this nature?
The preparation is definitely intense since I am performing with such greats. We normally spend a lot of time, especially with Zakirbhai with who I have been working for 12 years. We sit and plan out all the pieces and the music notes, and then have an eye contact for on-the-spot improvisation.
When and how did you meet Zakir Hussain first?
I met Zakirbhai years ago who was composing music for a movie called Muhafiz and he approached me to sing a ghazal for him Naseeb aazmaney ke din agaye. We clicked immediately. The memory is still fresh in my mind and I cherish it.
How do you balance your passion for classical music as well popular Bollywood music?
I enjoy doing both film work and Indian classical music as I am equally passionate about them. I am as interested in them as I am in fusion, folk and spiritual music. I’d feel saturated if I do only one kind of music.
Which recent film have you enjoyed composing music for the most?
Bhaag Milka Bhaag. That movie is a milestone, with such a great script by Rakesh Omprakash Mehra.
What are the projects you are looking forward to the most in 2014?
We are working on Rakesh Omprakash Mehra’s Mirza Sahiba, Zoya Akthar’s next film, Kill Bill, One by Two, 2 States among others. I am also quite busy setting up my own music label and handling my online academy that will teach people Indian music.
INFO: Tickets: Platinum VVIP: AED1750 (sold out), Platinum: AED1500 (reserved seating), Diamond: AED1000, Gold: AED600, Silver: AED200, Madinat Arena, 25th January, 2014, Gates open at 6 pm, Spinneys outlets (Audio/Video stores) orwww.timeouttickets.com