He is the nephew and child prodigy of flute maestro Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, has a famous name to live up to. Amongst the promising musicians of the second generation, Rakesh Chaurasia has carved a niche for himself as an accomplished flautist. Incorporating the tradition of his renowned uncle and infusing his personal style, he has evolved a style which while maintaining the purity of the flute manages to capture the attention of the young listeners too. The most accomplished of disciples of his uncle, however, shows all the promise to carry the Chaurasia legacy to new heights. Ahead of his trip to Dubai for the annual Global Fusion concert, Rakesh talks to Masala! about his music and the enviable legacy.
What do you look forward to the most about performing in Dubai? What can we expect from the concert?
I am looking forward to performing with artists who are coming from around the world which I am sure is going to be a great experience for the audience. It will be a real-world music treat to the Dubai audience and I would like to thank Alpen Capital for putting together the concept.
Can you tell us the story behind the formation of Rakesh and Friends (RAF)? How did it come about?
The main motive behind the creation of RAF was to introduce classical music in the form of fusion to the younger audience. The combination of jazz and classical music was loved and appreciated. RAF was invited for all the major festivals in India and abroad.
When RAF gets together, what is the process of creating musical magic? Do you have creative differences too?
RAF is a group of very talented and highly experienced musicians and when such great talent comes together music is automatically created.
Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia had a concert in Dubai last year and it was a magical night for the audience here. As someone who has been mentored by the legend and having been so close to him, what do you feel each time when you watch him perform?
I think my guru (Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia) is a living legend and a whole institution by himself and that is why whenever I watch him play I get to learn something I am unaware of which motivates me to work harder.
Who are your biggest influences in world music currently and why?
Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia and Ustad Zakir Hussain have been my greatest influence as both being classical artistes have collaborated with world music.
Social media has a huge role to play in music today, especially in spreading awareness about music. How do you use social media to connect with a larger audience world-wide?
Through YouTube and I tunes.