At the end of last year, I thought I had this year’s In-Depth all figured out: film-making. However, over the past few months, I have come across an art that never struck my mind before as something I wanted to do until I came to know about it. Something that connects my biggest passion with my culture: Indian fusion music.

Basically, my project this year is going to be mashing up various genres of Indian music with western pop and classical to create a new genre of fusion music. I was first inspired by this cover of a classical Bengali song called Esho Shyamolo Sundaro. Below is the original song compared to a funk cover of it.

After venturing further into this new way of music, I came across Vidya Vox, a singer from the USA who studied Indian Classical music for many years before singing western music in the past few years.n She creates mainly mashup covers of Bollywood – Indian film music – with western pop hits to create amazing new songs. Below is one of my favourites of hers, a mashup of Bollywood song Chaiyya Chaiyya with Don’t Stop by Michael Jackson.

These examples are just a small sample of what’s out there and possible in the world of fusion music. I am looking forward to being able to reach toward a similar standard of musical creation over the next few months.
Though I don’t have an official mentor yet, my grandmother studied Hindustani classical music for around 25 years, and is a well decorated classical and contemporary singer in her city of Calcutta. When I visited India early December, she told me she wanted to start teaching me more about Indian classical theory and Bengali classical songs over the phone, as to broaden my musical knowledge and connect me back to my roots. Though not my actual mentor, she will be a kind of secondary mentor to me in my quest to learn more about Indian music and create fusion music of my own. As of an actual mentor, I am currently considering a friend of my cousin’s who studies Indian classical singing and is a part of an Indian fusion music group at UBC. I am also considering a family friend who used to study Indian classical music and now is just as interested in exploring Indian fusion music as I am. The update on my mentor situation will be present on my next post! I am really looking forward to exploring a part of my culture through my biggest passion.