The highlight of February was my live show with the masterful Mr Talvin Singh. On the 6th of February Talvin and I performed to friends and family in the gardens of my home in Dubai.
Under a canopy of night sky stars, Talvin and I poured out our musical souls to two hundred assembled guests. The concert opened with a tabla performance by Talvin, followed my own sung recital. As Talvin’s hands danced on the skin of his drum, the music filled my heart with joy. His percussive polyrhythms punctuated the night air, and I felt the creative connection between us as strongly as ever. We had rehearsed for three days prior and pinned down securely our creative shared vision, which reached full realisation at the concert. It’s not often artistic ideas can be honed in, screwed tight, and communicated clearly and articulately to your audience. Many times, what you set out to do and what you achieve can be two very different distinctions – but on this occasion, our idea was made true and good.
The night ended with us both taking the stage to perform our shared track, ‘I Bow to you Waheguru’ which features on my new album of the same name. On this track I sing in both Punjabi and English. Talvin’s sound here is hard-edged electronica tinted with traditional Indian intonations.
I was so honoured to share my music with my eclectic gathering of friends and family. I took the opportunity to speak on stage, offering lyric translations, musical asides and updates about my charitable work with S.O.S Initiative, a Sikh humanitarian organisation that focuses on educating children in order to break cycles of poverty. The night air was cold but the many hugs and embraces I received warmed me up fast.
This month I also had the pleasure of watching Zakir Hussain and Rakesh Chaurasia in concert and meeting them afterwards. Their performance was indescribably inspirational, as ever. I was also able to personally thank Rakesh for playing on the track ‘Guru Ram Das’ on my new album.
Another fortuitous meeting this month was with a member of the UAE Royal family and the Minister for Culture and Youth, Sheikh Nahyan. I was so pleased he accepted my gift of my new album on CD and gave my music his blessings and support.
So it has been a month of meetings; with Talvin, Zakir, Rakesh and Sheikh Nahyan. Who knows who I will meet next on this wonderful musical journey? Read my next blog post in March for more updates.