Pankaj Udhas announces bhajan album

PankajPankaj Udhas

Ghazal maestro Pankaj Udhas recently announced his foray into bhajans with his new album Hey Krishna.

Says Udhas, "My first album was in 1980, so its thirty three years now. I never did bhajans, not for any other reason, but I was not convinced. I felt that I would do it when I am ready to sing."

He further adds, "When 26/11 happened I was watching TV and spontaneously started reciting Hanuman Chalisa. That reaction was not out of fear but concern for security for others. Recently, I met two composers from Rajasthan, Ali and Gani, they have composed beautiful Meera bhajans. When I heard it, I was moved and said I want to record this. My aim is to spread the message of peace."

The album will have a mix of contemporary and traditional, an unusual musical back-up and melodious tunes. About the content of the album, Udhas says, "I have tried to use traditional Meeran bhajans and contemporary poets. My nephew Karthik Udhas who did programming and arrangement, brought in a bit of western classical element. The sound of these bhajans are very different from normal devotional bhajans."

Ghazal festival for a cause

Pankaj Udhas recently announced Khazana, a festival of ghazals to raise funds for Parents Association Thalassemic Unit Trust and Cancer Patients Aid Association. "This year we have dedicated it to the birth centenary of Begum Akhtar who was the pioneer of ghazals in the country. We have Runa and Neha Rizvi, Kavita Seth, both known Sufi singers to bring in the element of Sufi music. Classical performances by Ahmed Husain and Mohd. Husain and popular names like Talat Aziz are also a part of the concert," says Udhas. Bhupinder Singh, Mitali Singh, Anup Jatola, were all present at the event.

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