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The New Faces of Fusion: Maati Baani

Making fusion music go viral, one collaboration at a time

Riddhi Chakraborty Apr 11, 2018

Maati Baani consistently do their best to put a spotlight on local folk artists through the power of social media. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Comprising vocalist Nirali Kartik (34) and guitarist/producer Kartik Shah (38), Mumbai world music duo Maati Baani gained viral fame on YouTube for their ability to blend Indian classical with genres from around the globe.

The one thing that makes Maati Baani stand out from their peers is their collaboration-friendly approach to music making. One of their earliest songs “Tore Matware Naine” featured the French jazz/funk singer Joy Shanti and a flautist/flute seller they stumbled across on the streets. Another one of their compositions “Mitwa” is a classical bandish with a gritty funk/ lounge groove.

The band consistently do their best to put a spotlight on local folk artists through the power of social media and their more recent work has seen them collaborate with folk singers, Mooralala Marwada (“Hiye Kaya Mein”) and Bhutta Khan (“Rumaal”.)

In a bid to truly capture a glocal flavor in their music, Maati Baani videos often feature musicians from around the globe performing their parts in the song at iconic landmarks in their native cities. The video for their cover of Michael Jackson’s “Heal The World” has over 50 child artists from various countries around the globe and “Jao Piya” features Kartik singing at Mumbai’s Gateway of India while French percussionist Julien Nérée is captured playing the cajon against the backdrop of Eiffel Tower in Paris. Popular musician Max ZT is filmed playing the hammered dulcimer in New York’s Tompkins Square Park.

Also a strong voice in activism, Maati Baani launched their recent project “Chipko Re” featuring acclaimed writer/actor Piyush Mishra in a bid to encourage viewers to protect the trees in Mumbai’s Aarey Colony.

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Watch Maati Baani’s video for “Lagan Lagi Re” below:

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