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The New Faces of Fusion: Rishabh Seen

The musician who dared to play metal on the sitar

Riddhi Chakraborty Apr 10, 2018

Rishabh Seen is considered the propagator of sitar-metal. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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Rishabh Seen (21) is the third generation of classical musicians in his family. His grandfather is the tabla virtuoso Pandit Lakshman Singh Seen while his father, also his guru, is the sitar maestro Pandit Manu Seen.

The musician credits his father for helping him see the sitar as a fun instrument with limitless potential, a tool that could take on many challenges and bring a refreshing twist to what fusion music is. This led to him combining his two passions together — metal and the sitar — to create a new brand of fusion.

Another reason Seen was drawn to the idea of sitar-metal was because he realized there wasn’t one metal artist or band whose music was ‘fronted’ by any instrument other than a guitar, keyboard or drums. He set out to redress this balance with his band Mute The Saint in 2015 and soon garnered fame on YouTube for his solo covers of tracks by metal artists like Meshuggah, Animals As Leaders, Steven Wilson, Metallica, The Dillinger Escape Plan and more.

As word around his music spread, several of these artists (Metallica’s James Hatfield, Steven Wilson, Animals As Leaders’ Tosin Abasi, guitar maestro Guthrie Govan included) tipped their hats to Seen’s contribution to the global metal scene.

Mute The Saint released their self-titled debut album in 2016 and since then Seen has gone on several tours around the globe, including in Japan, South Africa and Singapore, delivered four TEDx Talks and is considered the propagator of sitar-metal.

Watch Rishabh Seen’s video for “It All Ends Here” below:

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