Premiere: Hear Susmit Sen, Vasu Dixit, Kabir Cafe and More Celebrate Art on Folk Masti’s ‘Meri Kalakari’
The Mumbai folk fusion band’s new release also includes folk singer Mooralala Marwada, Bindhumalini, Marathi act Abhanga Repost, multi-instrumentalist Gladson Peter and bassist Vian Fernandes
About two years ago, Mumbai folk fusion band Folk Masti’s founder and frontman Vipul Panchal met New Delhi-based guitarist Susmit Sen (previously part of fusion masters Indian Ocean) at a workshop. After about a year of talking, Panchal invited him to hear “Meri Kalakari,” a song about celebrating art and the artist’s life.
Panchal, who put together Folk Masti in 2014, says it was a full circle moment to get Sen on board, someone whom he considered influential. The radiant, collaboration-heavy “Meri Kalakari” brings together a message of artistry and its place in the world, releasing ahead of World Music Day. The frontman says, “We used to do a lot of busking in Mumbai, at metro and railway stations. A lot of times, it happens that you’re performing and no one is paying attention. That time I thought about how people don’t bother about artists and the art world. Even the corporate world sometimes looks down at artists. This is the main thing – we’re trying to say we like it and we’re going to keep doing it.”
Set to lyrics penned by Panchal, the song also features notable folk and fusion artists. This includes Vasu Dixit (from folk rockers Swarathma), Neeraj Arya (from Kabir Café), Bindhumalini, Mooralala Marwada (who’s a regular performed with fusion duo Maati Baani), bassist Vian Fernandes (part of Kerala’s Thaikkudam Bridge), one-man band Gladson Peter and Marathi folk act Abhanga Repost. If you think this was all coordinated with ease over the Internet, Panchal explains that the recording was more or less in person and as organic as it gets, even if it had its challenges. “We went to Ahmedabad and recorded Mooralala Marwada. The folk musicians are not… they perform in their manner, so we have to think about how we can match them. The artist sang Kabir verses and it was in a different scale, so we had to work on it,” Panchal says. The song also features instrumentalists such as flautist Satej Karandikar, violinist Mukund Ramaswamy (from Kabir Café) and Abhanga Repost’s harmonium player Piyush Acharya.
Although this is the latest studio offering for Folk Masti this year, Panchal promises more. He says, “After this we’re planning to produce our first album. By the end of 2019, we should finish producing it.”
Watch the video for “Meri Kalakari” below.