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Premiere: Guitarist Ritaprabha Ray and Raju Das Baul Bring Smooth Folk Pop on ‘Bhoge Diye Baan’

The Mumbai-based composer, part of alt rock band Pull, previously worked with the Baul singer for a song in 2015

Anurag Tagat Feb 28, 2021

Mumbai-based guitarist and producer Ritaprabha Ray. Photo: Sougata Sarkar

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Kolkata guitarist-producer Ritaprabha Ray has been integral part of bands such as celebrated Bangla rock act Cactus and now riffs with alt rockers Pull in Mumbai, but his solo project has been seeing movement ever since 2014. One of the earliest releases in 2015 was “Dil Doriya,” featuring Baul singer Raju Das Baul. Now, the pair reunite for a breathtaking new rendition of Bangla folk song “Bhoge Diye Baan.” 

Ray says, “I’ve spent a lot of time in and around Bolpur [which includes the tourist-friendly locality of Shantiniketan], trying to learn more about the local folk music scene out there, that’s how I got introduced to Raju. I genuinely feel that there’s a divine connection in the honesty of Raju’s craft and there’s an undeniable fire in him to contribute meaningfully to every musical interaction that we’ve ever had, no matter how modern or purist the approach is.” 

Following his 2018 record Project Dreamcatcher, “Bhoge Diye Baan” — originally composed by Bengali folk artist Bhaba Pagla — is deeply philosophical in its intent and Ray matches that with swirling, layered guitar work that makes for a meditative listen. The accompanying music video, directed by Rahul Guha, shows Ray and Baul in a forest as they match melodies, with a parallel narrative of an individual who is found in an introspective state. The artist adds in a statement, “This song talks about the reversal of the cosmic process, the return to the ‘Sahaj’ state — the earliest condition of non-duality that existed before creation, which is the objective of Baul Sadhana.” Much like the Cardinal sins in Christianity, there are “six enemies,” as Ray explains, in Hindu scriptures. “The song uses a vivid imagery of life as a battlefield and the sins as the demons one needs to fight to achieve the state of non-duality — the active form of the supreme or simply Sahaj Manush.” 

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Watch the video for “Bhoge Diye Baan” below. Stream the song here.

 

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