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Susheela Raman and Q to perform together in London

The Brit-Tamil vocalist and the Kolkata rapper will take to stage for a collaboration at the London Indian Film Festival this month

Rolling Stone India Jun 15, 2012

Susheela Raman and Sam Mills Photo: Andrew Catlin

That UK-based Tamil vocalist Susheela Raman can wing any collaboration will soon be accepted as a norm. The Mercury-nominated singer has been collaborating with Rajasthani folk musicians for close to two years now and two months ago, she performed with qawwals from Lahore at the Southbank Centre’s Alchemy Festival, winning rave reviews in the London press. Next weekend, Raman will be part of yet another stand out collaboration with Kolkata-based rapper and controversial filmmaker, Q at the London Indian Film Festival. The show will also feature Berlin tech house DJ Moog Conspiracy and Asian Dub Foundation guitarist Steve Chandra Savale

“I think Q is a fantastic visionary who is breaking several taboos. It’s really exciting to work with him,” said Raman in a phone interview from London. Q, the director of Gandu, the 2010 film with its sex and drug preoccupations that managed to impress and shock audiences in equal measure, is also the frontman of a three-piece band named Gandu Circus that will perform at the festival.

Rapper and film maker Q Photo: !f Istanbul

Although the London concert isn’t the first time that Raman and Q have collaborated. The film maker approached Raman and her musician husband Sam Mills last year to contribute to the soundtrack of his yet-to-be-released film Tasher Desh (The Land Of The Cards), an adaptation of Rabindranath Tagore’s dance opera. “I’ve been a Susheela Raman fan for a long time. When I got in touch with her, I wasn’t sure that she would agree to sing for the film, but I can only say I was lucky that she did,” says Q in an interview from Kolkata. Raman rendered a Tagore song titled “Gopono Kothati” (Secret World) for Tasher Desh and Mills worked with Bangladeshi singer Anuseh Anadil to contribute to the soundtrack. “I’ve seen the trailer of Tasher Desh and it looks incredible,” says Raman.

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The London Indian Film Festival show, which is scheduled to be held on June 21st at BFI Southbank, may just turn out to be a heady jam session, explain both artists. “I think we have two days before the show to rehearse, but we might just end up improvising. The unexpected is also exciting,” says Raman. Q is also betting on spontaneity for the concert that will span  over an hour. “We have all new material ”“ 11 new songs ”“ with a completely different vibe,” says Q adding, “Susheela will perform with Sam and a group of Rajasthani folk musicians. Besides, there’s Moog Conspiracy and Steve from Asian Dub Foundation, so you can expect some energetic performances.”

The concert will be held after a preview of Gandu.

Click here for more details.



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