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Watch Singer Radhika Sood Nayak Introspect on Guitar-Aided ‘AsāN’

The new song from the Mumbai-based vocalist adapts 16th century Sufi poet Shah Hussein’s composition

Rolling Stone India May 04, 2020

Mumbai-based vocalist Radhika Sood Nayak.

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In understanding and adapting 16th century mystic poetry, Mumbai-based vocalist Radhika Sood Nayak found a bigger message of purpose tied to the current sufferings of daily wage earners and migrant laborers in India during the national lockdown.

Nayak, a singer who began performing Sufi music in 2015 after stints in the corporate world, takes the poetry of Sufi mystic and poet Shah Hussein for her latest song “AsāN,” which translates to “I” or “us” and offers her interpretation of divinity, love and frugality. The opening verse in the song talks about how a learned scholar is not needed to “commune with the divine,” and deeds to sate one’s hunger. The singer says in a statement, “It is these words of Shah Hussein that gave me my answers. I knew I had to recognize the destiny of this song. I also knew I had to make it count more than just my launch vehicle. It had to live its words. That is when I decided to use it as a vehicle to raise funds for the vast multitudes of migrant laborers and daily wage earners who are left with no means of livelihood.”

The song, which Nayak worked on with the late dastango storyteller and writer Ankit Chadha, has been launched to promote the efforts of not-for-profit organization Goonj’s Rahat COVID-19 campaign. The song is buoyed by guitar and production work from Hitesh Dhutia, tabla and percussion from Vinayak Netke and bassist Adi Mistry. In the video directed by Mumbai filmmaker Alleyah Asghar, a longtime collaborator with Nayak, the singer is seen amongst calming surroundings, murals and nature singing her philosophical song.

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Watch the video below.

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