Geetu Hinduja

Geetu hinduja – Unplugged

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Geetu Hinduja is a Mumbai based Contemporary Folk singer songwriter, whose stage name is Geetu Unplugged. She believes that music should be a celebration of life, with all its strife and struggle, joys and pleasures.

Anatomy of the Genre

My music falls into the realm of folk, spiritual & singer songwriter sort of material; perhaps a good description for my genre is ‘contemporary folk’.

Tell us something about your latest single. Inspiration behind the name and the project. 

The latest single is Bhaja Govindam. It is a set of 33 verses written by Adi Shankaracharya & his disciples. This Indian philosopher & theologian lived in the 8th century. I have recorded 2 versions of the song: one version which is upbeat & made up of a selection of 9 verses & the other is a 19 odd minute track for which I have sung all the stanzas & is produced in a more minimal style. This work is generally considered a summary of Adi Shankara’s Advaita Vedanta philosophy. 

Geetu Hinduja

This song is a part of a series of singles which I plan to collate under the title of ‘Songs of Grace’. The other songs that I have released so far and are a part of this collection are a Jain Mantra & a Buddhist chant. 

According to you, what does it take to earn the acclaimed badge of “Established Artist”?

I honestly don’t know. I guess in some circles it would be the number of times your songs are streamed or downloaded and the number of concerts you do. For me I look for authenticity & excellence, no matter the genre, language or ethnicity; the music must ring true & should not sound contrived. And then it depends on whether you are referring to an entertainer or an artist.

Your Highlight performance till date and why so? 

I have enjoyed many of my performances. However, the one that I remember with a lot of fondness is the first major concert I did. It happened rather late in my life compared to other musicians. It was my dream come true, I had been fantasizing about performing for several years as a professional, but somehow life took over in different ways. I finally got an opportunity to do it ‘my way’ at the Bandra Fort during the Celebrate Bandra Festival on 27 November 2009. I had a mental picture of this concert with a fabulous acoustic band & a choir for almost 20 years. It finally happened that day. It was truly a dream come true for me. 

Geetu Hinduja

An artist’s Best Friend is?

Her instrument, be it her voice or any musical instrument she plays in the case of a musician. It becomes his/her life partner, his/her purpose in life & a safe place to go to, it is a healing space, it is a growing space, it is where the artist was meant to be. 

A piece of equipment that has been absolutely pivotal in onstage performance?

My mic. I have a strikingly sensitive condenser mic which was recommended by the first person who managed my musical career. I must hand it to him; he knew what would work for me & suggested I invest in it rather early on in my professional career. 

What was the first ever instrument/equipment you played?

The first instrument I played was an acoustic guitar. I was gifted a lovely Ovation Roundback very early on in my life & it is my most prized possession to date. It inspired me to keep playing… as it has a rich, crisp & deep sound which blends beautifully with my voice. The sound of this guitar has only grown richer & deeper over the years. It doesn’t require to be amplified much most times. 

Geetu Hinduja

An Ode to the Roots

I have grown up in Mumbai. My parents migrated to India from Sindh in Pakistan. Initially when I started writing songs, it had a lot to do with my life as it unfolded in this city. Now I find that I seem to want to go back to my roots & explore more material that has to do with the wisdom of the past which is relevant even today. I have never been to Sindh; I would love to explore that terrain & get a deeper understanding of its culture & its past. I don’t think the histories that we have impact us in a direct fashion, but surprisingly & unknowingly they do creep into various nooks & corners of one’s psyche. 

I have a few friends who are a part of the music industry here. I have had very positive experiences with most people I worked with. 

How are the psychological rewards in this career you have chosen? 

As I mentioned before; it is where I was meant to be & it is my safe place & it is how I express myself. 

An artist whose music according to you is attracting international attention which is going to propel the industry’s growth. 

A R Rahman & Ravi Shankar before him have contributed greatly to Music from India being recognized at an International level albeit in different genres. 

If we speak to you again exactly this date 5 years from now, how different are all the above answers going to be?

I do hope they are going to be the same at the core, and my integrity remains untouched. However, I hope I have more wisdom & spiritual maturity to answer the same questions in a deeper manner with a greater understanding & tolerance for the larger world.

If we speak to you again exactly this date 5 years from now, your answer to which question would remain unchanged?

The one about an artist’s best friend!

Well, thank you once again for spending time with us, giving us valuable insight into your career. We wish you all the very best of luck in your endeavors. See you soon at a Concert.

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