COVID-19: 20 top musicians unite to aid folk artistes

Shankar Mahadevan (Photo credit: Mike Ritter)

By Arundhuti Banerjee

Mumbai– Twenty artistes from across the country are coming together to support folk musicians during the COVID-19 lockdown through an online concert series titled ‘Lets Folk Together!. Celebrated names as Shankar Mahadevan, Amit Trivedi, Vishal Dadlani shared their views on the folk music culture.

Musicians like Papon, Salim-Sulaiman, Raghu Dixit, Harbajann Mann, and Mame Khan among many others will be joining the online fundraiser concert.

The concert series will launch on YouTube and social media platforms of all the artistes on April 24 at 9 pm. The 15-minute episodes every day will be streaming till May 3. The proceeds from the concert will go to the folk music community.

Talking about the initiative, Shankar told IANS: “Folk music in India is an integral part of our culture and heritage, and also continues to play a major influence in contemporary music and arts. As an artist, I owe deep gratitude to folk music traditions.”

Vishal said: “Indian folk music is our culture, our roots and right now the folk music community need our help to survive. It’s a critical time for us to band together as musicians, artistes, and humans to help protect and conserve a valuable cultural treasure that is folk music.”

Bollywood music director Amit Trivedi spoke of how folk music has influenced his work: “Folk music has a rustic quality. It is deep-rooted. India is a diverse country and there is a wide range of folk music in our country, and this has always fascinated me since childhood. I look out for opportunities to use folk music in my expression of music.”

Shankar on the other hand believes that the music concert will also motivate people to stay positive in the time of crisis.

“Music has always been a glue that binds us together as a community. It’s a universal language that resonates with all of us and we’re seeing how musicians are playing a vital role in sending out messages of positivity and hope through their live concerts from home,” Shankar said.

The concert is produced by Believe Entertainment, in association with Anahad Foundation. Said Abhinav Agrawal, founder and director, Anahad Foundation: “Through this initiative, we are trying to provide financial and ration aid to around 5000 vulnerable folk artists across the country. These artists are in dire need of help as all the shows for the next 6-7 months have been cancelled and they have no other means to support themselves and their families, they are not even considered as a daily wage worker. The donations raised through this initiative shall go to the artists.” (IANS)


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