Assamese Singer Simanta Shekhar is creating a sensation with his lovely and attractive voice and melodious songs. His debut Assamese Album is Pakhila and is well known for his popular smash-hit song "Toradoi" in Pakhila. Another hit song of dikhou noi eriba nuwaru was popular with Assamese audience. His first Assamese solo Album is Apsora.
He Studied Pharmaceutical Science at Dibrugarh University of Assam but abandoned this lucrative career option to follow his heart, that is music. Talking about his initial journey Simanta says, “I was never a pharmaceutical person at heart. My parents always wanted me to take education seriously. They didn’t think that one could make a career out of music. That is the perception of most Indian parents. The society accepts music, dance, sports, or any kind of performing arts as extracurricular activities. For instance during my B Pharm days my teachers asked me whats the relation between medicine and music. I said “The only relation I find is both starts with M”. I did get first class degree, but music overruled my passion for anything else. But I am glad to see that the society is changing and parents are encouraging their children to take up performing arts as career.”
He has showcased his soulful voice and unique style of singing on popular show MTV Coke Studio. Simanta shares his experiences, “Coke studio is fantastic! Coke studio is a big time platform for talented musicians all across India as well as the world. I met some great talented musicians. We shared our thoughts and I developed new kind of music. When we interacted we realized that we had the same thought process. It is place for exchange of thoughts and creativity. A folk band from Rajasthan who had performed in coke studio came to my room after the show and jammed with me.”
How has modernization has affected the Assamese music culture? How has it affected his music?
Simanta feels, “There was time when people used to think there was only couple of Assamese folk singers. Earlier they loved peppy numbers. But now with social media the new generation is getting attracted to folk songs or folk fusion. The most attractive thing about Bihu is the rhythm. Bihu is a pentatonic folk, which can create a rhythm in your body.These days everyone is doing fusion, because that’s what the new generation is interested in. Because in fusion, the heart, the soul, that bhav (feel), is the same. It’s just some of the outer structures that they use that are modern.
Contributing Writer, Abhijit Ganguly, is an extensively published journalist based in Kolkata, India. His stories cover the global arts scene and the fusion arts movement with the culture and art of India. Ganguly’s work includes personal interviews with world renowned dance troupes, film directors, fine artists, sculptors, as well as jazz, hip hop and classical musicians. He is known for presenting an inside view of the artist's craft and what motivates their creativity. Ganguly also delves into the artist's take on what a young person in Kolkata can learn from each artist, so that the youth of the city can learn to master these skills.