If you attended the NH7 Weekender festival in Pune earlier this year end 2012, you might have recognized the Bhojpuri Queen as the flamboyant front woman of the Trilok Gurtu’s band.
Its one thing to hold an audience while backed by a full band, other times, it produces the most magical and spellbinding performances in the world.
Kalpana was introduced by Trilok Gurtu to the huge new crowd at Bacardi NH7 Weekender in Pune on 3rd Nov 2012, which is the biggest & happiest Indie music festival in India. 6 solos songs – and that was it! She got an overwhelmingly positive response from the audience and the crew alike – both for the music and for her traditional Naga attire.
The second episode of the Bacardi NH7 Weekender saw thousands of fans descend upon Amnora Park Town, Pune to experience music ranging from heavy metal to electronica to folk fusion and reggae on the second day of India's happiest music festival.
The stage featured sets from the likes of virtuoso percussionist extraordinaire Trilok Gurtu and the Karsh Kale Collectiv.
Trilok opened with a solo, loop station-powered track and was then joined by Kalpana Patowary on vocals, Sheldon D’Silva on Bass, Nitin Shanker on additional percussions.
With his trademark headset and his mammoth drum console, Trilok Gurtu enraptured a huge Dewarists audience with his masterful playing. Niggling sound problems at the start of the set didn’t deter his virtuoso delivery. He received a huge cheer when, close to the end of the set, he spoke some Marathi, communicating to the audience that he was fluent in the language. The fast-paced set encouraged the growing crowd to get on their feet and dance to Triloks drum-step.
The band had some kind of magic going on between them. As you listen to every next song you will quietly wish it would never end. Nonetheless, lovely group ... one of the few who are attempting to do something new.
There were thousands of grateful, crazy, fans dancing from chorus to chorus, sardined into each other’s’ sweat and black tees. Way up front, the usual squish against the barricade. No water, no food, no booze. Just everlasting glory for being close enough to feel the voice of Kalpana and the drum-lows of Trilok Gurtu coming their way.
Kalpana Patowary has been regularly captivating audiences as a singer in India. Kalpana’s songs demonstrate a range of shades and temperaments. Her voice boils down to acoustic simplicity, which draws influences from an eclectic range of genres from blues, rock, pop, folk, to classic ballads.
As she expresses about the experiences, “Trilokji with Sheldon D’Silva, Nitin Shankar and myself – we were all four that day. Except me all three were rhythm performers in their own way.
Just before the show, Nitinji spoke to me – Kalpana today you are in the forefront and we will follow you.
Oh my God……how can I take the whole responsibility? Trilokji himself is of such a huge dimension. Actually Nitin Shanker meant it from a different angle. There was not a single harmony or melody section that day. So with my voice we had to cover up the whole thing.
I prepared myself mentally and while performing that day the single thing on my mind was that we 4 were not solo musicians but a single team. We had to help and support each other to rule out. It clicked and till today I feel so happy remembering that moment on The Dewarists Stage.
Today Kalpana has begun performing as a professional and has to her credit advertising jingles and a well-received early set at the Blue Frog. She is growing as a singer in leaps and bounds and while strongly inspired by the Jazz/folk genre, Kalpana is not afraid to challenge herself by stepping into other styles.
Kalpana Patowary proved time and again that she has what it takes to please both the masses as well as the classes. She has toured across the country and the globe, winning fans and generating strong online buzz for their blend of traditional Assamese & Bhojpuri folk tunes and electronica sounds.
Introduced to music early on in her childhood, Kalpana is the worthy torchbearer of a rich legacy of vocals, being the daughter of Assam’s folk singer Bipin Chandra Nath and disciple of the legendary Ustad Gulam Mustafa Khan.
Having dabbled in a slew of genres over the years, the Assamese icon & BHOJPURI QUEEN has taken over an entire generation's imagination. Songs of heartbreak, love, freedom and companionship have further helped push her into stardom.
Hats off to Papon (East India Company) & Kalpana Patowary on their efforts to expose Assamese folk traditions into Indian mainstream music scene.
Fabulous. Absolutely amazing. I had some of the most memorable moments of my life this year end. Usually, I try and avoid looking back at the time that has left me by, but 2011 was far too special to be so indifferent (Motherhood). 2011 was also a year where I discovered a lot of home legacies. I discovered new sounds capes thanks to “The Legacy of Bhikhari Thakur” (reviews here) a musical documented album released worldwide from EMI. I got a great response from fans and critics alike.
But 2012 gave me The Dewarists Stage, at the Bacardi NH7 Weekender Pune where I saw a silhouetted flag bearer in the sea of people cheering for us as I have had the privilege of working with one of the best percussionist in the world. And so, I feel really lucky. He has the most fantastic energy.Personally The Dewarists Stage was huge for me and it was really epic. So it’s definitely been a wonderful year, and I hope that in 2013 I continue to build further on what I’ve achieved in 2012.
The charming combination of Kalpana’s power packed voice with Trilok Gurtu’s drums and Sheldon De Silva’s bass has already landed her appearances this 12th January where we will see her play at the iconic Bandra Fort Festival 2013 in Bandra Mumbai.
The band closed the set with ‘Jhulelal’, much to the delight of the gathering.