Possibilities are endless when artistes collaborate, says singer Rashmeet Kaur, one of the musicians who has lent her voice to Coke Studio Bharat’s latest song ”Taqdeer”.
Released last week, ”Taqdeer” marries age-old tradition of bait-baazi (a game of Urdu poetry) with Rajasthani folk, Punjabi beats, country blues, and hip hop as it brings alive the iconic romance of star-crossed lovers Heer-Ranjha.
She brought in Punjabi philosopher Bulleh Shah’s poetry to the song, which was put together by producer-composer Donn Bhat.
”People should collaborate more and they should definitely jam with each other. Possibilities are endless. Rajasthani, Punjabi and hip hop… Music from every place converged as if it was ‘taqdeer’ (fate).
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”You can visualise a lot of things while listening to the song. Be more open to music,” Kaur, best known for the song ”Bajre da Sitta”, told PTI in a virtual interview.
But the destiny of ”Taqdeer” was set in motion much before the singer-songwriter boarded the song.
Other featuring artists on the foot-tapping number are veteran vocalist Sakur Khan, who belongs to Rajasthan’s Manganiyar folk community, and hip-hop artist Prabh Deep.
Khan and his ancestors have been singing this Sufi song ”Taqdeer Banayo Faqeer” about Heer-Ranjha for centuries now, he said, adding joining forces with Bhat has only helped him showcase his art to listeners world over.
”When there was no computer or internet, we were always in the shadows. Nobody knew about this song. When we met Donn Bhat, he recorded this song with a lot of difficulty. There were no resources, no sound, it was all jungle. We completed the recording in 15 days without electricity.
”Donn Bhat came to meet me in Jaisalmer from Delhi and recorded this song. This song about Heer and Ranjha has been with us for centuries now. We recorded this and gave it to him. Through Donn Bhat, we came in contact with Coke Studio Bharat. I am very happy that I connected with Coke Studio and our song received recognition from all over the world,” the singer added.
Bhat said he was contacted by creative producer Ankur Tewari asking if he had anything cooking as he was part of Coke Studio Bharat.
”That’s where it all germinated and then I sent him a couple of tracks I was working on. And they narrowed in on this one (‘Taqdeer). Then he said, ‘Let’s expand it, make it wider’… It was a challenge to have three singers on it but it’s quite amazing how we managed to make the track,” he said.
The recording producer, whose music has been featured as the BBC Artist of the Month on UK’s ”Bobby Friction” show, said when he heard Khan sing ”Taqdeer Banayo Faqeer” he knew he had to collaborate with him on a new version that has become ”Taqdeer”.
”I was dancing in the room while making it in Delhi. It would be like 1 am and I would hear the drum break, the chorus would come and I could feel his energy. I just wanted that energy to be transferred,” he added.
Khan hopes things will only get better from here on for him and his community.
”The name of this song is ‘Taqdeer’ meaning destiny. We sang a song about it and destiny smiled upon us,” he said.
In February, ”Coke Studio” resumed its programming after an eight-year break, rechristened as ”Coke Studio Bharat”.
The show is driving a creative season with ”an amalgamation of over 50 artists from across the country who have come together to create over 10 memorable tracks celebrating the roots of Bharat”.
”Taqdeer” is the third song this season following ”Udja” and ”Holi Re Rasiya”.