In the Spotlight - Anshul Kapoor, A Musician and huge propagator of Folk Culture

Today in our most inspiring & popular series 'In The Spotlight', we are sharing about Anshul Kapoor and above photographs tells you a bit about him. Without saying much, let's hear out in his own words - 

1. About you: Tell us about the place, where you were born; your education, and profession. 

I was born and brought up in a small town in Himachal, often known as the queen of hills Shimla. I completed my high school in Shimla and then pursued a Bachelor in Computer Application in Chandigarh .

2. Your Journey with Music right from the time when you started following your passion for music. When did you start taking it seriously?

My journey with music started during my school days. Ever since I was a child i started listening to some good bands like Junoon, Indian Ocean, Euphoria, and many more independent artists like Lucky Ali. At that time there was no youtube or any other social website through which you could easily find good music. We used to buy cassettes from the market. One of my friend was a Christian and he had a very strong roots in music. He always inspired me with his guitar playing talent and I started singing some  songs with him. Gradually we decided to form a band. I still remember our recess time, haha. It was the most entertaining time for everyone in our class.

Related post - In the spotlight - Shailesh Sharma, a Himalayan photographer & explorer

We used to jam some Bollywood songs, but at that time we were not too serious about music. We were just having a good time and it helped us make a good name in school. You can also say that we were doing all that to impress others. We participated in school functions, school fete and also represented our school in local festivals.

After completing my high school, I was a little confused because my parents wanted me to do my graduation from Chandigarh. They wanted me to explore. In the light of the choices, it was getting tough for me to continue with my band, and ultimately I decided go with my parents' decision. I informed my band that I will try to continue but that I could not be sure for how long. I shared with them my need to explore and make the best of my growing phase. 

In 2007, I shifted to Chandigarh. Then I started learning guitar by myself and youtube helped me a lot. In 2011, I found some friends who were also into music and they too were from Himachal. Everyone was so much into folk music and we had perfect chemistry too. We were all living in the same apartment, and decided to form a folk blues band (folk note the Himalayan blues). We started performing in college fests and competitions. During this time we saw some very tough times. Our type of music was very new for the audience because there was no other folk band in Chandigarh. As a result sometimes we got strong negative responses, but sometimes our music was liked by some people too. 

... ...

We were so strongly influenced by himachali folk culture that we started travelling all over Himachal. Travelling also helped me learn folk instruments like the recorder and didgridoo and many other wind instruments. 

In 2013 we recorded a folk song "kaali ghaghri" in Delhi. This was our first recording experience and we were very nervous. It was a very tough job for us to record a Himachali song in a studio where everyone was very new to himachali music. But despite his lack of familiarity with our music, the guy who was recording was so experienced that we managed to complete the song in 2-3 days. On the release date we were so excited and nervous at the same time. Soon the verdict was out. People loved that song very much. We were getting loads of positive responses and greetings from the audience. It was the very first time when a Himachali song was liked by non-Himachali audience. From that time onwards, I have got a new identity "Anshul kapoor - A Folk Musician". When i returned to Shimla, all my friends were happy for me. I was getting very positive comments from everywhere. Even my family members who always supported me in all my endeavours were so delighted. This helped boost my confidence.

Now I am working on a new project "Abhigya the Band". Recently we launched a beautiful folk song "Dhudu nacheya", where Dhudu means bholenath. "Dhudu nacheya" is going viral on social media now a days.

3. What is your ultimate goal as an artist?

As an artist, I must say one should promote one's folk culture. It is important to draw inspiration from where you started your life journey, your roots, your culture, as all this is very pure and soulful. The simplicity of the villagers, the beauty of mountains, the positive vibes...everything. It is my dream to represent Himachali folk music on a big stage like the Coke Studio. There is no other artists from Himachal except Mohit Chauhan who is promoting our folk in the industry.

4. What is so special about your city/country and its life/culture? How your city influenced you to follow the path of music and this beautiful form of Art?

Everybody knows about Shimla. Everything is so beautiful in Shimla, especially the nature. It is a small town covered with pine trees, where each and every season has its own identity. In winters you can see snowfall. Spring time is full of beautiful, colorful flowers. And one can never talk enough about the monsoon. I love the simplicity of people in Himachal and their simple lifestyle. Fairs and festivals, the sound of nagads (local drums), and people who are so religious and  caring for there gods. I have never seen such strong faith and such rituals anywhere else. This spiritual aspect seriously inspires me a lot. The positive vibes of Lord Shiva inspired me to create folk music that connects me to my roots.
5. What are your sources of inspirations? Do you have some favorite singers, musicians or artists? How do you keep yourself motivated?

Beauty of the Himalayas, travelling and exploring new things is the basic source of my inspiration. Mostly I am into adventurous activities. I seriously love camping and cooking in jungle. Making new dishes. It makes me feel really happy and relaxed when I play guitar and compose music in the mountains. 

If you ask about musicians, I am a big fan of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Dire Straits, B.B King, John Mayor, Eric Clapton, Indian Ocean, Parikrama, Euphoria, Junoon the band from pakistan and especially Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Sahab. Since my childhood, I used to listen to Kishore Kumar, Mohammad Rafi and Lataji.

Related post - In the Spotlight - Ravi Dhingra, an accomplished Photo-Artist and Lifestyle Photographer

6. What is your core Mantra ?

Don't lose yourself or your sanity along the way in your entrepreneurial journey. Keep your actions aligned with your values.

7. What piece of advice do you wish to give to aspiring/budding artists, fans, and readers of the post?

I just want to say to my friends please don't compare music to any drug. Nowadays drugs are spreading all over, especially among youth. Some new generation musicians think that your music sounds much better when you are high on drugs but it is not true. So please it is my request don't use drugs to create music. Instead making music is a drug in itself. I have a very simple advice to them who are addicted to drugs - please dont spoil your life with all this because one day you will regret it. I love my fans so much. Seriously, thank you guys for believing in my music. It is because of you that we are getting a very good name in the music industry, especially in North India. I would like to thank each and every person who helped us in our tough times. Especially my parents who always supported me. I also want to say this again - please promote your culture through good music. Stay pure and believe in yourself. Life is beautiful. Jai Shankar Ki.

Thanks for the interview..

If you liked this post and found it helpful, I would request you to follow these things when traveling -

  1. Manage your waste well and don’t litter
  2. Use dustbins. Tell us if you went to a place and found it hard to locate a dustbin.
  3. Avoid bottle waters in hills. Usually you get clean water in hills and water bottles create lot of mess in our ecosystem.
  4. Say big no to plastic and avoid those unhealthy snacks packed in plastic bags. Rather buy fruits.
  5. Don't play loud blaring music in forests of jungle camps. You are a guest in that ecosystem and disturbing the locals (humans and animals) is not polite

Trending Post Today !

How to reach Kasol/Malana and top things to do around this stunning hill-station of Himalayan State of India

Main places to see & Top things to do around Dalhousie : Stunning Hill Station in Himalayan State of India