Interviews ...

“We need to keep our folk music alive” – Barnali Hota


When Barnali Hota was just eleven years of age, she participated in the reality show ‘Saregamapa L’il Champs’. Six years later, in the year 2017, Barnali participated in another music reality show, ‘Dil Hai Hindustani’ and left a mark with her strong performances. As a singer, Barnali has had a long and rewarding journey and now, she wishes to explore herself as a composer as well. Currently, Barnali is one of the contestants on the reality show ‘Bharat Ka Amrit Kalash’, which has been designed as India’s first folk singing reality show.

In this interview, Barnali talks about her journey in the world of music, the experience of participating in reality shows, love for folk music, the growth of the music industry in Odisha, upcoming projects and more.

How has been this year for you as an artist?

It has been really good. I always wanted to explore folk music and I have finally got an opportunity to do that. In the form of ‘Bharat Ka Amrit Kalash’, I have got a platform to showcase my love for folk music. Through this show, I am trying to bring the folk music of Odisha to the forefront. The folk music of every region of Odisha has a distinctive flavour to it. I have performed many popular Odia folk songs on the show. After the show wraps up, I plan to curate these songs and present them in a commercial space.

In an interview, you had stated that you wish to keep the name of your state and culture alive. Can you elaborate on that?

As an artist, I feel I have some responsibilities towards my land. Apart from entertaining the audience, we should work towards preserving the music of our land. Our society will benefit from it. Preserving and promoting folk music is one of the best ways in which we can uphold the pride and dignity of the state and country we belong to.  We need to keep our folk music alive. It should be brought to the mainstream and introduced to the youth of today.

Do you think the Odia music industry has witnessed growth over the years?

Yes! In the last one year itself, I have seen a lot of growth. Composers like Gaurav (Anand) bhai and Somesh (Satpathy) bhai have been making some really good songs. A lot of good work is happening in the commercial space. This is a very good time to create independent music as well. Earlier, singers would get to sing when music directors would call them. Now, things have changed. It is a good time for both singers and musicians.

As a child, you participated in the reality show ‘Saregamapa L’il Champs’ in the year 2011. A few years later, you were seen as one of the contestants in ‘Dil Hai Hindustani’. Did participating in these reality shows help you get opportunities in the industry?

I would not say that it helped me get a lot of opportunities in the industry. However, participating in these shows helped me build an identity for myself. Through these shows, a lot of people heard my voice and got an idea about my abilities as a vocalist.

Do you plan to sing for Hindi films?

For a very long time, I did not look for opportunities to sing for films as I was busy with my education. Now that I have completed my Masters, I plan to reach out to people in the music industry. I also compose music. As a composer, I have created a bunch of songs. I hope to pitch them to music labels and filmmakers soon.

You have been the first singer from Odisha to sing in a Bangladeshi film.

I have never considered language to be a barrier. ‘Bharat Ka Amrit Kalash’ is a show which is all about representing the folk music of your state. While I have performed many Odia folk songs, I have sung in other languages as well. I have sung folk songs originating from states like Maharashtra, West Bengal, Assam and Uttar Pradesh. As a singer, I look forward to singing in as many languages as I can.

What are you doing next?

Right now, ‘Bharat Ka Amrit Kalash’ is keeping me busy. I want to do a lot of work in independent music. I would love to take more initiatives towards preserving the folk music of Odisha. A while back, I recorded two songs for Tarang Music. I plan to rearrange some of the folk songs I performed to in ‘Bharat Ka Amrit Kalash’ and release them properly.


Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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