Chandrika Tandon to use Gandhi bhajan in next album

Last Updated: Nov 13, 2011, 13:03 PM IST

Chicago: Grammy Award nominee Chandrika Tandon will include Mahatma Gandhi`s favourite bhajan `Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram` in her next album `Soul March`.

"I have take `Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram` which Gandhiji did during the Salt March and recomposed it in different styles, ragas, beats and genres," Tandon told PTI.

Tandon, whose music is mostly based on Hindu chants, said `Soul March` will be released in four weeks. "The song `Raghupati Raghav` is done in reggae, rocking beat. All different kinds of beat."

New York-based Tandon attracted Indo-Americans from cities as far as New York and Los Angeles for her benefit performance to launch the Global Peace Initiative by Maharshi University of Management.

She performed from her album `Soul Call` for which she was nominated for a Grammy this year in the Best Contemporary World Music Album category.

"My goal is not about my virtuousity. I`ve not trained to be a khayal or Hindustani singer. I`m simply trying to take music that is simple... but keep the purest classical traditions," said Tandon, who performed at a sold-out concert in Iowa.

Tandon, 56, is trained in western classical and is also influenced by music of different countries.

"Everything that I sing and compose is in ragas. I don`t add different notes, I just reimagine the piece in the style of flamenco or Brazilian. I learnt Portuguese through music, I learnt French through Music."

Married to a North Indian, Chandrika Krishnamurthy, the elder sister of PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, came to the US in 1979 to work for McKinsey.

"I met this fellow who was in New York - a Punjabi guy and I married him. I am a true hard-blooded Chennai Aiyar.

When I visit India, I go to Delhi, Dehradun," Tandon said.

She has trained under musicians like Vijay Kichlu, Subhra Guha, Pandit Jasraj, Girish Wazalwar (Jasraj`s student) and for Carnatic music from T Vishwanathan of Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

"Its been a tough struggle to get major musicians. I have many gurus. I am a music beggar. I have five gurus. I took training under many gurus while staying abroad with my family.

My mother`s a very good musician. If I go for any work I just fly my teacher out to where I am and I just take classes in between my business meetings," she said.

An alumna of IIM Ahmedabad, she is on the board of the New York University Business school. She worked with McKinsey for long and now manages the business of Tandon Capital Associates Inc.

She changed her name to Tandon after her colleagues at McKinsey joked that Krishnamurthy was too long.

Asked how did she get interested in music, Tandon said, "I think I was singing before I was talking. I would sing a lot in school, I would win the prizes when I was young. I would stand in line and miss the bus because I was singing in my head.

Formal training started a couple of years ago... but the real training began pretty much about 8-9 years ago."

PTI