Bihu, Bihu Lagise with Abhishruti Bezbaruah
Abhishruti Bezbaruah, best known for her folk-fusion Bihu songs Roi Roi Roti and Tok Dekhi Mor Gaa, is celebrating the first anniversary of her most recent song, Kordoi Sokola. A veteran of music and sound design, technically Abhishruti has been in the industry since she was 6 years old, when she had started training with Pandits Rajan-Sajan Mishra of the Banaras Gharana.
Since then, she has worked on a number of Bollywood, Hollywood and regional projects including The Second Best Marigold Hotel, The Viceroy’s House, Highway, PK and English Vinglish.
When asked why she has been continually making fusion Bihu tracks, Abhishruti said that she wanted to do something different for her audience.
“Since childhood, I’ve always heard my father mention that every artist gives something to their audience during Bihu. So, I always wondered to myself, can I do something like that? Can I do something different where I can give a gift to my audience for Bohag Bihu? That’s how the idea of Bihu folk-fusion came about,” said Abhishruti.
In the creation of her song, Kordoi Sokola Abhishruti was very particular with all the details. In explaining the kind of sound elements she used for Kordoi Sokola, she said that only sounds and elements that were relevant to Bohag Bihu were used and not random sound elements.
“Bihu is essentially the New Year, the incoming of spring season. My concept was to incorporate sounds that were specific to this Bihu. For example, I would not use a bed, wood or other elements such as metals as they do not relate to this concept. Since Bihu means newness, New Year, what do we do in Bihu? We gift each other clothes, clothes come from the loom so I used the loom sound. I used the percussion of rice, from which you make pitha and laru (traditional Assamese Bihu delicacies), and then for Assam, the river is such a main element, so I used the sound of the waves. All these elements are related to Bohag Bihu and so I was very particular about the kind of sounds used in this track,” explained Abhishruti.
Another interesting aspect of her Bihu songs is that every year, she sings songs from different communities. For this one, she picked the Mishing community and thus, travelled to Majuli which has a rich culture and dense population of the Mishing people.
Abhishruti informed that the song included traditional Mishing instruments such as the ‘ramdhaan gungang,’ which is the male gogona, the dentuk, which is a bamboo instrument and the Mishing dhol. She used these instruments and added the Axomiya ethnic flavor with the Hikoti (hichki, break in voice) element. The song was also made by adding certain Mishing lyrics and the use of VFX effects, thus mixing the old with new.
Speaking of VFX effects, Abhishruti said that she wanted to try something new, something that nobody had done with Bihu songs before. So she came up with the VFX idea with the aim to mix traditional with modern to give her song a cosmopolitan look so that it appeals to the masses not only in Assam but also outside of the state.
“A lot of my friends or acquaintances from outside of Assam would tell me that they don’t relate to Bihu songs, people dancing under trees, but Bihu is about dancing under trees. That’s the reason I wanted my song to have a cosmopolitan appeal. Even if it is in Assamese, people should connect. Nowadays, everyone watches music too, sometimes more than listening to it. Thus, you have to give them the entire package with perfect sound and sight,” added Abhishruti.
Currently, she is working on a few projects with prominent Assamese directors and music composers.
“I would like to wish all the readers of G Plus and everyone a very happy and prosperous Rongali Bihu and watch out for my next Bihu song in 2020!” she said in closing.