Rajeev Prasanna belongs to an illustrious lineage of music as the grandson of the flute maestro Lt. Pandit Raghunath Prasanna he started learning music at the age of 9 from his grandfather and father, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasanna. Music has always been an all pervasive part of life inspiring a successful career as an established and well-received flautist of the Benaras Gharana. He is an B high graded artist from Doordarshan & All India Radio and also a recipient of the prestigious CCRT Scholarship for Young Artists. He is also known for blending his love for innovation and tradition.
Here is Rajeev Prasanna in a conversation with GOGO Magazine.
1) When did your journey as a musician begin?
I belong to an illustrious lineage of music as the grandson of the flute maestro Lt. Pandit Raghunath Prasanna. My journey started at the age of 8 under the guidance of my grandfather and father, Shri Ravi Shankar Prasanna. Music has always been an all-pervasive part of my life thereby inspiring a successful career as an established and well-received flutist of the Benaras Gharana.
2) Which was your first song?
Finding Dorian is the first song of my band Wa Bi. Sa Bi. There is an amazing story behind the making of this song. We (Jairaj Joshi –Drummer, Abhishek Dasgupta – Guitarist, Sanglap Sengupta – Bass player and Me – Rajeev Prasanna – Flautist) actually happen to be touring with Shreya Ghoshal. We were stuck in the hotel room of Boston due to the hurricane “Dorian” and that night we started jamming and named this song as “Finding Dorian” which was recorded, produced and shot in 3 hours in a hotel room itself.
3) Which has been your most memorable live performance?
I guess, I can say that Wembley, London has been my one of the most memorable live performance with Shreya Ghoshal.
4) Who has been your inspiration?
It has always been difficult for me to answer this question. However, I believe that we get to learn from every person we meet in life and that eventually brings us inspiration.
5) Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
As an artist, we always see ourselves learning and growing in every walk of life. You can’t really map it in years/numbers. But as a band we would like to grow and bring more awareness towards the unique taste of instrumental music.
6) Which is your most preferred genre?
My most preferred genre is Indian Classical as my roots lie in Indian Classical Music.
7) Tell us about your latest track.
Rajat in a Metro is our latest song. It is produced by my elder brother Rajat Prasanna. The concept was sown by my elder brother Rajat Prasanna back in 2008 when he was on his way to home from his graduation farewell party. With mixed emotions of the farewell and the excitement of stepping into the Delhi Metro for the first time (as the Delhi Metro was inaugurated that month) led him to this joyful melody while standing and observing people in the metro.
8) Tell us about the the Wabisabi Band?
Wa.Bi.- Sa.Bi is one of its kind where it’s led by the flutist thereby planting the seeds of classical music with a unique combination of Irish and western music. The band members are already working in the Bollywood industry which eventually led them to experiment an unplanned jam in the United States where it was unusual for people to hear Michael Jackson music playing on the Indian bamboo flute and the idea to create an instrumental band was formulated. Wa.Bi.- Sa.Bi aims to present a heady mix of Indian Music with some western elements. Members of the band have played with some celebrated artists like Shreya Ghoshal, Sukhwinder Singh, Kailash Kher, Sachin Jigar, Vishal Bharadwaj, Ash King, Sona Mohapatra, Harshdeep Kaur and many more. Rajeev Prasanna has also been a part of MTV Unplugged season 5&6 along with many award functions.
9) How was life in quarantine?
The Pandemic was something that no one had ever expected. It was difficult was everyone including us as no concerts and no freelancing work was taking place at that time. Nevertheless, we need to see the silver lining which eventually led us to learn and practice our art more and more thereby helping us grow in some or other way.