On a cool November night, music enthusiasts soaked up The Raghu Dixit Project's sunny vibes when they performed on the second day of the Dhaka International Folk Fest 2018. Held at the Bangladesh Army Stadium, the festival's international stature is ideal for the lungi-wearing Indian folk band, who are known for taking ancient Kannada poetry and presenting it with a contemporary and global sound. Ahead of their performance, we had a short but candid conversation with Raghu Dixit, the frontman who gives the band its name.
How do you feel about being a part of the Dhaka International Folk Fest 2018?
Well, I am pleasantly surprised that even though this is our first time performing in Bangladesh, there are already so many fans of the band here, whom I have come across. It feels good to see that people across borders have connected with our music.
Your lungis and ghungroos are almost as loved as your songs. What do you want your listeners to take away from your music?
Our music carries the message of joy and happiness. We just want people to let their hair down and have fun when they listen to our songs; we don't play anything that has a dark or negative vibe.
The interest in folk influenced music has been on the rise lately; what is it about folk music that is seeing this sort of commercial revival?
I think that folk has always been a beautiful kind of music, but there was a lack of avenues for it. A lot of musicians were also stuck in the traditional format of folk. But, now, many artistes have emnbraced a more modern sound i folk music, making it more enjoyable and accessible to a wider audience.
Are you looking to collaborate with local musicians in Bangladesh?
We would love to team up with musicians here. In fact, The Raghu Dixit Project is built on the basis of collaboration, so I am hoping to form some friendships, perhaps backstage, during the festival.