Padharo Mhare Desh...a welcome call Swaraag

In 2014, when freelancer musician Arif Khan met Pratap Singh, an IT professional, their shared passion for folk music, gave birth to Swaraag, a unique Indo-western fusion band.

Merging traditional Rajasthani and Sufi melodies, with modern instruments like the electronic Sitar (also called the Zitar), the 13-member band aims to bring people in touch with the roots of classical music.

"Our band reiterates the idea of 'padharo mhare desh' through its music," says co-founder Pratap.

After being formed in 2014, the duo spent the next few months building a team of talented artists. However, the challenges were never-ending.

"Initially ours was an Iindo-western instrumental band that put a lot of focus on Indian classical music. Although it set us apart from other bands that were mostly focused on electronic or rock music, it also made us niche, which resulted in several Indian platforms treating our band like background artists," adds Pratap.

It was at that point when Arif's brother, Asif Khan, an accomplished Sufi and Rajasthani folk singer joined the band. Both the brothers have trained under their father, Ustad Mahmood Khan of the Sikar Gharana.

Consequently, Asif became the voice of Swaraag, while Arif, a talented sitarist, became its soul. Together, the talented duo has since driven the band to newer heights.

"Some people are blessed with pure love for music, and I was lucky enough to have found that in the sitar at a very young age. Today, thanks to Swaraag, I get to experience, express and experiment with that—playing the Zitar, is one of many such endeavours. The unique blend of the traditional and the new is what makes this band so special," adds Arif.

In the last few years, the band has been growing in popularity with several corporate events, concerts, festivals, collaborations in radio, TV, documentaries etc. They were also featured by the HCL Digital Concerts and performed in Delhi in 2019.

"We want to give more representation to this form of music and encourage similar artists to follow suit. And, HCL Digital Concerts provided us with a huge opportunity to take our music to the masses. From the concept of an online live performance to the production value, everything about it is incredible. It's a big boost for artists like us," mentions Arif.

HCL Digital Concerts is a platform meant to identify aspiring musicians and provide them with opportunities to showcase their talent through digital as well as physical music concerts.

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Excellence in performing arts is the consummation of years of rigorous application and expert training. The fusion of body and mind makes every expression of artistry truly world class. Just as HCL synergizes knowledge with endeavour to produce innovative solutions, HCL Concerts celebrates the sheer brilliance of human genius in the field of performing arts.