Great songs are always created by a combination of great melody and great writing — a piece of poetry. But in this day and age, it is difficult to hear this great, meaningful poetry in popular music and film music barring a few exceptions, although there is a large volume of great poetry, classic writings by famous poets in our country. This gap was identified by Chinmayi Tripathi, an entrepreneur and singer-songwriter-poet who started off a unique initiative — Music and Poetry Project — in association with her partner and producer-composer Joell Mukherjii. Their band, Music and Poetry Collective, is an attempt at reclaiming classical compositions through contemporary music.
VERUS FERREIRA met the band to find out how they take poetry and fuse songs into them, and what made them leave their regular jobs to make music their full-time job.
Verus Ferreira: How did your journey in music begin?
Chinmayi Tripathi: I trained in Hindustani classical music as a child. Honestly, I did not have a great inclination towards learning music, but music came intuitively to me. Poetry came naturally to me, coming from a family of writers and scholars. As I grew up, I started writing my own songs and poems. However, I had no clue what I wanted to do in life, and if at all music would fit into the larger picture.
VF: How did you come up with Music and Poetry Collective?
CT: Since we have such a rich heritage of literature, then why can’t we loop in great poetry into contemporary music? Hence, I decided to create an album based on classical Chhayawadi (Hindi) poetry that I found beautiful. I did a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for this album, and hundreds of people from all over the world contributed funds to help me achieve this dream. This gave me the confidence to think bigger and form a band — Music and Poetry Collective.
Verus Ferreira is a freelance music journalist for over three decades, contributing articles to various newspapers and magazines. He is the author of The Great Music Quiz Book and The Great Rock Music Quiz Book. Besides being a music aficionado, he is also a photo-journalist. He contributes to Musicunplugged.in and has his own column on The Revolver Club, a vinyl music store. Reach him at verusferreira.com