By Aditya Biswas and Aritra BeraOpening Doorz Editorial | October 16, 2020

On Sunday, October 18, 2020 from 9:30 am to 11:30am IST, Utsav California will bring you ‘Live’, via R D Burman studios in Mumbai, a concert for all music lovers. For audience in California US, it will be a relaxed Saturday evening as the musicians take you on a journey with R D Burman.

Among the 15 musicians who will be performing ‘Live’ will be trumpeter Kishore Sodha who first hit the right notes on a stage with Kishore Kumar in 1978, and has never looked back ever since.

“My first song was from Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, ‘Rote Hue Aate Hain Sab’ by Music Director Kalyanji-Anandji. That hit song was sung by Kishore Kumar, my very good friend who I toured a lot with and because of whose association I met R D Burman,” remembers Sodha vividly. “I was touring with Kishoreda. It was December 25, 1978. After the concert, R D Burman came to me and inquired who I was; I told him my name and also mentioned that my brother, a violinist, was in his troupe. He asked me if I would play at a recording the next week. I went and then joined the group for the entire Shalimar background score,” adds Kishore Sodha.

As he readies for the concert, Aditya Biswas and Aritra Bera from Opening Doorz, the media partners of this concert, Zoom in for an interview with the legendary trumpeter. As teenagers, their first question is the monster hit Badmateez Dil, which has the trumpeter laughing!

For readers of Opening Doorz, click the link here to enjoy the concert ‘Live’.


Tell us about the recording of Badmateez Dil?

Recording today is nothing compared to the days when I started out in 1978. Then, we had over a 100 musicians in a studio recording ‘Live’. Today, we just have three musicians and a sound engineer. I was practicing the song in the studio and after some time I asked the sound engineer, what my part was. He told me that he had already recorded. I asked them what he recorded and he told me that he recorded when I was practicing!  ‘You now only have to play the hook line’ he said.

You mentioned about 100 musicians recording ‘live’ when you started. How has the music industry changed over the years?

Everything has changed. Then, we recorded everything ‘Live’. Over a 100 musicians would sit together in a studio. Today, we don’t have such huge studios. Nowadays everything is digitalised or computerised. Two or three musicians come and some programmer will programme the song. Then I will go and dub alone. That feel is not there. Today, when I go to the studio to record, I don’t even know whose song I am playing. I play, take the money and come back [laughs]. After a few months, when I hear the song on television, I say, ‘Arre this is my song yaar, I played this tune that day’. It is also hard to find a good Music Arranger these days.

Muqaddar Ka Sikandar Kishore Sodha
“I come from a family of musicians,” says Trumpeter Kishore Sodha.

What inspired you to pursue a career in music? Did you have any role models?

I come from a family of musicians. My father played the Clarinet. My older brother plays the Saxophone and another brother plays the Violin. I started playing the Trumpet at the age of 5. It was my father who taught me and it started quite by accident and with more of a challenge for him.

What do you mean by challenge?

[Laughs]There was a very good trumpeter of that time who was a good friend of my father. His name was Siraj. One day, when at home, he told my father that the Trumpet is a very difficult instrument to play and you cannot teach anyone. My father took that challenge and called me to his side, gave me a trumpet and asked me to blow. All the time he was pinching me and with his other hand was pressing the keys. He told Siraj, ‘See, he played the C Major scale. Come back after three months and he will play a song for you’. That was how I started! I used to practice the whole day for three months. My lips were bruised and cut!

If not the Trumpet, which instrument would you have liked to play, if any at all?

I would have liked to play the guitar, because it is an easier instrument. The Trumpet requires a lot of practice and the instrument is hard to maintain. Even today, I practice three hours a day to set my lips.

Any advice for young musicians?

I play a very difficult instrument. I tell the younger generation that they must learn this instrument. It will take you 5-10 years. But nobody has time nowadays—they want to learn today and perform tomorrow! Today’s youngsters usually play easy instruments like guitar or drums. Even then, they need to practice a lot because it takes time to master any instrument.

How do you plan on expanding on your body of work and leaving a legacy behind?

Currently, I am working on a Jazz album. It’s totally instrumental. We have already recorded three songs and the albums should be out next year. I have collaborated with my friends from the US (drummer) and Germany (guitarist).

Finally, what are you views on the concert?

I’m really grateful for Utsav Sacramento for coming forward to help the musicians who are out of work, during these difficult times. It’s a heart-warming gesture and you can rest assured that we all will take you on a R D Burman journey that everyone online will remember for a long time to come. To you all, thank you. To all the readers of Opening Doorz, do click the link above and join us ‘live’.

Pic Courtesy: @KishoreSodha/Facebook

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