Guwahati, Jan 21 (IANS): Raghu Dixit, who is the frontman of the multilingual contemporary Indian folk group -- The Raghu Dixit Project -- says every band has a strong desire to play in northeast India because of the "amazing love" they get from the region.
The Bengaluru-based band that performs in Kannada and Hindi across the globe was here on Saturday for a gig at the ongoing Rongali Festival.
"They (northeast Indians) are music and art loving crowd. The enthusiasm is unparalleled to the rest of the country. Every band craves to play in the Northeast because of the amazing love that they get from the crowd," Dixit told IANS after the band's performance.
"Hopefully, there will be concerts organised in a very professional way," he added.
Asked about the Saturday concert, he said: "It was like a 'khichdi'. They started late and soundchecks were delayed. So everybody's set list was cut down."
"We were supposed to play for 90 minutes. It became 45 minutes. So we had to cut down on seven more songs. It feels sad to come all the way and play just half of the set," he added.
The shows were supposed to start at 5 p.m. but commenced around 6.30 p.m. And so, instead of concluding at 10 p.m, the evening's last performance by Assam's popular singer Zubeen Garg, who turned up with a shaved head, went on almost till midnight.
That was not the only hiccup. The attendees, which mostly consisted of the locals, initially hesitated to sing along with Dixit, who insisted on teaching them a few lines in Kannada.
During the show, he said that they take Kannada music across the world just like Papon, who promotes his Assamese music everywhere.
While some people sang along with him, others refused to follow him.
He even joked on the stage saying: "You will have to come to Bengaluru some day for work. If you sing this song, you will get free water, food and accommodation."
Ultimately, the band won over the crowd with their songs like "Jag changa", "Rain song" and "Hey bhagwan".
"It will always happen if you sing in a different language. Even if it's an African band, it will be the same.
"It's like when Papon comes to sing in Bengaluru, the initial hesitation is always there but then Papon is such a lovable guy so, eventually you fall in love with him," said the lungi-clad singer, who also wears bells (ghungroos) on his feet during performances.
"The set was too small. Had it been 45 minutes more, it would have been another story. But we would like to come back and play a longer set. We had a great show in Tezpur University," added the musician, who has also played at IIT Guwahati twice.
But international songs in different languages like "Despacito" in Spanish broke all the records and topped the charts even in India.
"'Despacito' was played 10,000 times before you could take it up. My song ('Lokada kalaji') was played only once today. You play a song 20,000 times on the radio, it becomes popular. It is just about how you market the song. Unfortunately, Indian music doesn't get marketed like that," said Dixit.
Still, he will make the world sing in Kannada as long as he can.
They will soon create magic with their guitars, dhol, drums, violin, tabla and Dixit's melodious voice in the UK.
"We are up for the UK tour in a couple of weeks. We are playing a month-long tour in March so we are definitely looking forward to meet all our old fans there," he said.