Abhishruti Bezbaruah: An Influencer With A Difference

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Posted in Entertainment, Featured

-Ankita Kakaty

“Each child in our culture is introduced to the world of fine arts during the initial years of life and that’s how my journey began”

Hailing from the bustling city of Guwahati in Assam, Abhishruti since her childhood has been extremely passionate about music and dance. At the age of 6, she started her formal training in Indian Classical Music and Dance. She, later on, voyaged to the state of Rajasthan as she was enrolled into the prestigious Mayo College Girl’s School at the 5th grade where she was keen and inclined toward music and other cultural activities. And that’s how she earned a niche for herself as she progresses and entered into the world of music.

Initially, she faced a lot of challenges as she juggles finding herself a career path as she thought of studying medicine.

She expresses that, “I become very anxious whenever I see blood although everyone close to me thought I would end up becoming a medical professional eventually I made up my mind that music is my go-to desire in life”.

And one fine day she gathered the courage to confess to her parents about her ambition by writing a letter to them.

Right after her honest confession, her parents supported her decision and soon after that, it was a no stopping ride for her. She shares one of her turning points in her career as she met Pandit Birju Maharaj Ji during an Annual Event at her school. To her delight, Abhishruti was chosen as the lead vocalist for the play “Habba Khatoon”, which was among one of the finest pieces of art.

It was her first-ever studio experience as she recorded her songs in Delhi. That was one of the turning points in her career. Soon after that, she had the opportunity to meet ace director “Umrao Jaan” famed Padmashree Awardee Muzaffar Ali who chose her as the lead voice for his dance drama “Gomti”.These are some of the foundation steps which led her towards accomplishments as a singer and performer.

“Music was something which is in our tradition. My father used to play banjo and mandolin, my paternal uncle and aunts were also singers and musicians who encouraged me in life – Abhishruti added.

Further, she went on to complete her formal advanced training in Indian Classical Music. She fondly expresses that she always had a dream of learning music under the aegis of renowned classical singer duo Padma Bhushan recipient  Rajan – Sajan Mishra from the Banaras Gharana of Music and with her dedicated approach towards her art she soon had the opportunity of meeting them in person. She says – “Maybe somewhere my stars are aligned as I had the fortune to meet them”. It was a lifetime experience for her that gave her the right path to her future journey ahead.

In the present era, we see around us that original content is always appreciated by the audience and listeners especially when it comes to music. As a youth influencer herself Abhishruti is always active on social media and interacts with her admirers regularly. She is very optimistic about the fact that one needs to constantly hone one’s talent and not fall prey to societal standards of getting a 9 to 5 job and not putting up music or any art form just as an additional activity or hobby.

“We should not typecast music based on one industry to be specific. Out of the glitz and glamour, content always finds its way through socially viable mediums. When a singer lends his/her voice for a film one cannot claim it as his/her own; one is only chosen for a particular song in most cases. When it comes to the Assamese film industry or music industry we are predominantly an independent industry from the past and that is our pride,” she says.

With the cutting edge media, innovation and digitization of technology new avenues are emerging for the upcoming singers and musicians, Abhishruti as a youth influencer herself is making a mark by bringing a new dimension to our traditional folk music “Bihu” with her popular song “Roi Roi Roti” – which is a global hit today.

She affirms that we, as a state is fortunate to have some of the great voices making it big in the national forefront. When asked about how she perceives the music scenario in Assam she quoted that to make a mark through our independent genres of folk, country music and other forms we need to buckle up and highlight our strengths rather than being a part of the rat race. The trend is what we make and not the one we follow. The latter is the only imitation.

“When I came up with my song “Roi Roi Roti” which is a folk fusion bihu track, we all had conceptualised it using local live ambient sounds and ethnic instruments keeping the soul and melody of the voice intact. And the way it connected to the audience is a blessing. People always enjoy good music and authenticity and originality is the key to success. That’s what I feel,” she says.

The content making industry or to say influencer’s hub is still in its nascent stage in India. In the course of the discussion with Abhishruti, she pointed out that today we have many platforms virtually which can connect to artists worldwide and also we can air our original content be it music, art, dance etc. via social media and its platforms like YouTube, Instagram, Facebook etc. It has and will continue to give so many opportunities to budding artists globally.

As the pandemic Covid 19 has hit us hard from the first wave in the year 2020 to the second wave early this year in 2021, Abhishruti shares her experiences regarding it.

“At times we get drenched to the heart hitting news all around us and fall in prey to a lot of negativity. Losing our near and dear ones is never easy and we should not take the virus lightly. Safety always comes first before anything else. And even one gets caught by the virus even after all the necessary precaution, one must not panic and try to boost our immunity with some productivity by engaging in activities we enjoy doing. And another thing is that in whatever capacity we can help each other and the people around us, we should lend our hand of hope. We are in this together and we can come out as survivors,” she said.

Abhishruti has always been an artist who believes in sincerity and dedication. Coming from a classical background all her music by far reflects a touch of her roots.

In April 2020, which is the first month of the Assamese calendar year known as “Bohag” which marks the advent of Rongali Bihu she released her folk fusion bihu track “Kerumoni Thuriya”.

It is a traditional bihu folk composition that has been passed on orally through generations. The son had gained momentum gradually and is well appreciated by Assamese music lovers worldwide.

Abhishruti as an influencer, as a media personality, the performer has always been keen to deliver content keeping the raw flavour of music intact giving the essence of originality.

She recently released the Assamese song “Ore Raati” which is again a new concept as the video is inspired by the experiences of transgender people. The upbeat song addresses the struggles, gender identity, taboos of the society relating to the transgender community. The song is an honest effort urging society to embrace the LGBTQIA+ community. In the whole process of the video, she was being supported by activist Milin Dutta and her lead “Janvi” with every nuances and information to strive for perfection on screen. She is very hopeful for the people to appreciate the concept and embrace the song with pride.

Abhishruti also shares her vivid experiences of working in the Hindi film industry. After completion of her bachelor degree in sociology from Lady Shri Ram (LSR) College, she further went on to study Sound Designing and Music Production at Whistling Woods International in Mumbai. During the process, she learned that sound and music department are completely different and that’s how she technically educated herself to face the real world.

In the year 2011, she started working professional with Academy Award Winner and Slumdog Millionaire famed sound designer Resul Pookutty, one of her first work was for the movie RA One and eventually she worked in many Indian films such as English Vinglish, Kick, Highway, Good Road (Gujarati), 3 (Tamil) etc.

She also had the experience of working in Hollywood movies such as The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Partition 1947 (Viceroy’s House).

After acquiring the skills and having worked practically, she decided to give it all back to the place where her roots belong to. She began to try her hands on regional folk music of Assam with the usage of musical instruments like Dhol (Drum), Pepa (Trumpet), Gogona (Mouth Harp) and many more aptly in her songs which gave an authentic rhythm to Assamese folk melodies. Since then there has been a no stopping journey for the talented performer from Assam – Abhishruti Bezbaruah.

“My parents have been my greatest support and strength in my entire journey. I look up to my mother because she had dedicatedly been with me right from my training days, accompanying me to my concerts, performances being an ardent listener. Similarly, my father has supported me emotionally being my backbone to show the right path and to be always grounded. Both have been my critics as well as admirers. I owe it to them for my success.” – she adds.

After well-received appreciation for her latest release “Ore-Raati”, which was one of Abhishruti’s debut compositions, she is soon planning to compose few more songs as her upcoming work. She is also working on a project teaming up with singer/composer Joi Barua. She is very optimistic to walk ahead confidently with different projects delivering good content to her audience and listeners.

Being a youth influencer and a doting music practitioner she believes that hard work and dedication strives for excellence. Music, dance or any other art form if practised dedicatedly finds its way and hence she motivates all the promising artists and upcoming singers and musicians to be positive in their approach and not falling in prey to the trolls and negativity which only dilute the mind. Self-belief and focus are what makes the journey worth living.

Wishing her success and good luck in her future endeavours.

(The author is a Research Scholar at the Department of Business Administration, Gauhati University)

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