Praise the LORD

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The devotional music industry has bucked the trend of dipping sales. And now it has new voices to sing for the gods Prayers have worked for 23-year-old Vidhi Sharma. The psychology student from Delhi University, who has been singing since she was two, is on her way to a singing career after winning a devotional music contest held in Delhi this month. Her soulful renditions earned her a prize of Rs 1 lakh and a recording contract.

She's not the only one: across India, aspiring classical singers are slowly drifting into devotional music. Sales across all genres of music might have plunged to the bottom but the devotional music industry has god on its side. "While our Bollywood music sales have taken a beating, devotional music albums still sell and are going strong in smaller-city sectors," says Vinod Bhanushali, senior manager of T-series, one of the biggest players in this market.

"As long as we have god and festivals, we will have devotional music," says singer Anup Jalota, who in his mid-50s is the undisputed king of devotional music. In the late '70s, his album Bhajan Sandhya outsold Sholay. Today, Jalota nurtures young talent. He is also a patron of the Sona Devotional Music Awards, a talent hunt held exclusively for devotional music singers. Since the awards started last year, Jalota has noted more entries from small towns in Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh. "There is little representation from the south, possibly because of the language barrier. But we might include all languages soon," says Surinder Kapur, CEO of the Sona Group.

Indianexpress.com: Praise the LORD

A decade of Jahan e Khusrau World Sufi Music festival

The capital will witness national and international Sufi singers like Abida Parveen, Ali Zafar, Hans Raj Hans, Andrea Griminelli (Italian flautist) and will also introduce emerging talents such as Indira Naik, Vidhi Sharma, Rajesh Pandey, Vidhi Lal, Shivani Varma, Murad Ali among others at the three-day Sufi festival to be held from March 2-4.

Timesofindia.com: A decade of Jahan e Khusrau World Sufi Music festival

 

AN ODE TO THE RAIN GODS

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