For someone who has given notable hits with songs like ‘Kabira’ (‘Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani’), ‘Iktara’ (‘Wake Up Sid’), ‘Aali Re’ (‘No one killed Jessica’), ‘Pardesi’ (‘Dev D’) and ‘Madari Ka Bandar’ (‘Gulabo Sitabo’), and shies away from media attention, playback singer and composer Tochi Raina feels that one does not really have to go anywhere for music as it has its own unique way of finding everyone.
“Who can dismiss the melody of water, the rhythm in breathing and the sound of air? It is within us in all moments,” says Raina, who got his break with ‘Bulleshah’ in ‘A Wednesday’ in 2008.
Hailing from a family with a strong culture of music, Raina, who has lived across the country besides Nepal, says that coming in contact with Pandit Vinod Kumar, who also taught him to visualise his breath, has been the high point for him.
“Not just music, he gave me much more — the ability to see and understand music in its entirety. In a way, it is like being granted the five elements and seven chakras. Simplified, he gave me life,” he says.
Raina, who believes that for an independent musician, it is always important to believe in the music he produces, also has a group called ‘Band of Bandagi’ which is known for its Sufi music.
“Bandagi is the voice given by Guru Nanak Dev. The key here is every individual member has a bond with himself and how all those vibrations meet at one place to create a new essence. At the end of the day, great music is all about creating a bond — with oneself and with the audience,” Raina says.
The singer and composer, who likes to spend long hours meditating every day, was not really affected by the lockdown. “I am in dhyan for several hours a day, so in a way, I have been in a state of self-imposed lockdown for years. I did create some music in these months, which will be out soon,” he says.
Raina, who will be seen in HCL Digital Concerts this Friday, feels that the government and the corporate sector need to do much more to promote music.
“We are aware about the indispensability of art in our lives. I am glad that a corporate house like HCL realises its social responsibility and is holding concerts regularly,” he says.
Talking about how he chooses his songs, the singer-composer says that the most important part is the lyrics.
“I spend a lot of time with them and go ahead only if they manage to evoke emotions in me at different levels,” he says.