Dhruv Ghanekar

Dhruv Ghanekar New album, Voyage 2

Popular composer and producer Dhruv Ghanekar celebrates collaboration and cultures in new album Voyage 2. Featuring music from all over India and across the world, the album is a sequel to his 2015 release, Voyage. Prominent collaborators on the album include Rajasthani folk singer Ila Arun, vocalists Kalpana Patowary and Vaishali Samant, bassist Mohini Dey, drummer Gino Banks, percussionist Taufiq Qureshi  and many more. A smorgasbord of sounds and styles from all over India and around the world, Dhruv Ghanekar’s album stays true to its name.

This ten-track album boldly combines Indian folk music with various musical traditions from all over the world, including Brazilian Samba, Balkan music, funk, and jazz. Voyage 2 is a celebration of collaboration and cultures, with noted musician Dhruv Ghanekar at the heart of the album fusing sounds to create a cohesive soundtrack.

 “Voyage 2 is a continuation of Voyage (2015) but with a deeper exploration of Indian folk melodies seen through my unique global lens,” says Ghanekar, whose last public project was the musical, Mumbai Star.

 “Voyage 2 is also a look back at my influences from the 1990s onwards. Music is not static and is constantly evolving, therefore my responsibility as a composer is to draw from all these rich pieces of music from across the world and marry them to Indian sounds,” he adds.

Ghanekar’s ability to meld different sounds shines in Voyage 2 as he juxtaposes Indian folk music with global sounds, Brazilian samba to Balkan to reggae, jazz, dub and even drum and bass. “The approach is to find contrary styles and fuse them at a deep level with folk melodies from various regions of the country,” he says.

Dhruv Ghanekar

Apart from Ghanekar’s skilful compositions, it’s also his collaborators that are special. The list reads like the veritable Who’s Who and includes names like dynamic bassist Mohini Dey, ace drummer Gino Banks, percussionist Taufiq Qureshi, noted bass guitarist Tim Lefebvre among others.

“Half of the collaborators are artists that I have worked with before and the other half are new connections,” reveals Ghanekar. “One of the biggest fallout of the post-Covid world is the comfort in collaborating without leaving our spaces. So Voyage 2 in a way is a celebration of this new travelogue of meeting people from different parts of the globe without ever setting foot out of my studio. As apocalyptic as it may sound, it has its advantages as one can access talented artists from anywhere. Since 2021, this journey has taken me across the globe — from Costa Rica to Boston, Paris to Denver, Nashville to New York City, and, of course, much of it being assembled here in my studio in Mumbai,” he adds. 

Case in point, the Marathi song ‘Jatra’ on the album. The song was recorded in Mumbai, the horns in Boston, bass in France, drums in New York and the Portuguese vocals in Costa Rica.

“It has been an exciting and wild ride, and the casting of each musician for every song has been something I have put a lot of careful thought into.” The album is also a celebration of women in folk, with all vocalists on the 10-track album being women. “I have always been drawn to powerful voices with a lot of character, and every voice on Voyage 2 is an authority in the culture she represents,” says Ghanekar. 

Voyage 2 features some of the most iconic voices from India, like respected Rajasthani singer Ila Arun, who has sung four tracks on the album. Kalpana Patowary, a powerhouse vocalist from Assam, was an integral part of the first Voyage touring band and she features on two songs while Nandini Srikar — whose association with the composer goes back two decades and even featured on his first-ever release, Distance (2009) — opens the album with the Sanskrit shloka ‘Suprabhatam’. Vaishali Samanth, the voice behind ‘Aika Dajiba’, features on ‘Jatra’.

Interestingly, Ghanekar designed the album as a project he would perform live. “This was one of the learnings from Voyage 1… Many of the ideas for the songs were born while I was touring with the previous band,” he informs.  

An album tour is yet to be announced but you can listen to Voyage 2 here: You can listen to Voyage 2 here

Words Platform Desk
Date 03.06.2024