Some artists transcend boundaries and genres, painting their stories with notes that echo across cultures and time. Tritha, a versatile and soulful musician, is a prime example of such a creative force. In this interview, she shared her remarkable journey from her early years, steeped in classical Indian music, to her evolution into a globally acclaimed musician with a unique blend of styles. With her enchanting voice and a heart deeply connected to nature and social causes, Tritha has created a musical legacy that resonates far beyond the stage.

Born in Kolkata, Tritha’s musical journey began at the tender age of three, when her family moved to Chennai. Enamoured by the melodies that filled her father’s playlist,including classical music raags, bhajans and Sanskrit mantras, young Tritha was drawn to the world of auditory magic, ‘I used to love listening to my mother hum and accompanied her to her singing classes’. Her parents recognised her extraordinary vocal talent and soon she found herself under the guidance of her first music guru, Pandit M.S. Kulkarni, embarking on a decade-long journey of dedicated practice. She delved into the realm of rock music too, introduced by her brother, exploring the sounds of Nirvana and Pink Floyd.

Tritha’s musical path was diverse yet deeply rooted. After training in Kolkata under the tutelage of renowned gurus like Pandit M.R. Gautam and Arun Bhaduri, she found her vocal guru in Pandit Santanu Bandhyopadhyay. Despite her classical training, her free-spirited nature pushed her to explore music beyond conventions. Her creativity blossomed in Paris, where she discovered a tapestry of global musical styles. Collaborating with artists and absorbing various genres, she founded Tritha Electric, blending her classical foundation with contemporary influences. “I developed my solo act during pandemic with my new found love of loop stations and modular synthesisers. Tritha Live is a journey from my traditional Indian roots to contemporary modern genres, connected through my voice. I sing a few songs from some of my last projects as a tribute to my times and also because many have social issues being addressed still important for me to share with the world, with an objective towards social change.”

Music and Environmental Activism
Tritha’s music transcends entertainment. Her album Pachamama - A Tribute to Mother Earth stands as a testament to her deep connection with nature and her dedication to raising awareness about environmental sustainability. This album was born from a dream where she saw an old woman with tears in her eyes, urging her to use her music to bring love back for the planet. With this powerful message, Tritha aims to inspire listeners to love and care for the environment.

Harmony for Social Change
Tritha’s activism extends beyond melodies and harmonies and working through the women artist collective SPACE (Stop Patriarchy and Choose Equality), she champions gender justice and empowerment. With a desire to create a space for women to express themselves, she led a group of diverse women to collaborate, showcasing their talents in music, dance and visuals. Through projects like these, Tritha’s music becomes a catalyst for societal transformation.

An alternative sound path
As a reflection of her holistic outlook on life, Tritha also offers music workshops that incorporate healing, meditation and activism. She believes that sound has the power to heal and balance, drawing inspiration from Indian classical raagas, which were designed centuries ago for therapeutic purposes. Her workshops aim to guide participants through meditative journeys, tapping into the transformative essence of sound. “I wanted tointegrate aspects of Indian classical raagas which I understood and were designed centuries ago for healing and even curing diseases and human conditions such as insomnia, hypertension, addictions, tuberculosis, even cancer. There are raagas for activating and balancing different chakras with sounds and mantras that help to keep the organs insidehappy. I wanted to share this knowledge with the world as it was so experiential for me. Sound cannot be explained in words. It needs to be heard and the vibrations felt. The workshops helped the subject to be understood in deep focus. We start first with meditation, then allow the practical sounds sometimes created with your own voice to do thehealing and finally activate what needs to be activated.”

Tritha’s artistic journey is enriched by collaborations with renowned figures like Sivamani and her participation in international projects. These collaborations infuse new perspectives into her music, allowing her to continually evolve her creative expression. From singing for Nobel laureates to jamming with jazz legends, her collaborations are the threads that weave her musical tapestry.

Tritha’s new album is A 55-minutes sound journey of numerous purification mantras for the soul. ‘It is for the purification of present & past karmas and for ancestors; gift to Earth from Buddha.’
‘I was invited by the monks of Shangpa Karmaling Buddhist Institute situated in the French Alps near a village called Chamberry. I stayed for a month in the mountains with llamas, correcting the translation of 100000 Tibetan mantras to Sanskrit, practiced the chants and finally recorded in the silence of the nights blending it with the pounds of nature, streams, rainfalls and Tibetan meditation bowls, trumpets and drums from the Buddhist temple.'

Words Hansika Lohani
Date 08.05.2024