Combining Carnatic, Hindustani, jazz, folk, electronic, and drum-n-bass, Vivek Rajagopalan’s music creates rippling sound scapes that are edgy as much as international; and if world music today is a melting pot of cultures & genres, then Vivek’s music is a drop of spicy red curry in the concoction.
Two hands and fathoms of music – that’s Vivek. Vivek befriended the Mridangam at the age of 9 under Guru Shri T.S.Nandakumar’s keen supervision and grew up listening to Late Palakkad S. Mani Iyer,the legendary mridangam player, Karaikudii Mani Iyer, and Trilok Gurtu.
In 1996, Dinshaw Sanjana took a young Mridangam player to the world at The International Jazz Festival – Thailand, which saw Vivek, just 17 years then, brace the stage alongside some of the most talented jazz musicians from across the world.
Lucky Ali, the famous Indian Pop artist, took him on board as part of his band and featured him in his album “Sifar”. Experience came early to Vivek with sessions and live concerts with much respected musicians from India and around the globe.
For the Common Wealth Concert Tour in 2002, he proudly shared the stage with Shri (Badmarsh and Shri), Courtney Pine and other respected musicians from the Common Wealth Countries. In 2003, Bugge Wesseltoft, Shri, Per Martinsen, Dhruba Gosh and Vivek together performed at the Jazz Yatra in India as RAGATRONIK. In the following years, the band toured to Norway where they played at the Oslo World Music Festival and later on in France and Belgium.
In 2007, “Dancing with Shiva”, an album combining new age sounds with the powerful chants of Shiva was released under Times Music. “Moving Images”, his first solo album, a rendition of his life’s experiences was released under Blue Frog Records. At AVIMA’09, the album was nominated for the “Best Dance Act (Solo)” and its track Snake in the City won the “Most Mind Blowing Music Video Award”.
Vivek was invited to perform at the prestigious Le Suds a Arles in France. Both his electronica set and the unplugged set received a stupendous response from the audience. Vivek is also a strong believer in collaborations with international artists to create music which is experimental and new for the discerning music listener. His impromptu jam with Bauchklang has been featured in their album “Live in Mumbai”.
He has also recently played in Richard Bona’s new album, The Ten Shades of Blues.
Today, Vivek has succeeded in creating a niche for himself even in the usually ultra-commercial ad jingle circuit and has “Mumbai Calling”, a British sitcom to his credit. The show has been aired in 7 countries.