Indian culture is much more than just Bollywood films. The Confluence Festival brings together a rich tapestry of Indian music, visual arts, theatre and dance and aims to show the diversity that one of the most ancient cultures has contributed to the world. We talk to celebrated singer and composer, Sonam Kalra who will be performing as part of the Festival with the Sufi Gospel Project.
How did the collaboration with Melbourne singer, Ashley Clement come about?
Ashlee is a very close friend who has helped me along my musical journey, and since I was coming to Australia I wanted her to share the stage with me for one song. I’m so grateful to Teamwork Arts, The Festival of India and The Indian Embassy in Australia for giving us the opportunity the share our music in this amazing land.
What sort of music inspires you?
I like lots of different styles of music ranging from Gospel to Indian Classical music and Jazz, Sufi, Pop and Broadway. For me the poetry in a song is just as important as the musical composition. I like songs and voices that move me, that tell a story, that take me to a different place.
I’m inspired by my mother who is the reason I sing. We were surrounded by her love for music growing up, and both my parents were so supportive of all the choices I made. Growing up in a liberal, thinking home with grounded influence is what lead me to create The Sufi Gospel Project.
What is the most embarrassing or surprising music track as you willing to admit you have in your music collection?
I have a track of my 5 dogs and husband singing with me and they’re all in perfect pitch! So it’s not the most embarrassing – but surprising yes, and definitely one of my favourites!
Lastly, this is your first time to Melbourne, Australia. What have you heard about our city and what are you looking forward to doing while you are here?
I have heard so many wonderful things about Melbourne, and I really wanted to go to Phillip Island and see penguins, and go whale watching as well – but unfortunately I will be there for only one day so I will only see the inside of the Melbourne Recital Centre – which I know will be amazing!
I really do hope I’ll be back here again soon, so I can see more of this beautiful city and meet it’s wonderful people.
The Confluence: Festival of India will run until 30 October.