Ro: When and why did you start playing guitar?
Babu: I started playing guitar at the age of 18, because that was my passion!
Ro: Who was your first teacher? Other teachers?
Babu: I have never had a teacher. I am a self - taught guitar player, who plays with my heart.
Ro: As both a keyboardist and bassist, I have had the good fortune to work with a number of excellent self taught guitarists. Passion and heart – both of which you express – were essential to their learning process as well. Each and every one of them was also inspired by someone. Which musicians inspired you the most, and why? They do not have to be famous musicians, please tell me about anyone that has influenced you.
Babu: The guitar player in our band who played before me, Neil, is a great guitar player. The first time I heard “Are You Experienced” by Jimi Hendrix, I could not imagine that any man could play guitar in this manner! A few years later I heard Jeff Beck, and have been his follower ever since.
Ro: Jeff Beck is a favorite of mine, inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame twice - he totally rocks! Jimi Hendrix is of course legendary - one of the greatest, most influential electric guitarists of his era, and in my estimation one of the greatest musicians of all time. Hendrix’s music is based on many genres, much as your own music is – I can see some of his influence on you. What song inspired you to keep playing?
Babu: “All Along the Watch Tower”.
Ro: Very cool! A Bob Dylan classic, which did not chart, until it was covered by The Jimi Hendrix Experience, and released on the Electric Ladyland album in September 1968. Electric Ladyland was a massive hit and All Along the Watch Tower was well received by critics and later emulated by Dylan himself as a kind of tribute to Hendrix. That album brings back a lot of memories . . . I remember the day my little brother brought that album home and we all listened to it. Our parents were a bit mystified by it, although open minded enough to let us put in on the turntable . . . we kids loved it! What are your own fondest musical memories?
Babu: I used to love the sound and energy of the audience erupting when we played the Beatles number “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.
Ro: By George Harrison . . . great choice and what a wonderful feeling it must have been, to be received with that much enthusiasm, and I can see that you have many fans of your own original music as well. Somewhere Out There, the first album to be released on your own label, Manta Records, has done very well. I am confident that your new album, The Electric Sky will be received with equal energy and enthusiasm. Speaking of Manta records, when did you form Manta records, and why?
Babu: Manta Records was formed in 2007, as no record company anywhere in the world was willing to release Somewhere out There. I decided to do this myself on Manta Records.
Ro: It is my understanding that Somewhere Out There as well as The Electric Sky, were developed with a little help from your friends, thus the name “Babu and Friends”. Tell me more about your friends in the Bombay music industry. Where and when you met them, what instruments they play, why you like to work with them?
Babu: I am well connected with all the musicians in the Indian music industry. Ranjit Barot, the drummer for my first band, now plays with all international musicians like John McLaughlin, Wayne Krantz, Matt Garrison and many more.
Ro: Your music has a vast global influence, and as you know, I personally like it a lot! What message do you wish to send to the world through your music?
Babu: The message is that the musicians from India, will be a force to reckon with on the international platform in the next few years.
Ro: The music scene in India is growing day by day and gathering more worldwide support. The future looks extremely promising. I am looking forward to hearing more music from your country and from you. Is there anything else that you would like to add?
Babu: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to connect with your bloggers.
Ro: My pleasure Bau! Keep in touch, and best regards to you and to Babu and Friends!
Somewhere Out There is available on iTunes at:http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/somewhere-out-there/id272928180
The Electric Sky is currently streaming on My Space at:http://www.myspace.com/bablues1956