About Rowena

Hello, my name is Ro, and I believe that it is possible for you to turn your ordinary life into an extraordinary life - to find true happiness, while remaining, selfless, mindful and compassionate towards other living beings. Here at my blog, I interview and post articles by musicians, writers, world travelers, humanitarians and other amazing individuals who are doing just that. I also share with you various anecdotes about my own totally awesome existence as a musician, composer, journalist, environmentalist, and compassionati. My hope is to connect with you, enlighten you, inspire you and lead you down the path to true happiness. Compassion is always in fashion and it starts with you loving that most important of people, yourself.


September 8, 2010

Interview with Babu Choudhary, Guitarist, Producer and Friend, from Bombay, India!

Babu Choudhary’s album “Somewhere Out There” is an album that in his own words “just happened” and was created with a little help from his friends from the Bombay music industry. Released in April, 2008, the album is intensely personal to Babu, and in his own words “a small tribute to the guitarists that I grew up listening to - Jimi Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Frank Zappa, and Carlos Santana." Based on many genres of music, including but not limited to Indian fusion, rock, blues and hip hop – the album has a truly global influence. I personally like the album very much and am looking forward, with great anticipation, to Babu’s soon to be released album “The Electric Sky" which is currently streaming on MySpace. I am also very excited to have the opportunity to interview him here on my blog on the pinnacle of the album’s release.

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

3 comments:

Lalo de Pilar said...

Dear Ro,

This is a very nice and informative article. I hope to read more in the near future. I love reading about others who have gone through what most of us have gone through in life, however, via their own path. There is much to learn and very little time in which to do so. Still, it is a must and very good to do so. I look forward to more interviews.

All my best,

Lalo

pumpkinboy said...

Wonderful interview!

Nandoo said...

Keep Rocking, Babu! I remember singing "My Guitar gently weeps" at Rang Bhavan with you at one of shows that Farhad had put together many many years ago. You have always had a great sound!