A major part of Indian culture and heritage is preserved in the form of art. Every region has its own significant language, ethnicity and tradition. And all of this is represented uniquely by a specific art form. Owing to the vastness and diversity of Indian culture, Indian art encompass a varied range of genres. Music being considered the most important part of Indian folklore, it comes as no surprise that more and more people are getting inclined towards creating traditional music. We had the opportunity to talk to one such musician who is changing the narrative of Indian folk song with his versatality. He is not only a great singer, but also has a great command over playing various musical instruments.
Sagar Patel is a Kartaal player who hails from Indore, Madhya Pradesh and is currently settled in Ahmedabad Gujrat. He has a full time job but his weekends and after work hours are completely devoted to music, “I am an engineer in the morning and a musician in the night “said Sagar. He started playing music at a very young age and was always intrigued by the fact that Indian culture has so many varieties when it comes to art. “The first time when I fell in love with Indian folk music was when I went on a fresher’s trip to the culturally rich and extremely vibrant city : Jaisalmer” said Sagar when asked about his first encounter with Kartaal.
He heard a native tribe singing songs and playing various instruments and wanted to try himself. It was then, when he asked one of the group members to allow him to play kartaal. “As I held it I knew I could play it, despite the fact that I’ve never ever played this instrument in my life.” After making thousand requests he was able to get his hands on some old kartaals. Unaware, what future held for him, he learnt how to play kartaal on his own. “It was a slow process but I got here on my own and there’s nothing more satisfying than that” said Sagar when asked, how he felt about his journey so far.
As the world came to a stand – still due to the pandemic, Sagar got a chance to grow as a Kartaal player. His instagram account had a follower count of merely 363 on 1st April 2020, however he was able to grow his insta family to 11.5k in just one year. In an attempt to make kartaal a popular musical instrument, he started giving live performances. “I could see that the audience were shocked to see me play this unique instrument”.
He has had the opportunity to work with some extremely talented musicians like “Kushal Chowksey” and “Anchal Shrivastav” . His relentless pursuit helped him gain love and respect. However, his goal is to be able to give Kartaal the kind of recognition it deserves in the world of music and art. On being asked, what was his biggest achievement so far he replied, “I have had the opportunity to meet new people from the music industry and be friends with some insanely talented people who help me learn and grow everyday.
As Indians, we should feel proud about our culturally rich diversity, and should welcome such talents with open arms. We should collectively work towards promoting our varied art forms. Sagar is doing a tremendous work and should be appreciated for bringing forward the traditional form of music so that the modern world doesn’t lose sync with the good-old traditional style.