The Pehli Pehel project was the result of a crowdfunding campaign in 2017. It seeks to broaden our nation’s appreciation for music from all corners of our diverse and multilingual nation. The latest in a series of music videos featuring artists from different parts of India is ‘Daake Re’ by Biswa Mohanty from Orissa.
‘Daake Re’ is unapologetically folk and rustic and doesn’t shy away from embracing the core of what makes the simplicity and minimalism of the genre so charming. We see an emphasis on traditional instrumentation, melody and the power of soulful vocals and poignant lyricism. Manohar Lal’s fervent flute solos and Soumya Ranjan Nayak’s patient percussion on the madal lead the way in an otherwise instrumentally sparse and serene soundscape. Biswa’s lyrics do not strive to be deep or complex in any way. Instead, they read as a heartfelt plea for people to embrace their roots and never forget their origins even when they leave to go and settle in foreign lands. He even goes as far as to say that their “mother” weeps because and calls for them to come together and wipe her tears off.
The video is a montage of gorgeous shots of rural Orissa and rural life. The song’s melodic vocals, flute and guitars blend seamlessly with the lush and beautiful landscapes and reinforce the importance of connecting with one’s roots.
Biswa Mohanty found widespread recognition in Odisha as a social activist and politician. Hailed as “Sarpanch of the Year” by the Odisha Government, Biswa also uses his talents as a singer to bring people together. ‘Daake Re’ was composed by Biswa with his fellow activists Indu Bhusan Mishra and Subodh Pattnaik in an effort to bring to light the many struggles and environmental, economic, and political crises that the world is facing today. The song is a call for people to see beyond their greed and work together towards progress. It is also in many ways a love letter to their motherland.
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