Sunday, 5 February 2017

Music Diaries: Ritaprabha Ratul Roy

Thank you! For the beautiful response you have given to my initiative. I have been getting all the love and comments and have been super happy when I got messages that you want to know more about music. My main motive is going on the track of being fulfilled- of letting people know about music and musicians. So, for this week I am going to present in front of you a person who has been an inspiration to many.

Ritaprabha Ratul Ray. Okay! For those who might be wondering who I am talking about, let me put forth a question. Are you a fan of Bengali band Cactus? I am sure all my Bengali readers are grinning right now. “Sheyi Je Holud Pakhi” ringing in their ears. So, what if I take the pleasure of introducing you to the one who is responsible for playing the guitar for this famous band? For the one’s reading this and my music diaries for some time now, Ritaprabha was the very first person I took an interview of for my endeavour. Here’s presenting Ritaprabha Ratul Ray, a very known name in the band circuit unplugged for you...

It couldn’t have been more special. Let's start with, what was the very first tune that you ever learnt to play?

Ritaprabha Ratul Ray- Nothing else matters by Metallica.

How would you define or describe the musical instrument that you play- guitar. How close are you to your guitar?

Ritaprabha Ratul Ray- The moment I hold the guitar, it becomes an extension of my body, the vibrations and the expression of each note is actually the expression of the thoughts in my mind. I’ve never had formal music education and playing the guitar is a very physical thing for me that work on a fine mix of muscle memory and ear training.

Since you perform gigs, how is the feel who you’re performing in public? Stage fright?

Ritaprabha Ratul Ray- Although I have been performing since I was 16, I haven’t felt stage fright yet, but yes I do feel butterflies on my stomach right before going up on stage until I play the first note.

We have known that certain people like playing certain type of music. What is your type? Or rather, what type of music attracts you or defines you the most?

Ritaprabha Ratul Ray- I’ve never really been caught up with genres as I believe in being open and that there is something or the other that everybody can take back home from every genre of music. I play with two rock bands (The Ritornellos and Cactus), a fusion project (Pt. Tanmoy Bose’s Taal Tantra), a world music project (Bonny Chakraborty live) and there’s my solo project (Project Dreamcatcher), all the more reasons for me not to have just one type of music. If I have to mention one genre, amidst the chaos I keep coming back to blues music which acts as a fulcrum on which the entire spectrum moves.

Now that we’re talking about it, what are you working on right now?

Ritaprabha Ratul Ray- I’ve been doing very little of commissioned work these days. I’m more into generating my own work and doing stuff that most people wouldn’t do normally. As of now, I’m working on the debut album of the ritornellos, a couple of collaborations and the second instalment of Project Dreamcatcher. A new single release by Cactus is also in the pipeline.

I heard one of your tracks; Dil Doriya and I couldn’t help but listen to it on loop. Tell us about your journey through that whole song. The inception to the presentation.

Ritaprabha Ratul Ray- My solo project started on the pretext of me making music for myself. Initially I create some sections of the track and then the put the worlds and melody on it and do the necessary edits and try to produce the song in a way no one has ever imagined it. In a way you could think of it as going backwards since usually the song happens first and then the rest of the track comes in place. I usually drive down to Bolpur with my mobile recording set up, record Raju Das Baul and get back to the city to produce the song.

Playing for a band v/s Independent project. What do you prefer and why?

Ritaprabha Ratul Ray- I’ve been playing in bands since the beginning of my career and I believe that process happens quite naturally with me. It’s faster because there are multiple minds working on the same idea so it’s easy to come up with new perspectives everyday at rehearsals/ onstage. Independent projects usually take up more time as it’s hard to get everyone in the same page as the music producer, the unfamiliarity with the musicality of your fellow musicians in an independent project also adds to the timestamp.

You’ve been playing for a very well known Bangla Band, Cactus for a long time now. How has your experience been?

Ritaprabha Ratul Ray- It has been a nice one. I’ve learnt a lot both in terms of making music and creating business opportunities. The best part is getting to play for huge audiences all over the world.

In 5 years now, where do you want to see yourself?

Ritaprabha Ratul Ray- My five year plan as of now is releasing 3 full length albums with my bands, two more solo eps and 5 more collaborations.

Any Bollywood plans?

Ritaprabha Ratul Ray- I made my Bollywood debut with a song called Bezubaan from Piku a couple of years back. Honestly, I’m open to working for music directors but I don’t think that it would ever be the only thing I do.

For a parent, it would be very difficult to choose but as a parent, if you were to choose one song of yours, one baby of yours that is the closest to you then what would it be?

Ritaprabha Ratul Ray- I am yet to release that song.

For the upcoming musicians and your fans, what would you like to say?

Ritaprabha Ratul Ray- If you love doing something, go all the way for it.

So, what do you think? Guitar, the most important instrument in any band gets a new form and definition here. Wouldn’t you like to know more about music and musicians? I would too. If you are a musician and would want to talk to me about music and get featured here, letting your voice known, send me a mail at- If you are an upcoming musician and would want to know anything about music, leave me a mail and I would do my best to answer them. Keep looking at this space for more each weekend.

PS- There’s a special interview coming up next week. Do keep tuned in! Till then, let our soul be musical and from what I have learnt from musicians, Joy Guru!

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