Singer-songwriter Falu has been bridging gaps between eastern and western sounds throughout her illustrious career. In advance of her sold-out concert at the Rubin, we spoke with the artist to discuss her influences and perspective on music-making.
You’ve proven yourself as a talented and influential performer in a variety of music styles, the most recent being the Bollywood sound. What led you to explore the genre?
I was raised in Mumbai, India and it’s very difficult to escape Bollywood once you are raised in Mumbai. It becomes an inherent part of one’s life. In the United States, I launched my “Indie Hindi” album first and then embraced “world music” which was the foundation of my second album, Foras Road, both of which did pretty well in the United States. After that, friend Mark Tewarson suggested I start my third project with roots in Bollywood Music since it has always been a significant part of who I am. That is how I decided to lend myself to this genre.
In a conversation with DCist, you said “There’s a gap that’s widening every day and music is the best way to bridge that gap.” In what ways does your music bridge gaps between cultures?
The first Indian American generation brought Bollywood music from the 1960s and 1970s with them when they came here to the US, which was brilliant. The second generation thought it was uncool to listen to what their parents listened to when they were growing up. We have taken original Bollywood songs that the first generation listened to and arranged them and made them relevant with today’s modern music, crossing the cultural gap between two generations. The second generation can feel they are listening to something really hip and cool but actually, it belongs to their parents’ generation. Our effort is to keep the melodies and lyrics intact as it was originally written but adjust the sound and arrangements of the songs.
You’ve collaborated and performed with a number of legendary musicians over the years. Does any collaboration in particular stick out to you?
There are so many artists that I’ve admired working with. A few that stick out are Yo-Yo Ma, Wyclef Jean, Ricky Martin, A.R. Rahman, Blues Traveler, and Philip Glass.
For those that have never been to one of your shows before, what can they expect on the night of your concert?
It will be a truly fun experience for the audiences that have never seen me. We will take them with us and show them the true spirit and color of Bollywood Music from India.
Falu’s Bollywood Orchestra concert is sold out. Find out about standby procedures, or check out the many other upcoming live music performances at the Rubin Museum.
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