This Janmashtami singer “Vandana Somaya “pours her heart out in a musical rendition Bhakti Vandana composed by maestro Anup Jalota
Bhajan Samrat Anup Jalota’s composition for singer Vandana Somaya Bhakti Vandana this Janmashtami.
The word devotion is often described as religious worship or love and loyalty towards a higher being. My devotion to music is synonymous with that of a devotee to the Lord, and it is from this sentiment that Bhakti Vandana has been conceived.
My yearning to learn and perform Hindustani vocal was apparent from a young age. My father, Mansukhlal Kotak, who is an accomplished harmonium and vocal artist, had a prominent name in the London network, and this presented me with a wealth of opportunities to perform and cultivate my talent. I would perform at live shows and competitions as a young girl but over time, as with any woman’s life, my priorities shifted and I devoted many years to being a loyal wife and mother. My thirst to become an accomplished singer remained inside of me, so with the support and encouragement of my family, I was able to follow my passion.
I began the pivotal part of my musical journey a decade ago, where I would leave my husband and two daughters behind weeks at a time in order to come to Mumbai in search of the right Guru to pursue my passion. The feeling of loneliness and being away from home was like no other, but with the focus, discipline, and devotion inside me, I continued on my chosen path. I was fortunate along the way to meet some very senior and inspirational personalities within the field, who have helped to guide me and open up a plethora of opportunities for me to perform and grow as an artist. Of notable mention is Padmashri Anup Jalota-ji, who has taken me under his wing to give me the most selfless mentoring and support. It is with his creative flair and deep rooted knowledge of hindustani classical music that we are presenting the Bhakti Vandana album.
Bhakti Vandana is a special dedication to my husband and two beautiful daughters, and to those that have a burning desire to follow their dream but circumstances or society rules may act as a hurdle. So there is only one thought I shall part with….
“To accomplish great things we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” Anatole France