A singer, composer and Yoga teacher, Rajesh was born into a family of singers, growing up in an environment of music, nurtured by the music and singing of his parents. Says Rajesh, singing came naturally to him, having inherited his musicality from his parents. They were his first teachers. Growing up in the city of Mumbai, he went on to take formal training in Indian classical music from several well-renowned classical singers, a training which evolved into a deep love of music and a conviction of the connection between spirituality and music.
By the time Rajesh was in his early teens, he had developed an interest in philosophy and spirituality, being inspired by the teachings of Swami Vivekananda and the work of the Ramakrishna Mission. This led him to train as a Yoga teacher, and he completed his training at the same time as finishing his university degree. Music and spirituality embraced him at a very early age. As a professional singer, Rajesh was a graded artist with the All India Radio and TV.
He moved to the UK and now lives in Wales. His experience of Yoga led him to the Mandala Yoga Ashram, where he was a resident for 4 years. This experience of “living in Yoga, 24/7” was intense, rich and a turning point in his life. Since then, his work has revolved around music and yoga. Along with creating and producing music, Rajesh also teaches Yoga throughout the UK and abroad, teaching CPD level courses for the British Wheel of Yoga as well as seminars and retreats. He has several courses to his credit, working with the practices and philosophical aspects of Yoga.
His courses on the subject of Nada Yoga: The Yoga of Sound, and Bhakti Yoga, are very popular and close to his heart. In an answer to a question on the interconnectedness of music and spirituality in a recent interview he answered, “My training in music and my experience of teaching Nada Yoga has given me a strong conviction that the World is music – Nada-Brahma! I feel that this entire universe is a grand symphony, with all the different components of the universe, such as galaxies, stars, black holes, supernovas and also all life on earth, playing their part. I believe that music is a spiritual practice.
The sadhana in music is a way of meditation. It is very interesting to notice how a very simple practice of Nada Yoga could develop into a very deep practice which has the potential to transform our understanding of music, the world around us and indeed the Self itself! I will never forget the moment when my teacher told me to sing in such a way that my song resonates with the song of the universe. That very important teaching changed the way I understand and experience music.
It is at such times, when one is deeply immersed in music, that one deepens the understanding of Nada-Brahma. The Upanishads proclaim that sound is the very essence of our being and indeed the world around us. This has become a central tenet of Indian philosophy.
This sound is OM, the word that expresses Nada-Brahma. ‘Sarvam Omkar eva! All is OM’ is the teaching of the Mandukya Upanishad.”
One of his passions has been to enfold Indian music with the music from other cultures. He enjoys working with musicians of different genres, bringing music and cultures together. He collaborates in an Indo-Celtic trio, Tŷhai, with two other musicians – guitarist Dylan Fowler and saxophonist Pete Stacey.
As a singer in Tŷhai he bridges the music and culture of the Celtic world and India: singing in Hindi, Sanskrit, English and even Welsh (he is a Welsh language learner), as well as the musical language of sargams, taranas and bols.
As one half of the duo Gitân, Rajesh, together with singer, composer and multi-instrumentalist Stacey Blythe, blends his compositions with the rich traditional music of Wales.
Rajesh was recently involved in a project in Sweden, working on traditional Swedish folk music in collaboration with classical guitarist Siddhi Sundt and tabla player, Suranjana Ghosh, culminating in concerts in Stockholm and Uppsala.
Other past collaborative projects include:
CD album Mangalam with Pete Stacey.
With Zambra Flamenco at the Diss Corn Hall and at the Drum Camp Festival in Norwich.
With electronic ambient composers Paul Sharma, and Oliver and Peter Spencer, performing as The Minimal 4tet at the Brighton Fringe Festival. Worked on 2 CD albums with Paul Sharma: Safar and Not This, Not That.
Working with traditional Welsh folk songs. Lisa Lan played on Radio Cymru.
Cover version (Bombay Mix) of Lorraine Bowen’s “Crumble Song”, played on BBC Radio 1 and Radio 6.
Voice of Bobbi Sing-Song in Moshi Monsters – the Movie, singing “Welcome to Jollywood”.
With Indo-Jazz group Jadu, performing at Sharq Taronalari International Music Festival in Samarkand.
Rajesh has produced several CD albums of his compositions as well as yoga practice CDs. His has been inspired by the poems of the Sufi poet Amir Khusro, mystic poet Kabir and Upanishadic texts such as the Mandukya and Isha Upanishads as well as the advaitic text Ashtavakra Gita.
Future projects include musical interpretations of Adi Shankaracharya’s poems, the mystical poems of Kabir, the heart-opening poems of Mirabai, inspiring verses from the Upanishads and other Sanskrit texts and the poems of Urdu poet Ghalib and many more…
He will continue his collaborations with Tŷhai and Gitân, performing and creating new music. Rajesh’s love of world- and multi-cultural music will continue to be a source of inspiration for future collaborations.
As a CD Baby artist, Rajesh’s music is available on streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon music and Deezer. His collection of music and CDs are are available on Bandcamp.