Vanshika Singh

As a young Indian girl (read: bespectacled nerd) who was dismissed from getting to learn drums because no other girl in a school of 600-odd girls except me had opted for it as her co-curricular, my journey with percussions was one rife with subdued opportunities. Telling my parents that I did not want to strum a guitar like the other girls in the school were being prodded to hardly bore fruit. Who's gonna keep a drum set in the house with all that noise, they said. Of course then, my drumming journey began when I flew off the nest. As a 24 something neuroscience researcher , my heart still beat for 'em beats. I joined jazz drumming classes at one of India's topmost drumming school - MusicTek in Gurugram, set up by Manoj Mavely, a UC Berkley alumni and the only one from India to have attended the school on a full scholarship. As I learnt some jazz chops for a few years there, I took fancy to another instrument that was closer home - the African djembe. I had the fortune of a lifetime to learn from the pioneer of the instrument - Ustaad Taufiq Qureshi, son of India's finest tabla maestro Ustaad Allah Rakha and brother to Zakir Hussain. He taught me what humility can truly do to hone your art, as he told me never to perform in front of him with any 'pressure to perform' whatsoever. I learnt my life lessons from him as much as I learnt the grooves, and one of them I present here as my ode to him - a composition that his father taught him on the tabla in the Dilli Gharana.

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  1. Taieb on April 23, 2021 at 12:08 pm

    Impressionnant ! Bravo

  2. AllyR on April 30, 2021 at 6:06 am

    Go Vanshika!

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