#ForAssam: musical stars unite to rebuild Assam

Mumbai, Aug 2 (IANS) Singers Papon, Aditi Singh Sharma, Shilpa Rao, Benny Dayal, Akriti Kakar, Neeti Mohan, and Richa Sharma, along with the composer-singer duo of Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani, have initiated an effort to use the power of music to help rebuild life in flood-hit Assam.

They have got together for #ForAssam, a fundraiser initiative to support victims of the Assam floods.

"This is our contribution to revive the spirit of the land of the river and blue hills. The entire music fraternity stands in solidarity with the flood- hit Assam and empathises with the plight of the victims," said Papon, who hails from Assam.

"Together we will rebuild the lives of our brothers and sisters affected by the calamity. I also take this opportunity to extend my gratitude to all the fellow musicians who instantly agreed to partake in this relief project despite their prior commitments," said the singer, whose real name is Angaraag Mahanta.

Aditi, known for singing Bollywood songs like "Sooraj dooba hain" and "Dhoom machale dhoom", feels the power of music can make an impact under the circumstance.

"Music can make an impact, it can make a difference. It is a humbling experience for me to be able to perform alongside such wonderful artistes of the music fraternity on such an iconic stage. There is so much for us to learn from each other," she added.

Calling music industry one big band, composer Vishal Dadlani said: "Each of us is unique, bringing something different but our end goal is the same -- to be able to tug the strings of our audience. I feel honoured to be a part of this cause and to be able to share that power collectively as a group to a live audience while also making a difference is an extremely enriching experience."

To this, Shekhar Ravjiani added: "Assam has contributed some of the best musicians to our country. There is great power and resilience within that community and it is unfortunate what this calamity has brought to them. I am honoured that the music industry is able to contribute back to the community through our small efforts."

Hard Rock Cafe India has joined hands with Earthful Foundation to get the artists together to raise funds #ForAssam. The musical gig will be held on Friday. The proceeds will be directed to Earthful Foundation.

Shilpa Rao, who has been the voice of many actresses including Kajol and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, said: "Music is far more powerful than just spreading happiness. It can inspire, support and stand strong for people. Each individual can add to society in their own way and if with the concert we can help our brothers and sisters in Assam we are all honoured and fortunate."

Benny, popular for lending his musical to films such as "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani", "Delhi-6", "Cocktail", "2 States", "Hasee Toh Phasee" and "Bang Bang!", asserts it is important to allow yourself to get transported into a different place to be able to touch so many lives.

"It'll be a lot of fun to come together and perform for a community that is a much more important part of Indian music's soul," Benny said.

The "Baabul" singer Richa feels music is universal and "there is no actual differentiation between forms as long as it makes a difference to the people hearing it".

On getting the musicians together, Sanjay Mahtani, Co-Founder and Director, JSM Corporation India, said: "The beauty of music lies in the fact that it connects people and can communicate the ‘unsaid' and as a brand that believes in the ‘spirit' of music, we are proud to be hosting this event."