" Amidst deep discussions on the meaning of life, hot cups of tea and some inspirational jamming - Advaita was born. "
The year was 2004 and the Indian underground music scene was witnessing a transformation. More and more musicians began to write original material and suddenly the idea of being a cover band which was the predominant culture so far, was replaced by a new spirit of innovation and creativity. The notion that identity and personality should be the main ingredient in one’s music began to take hold. This period also saw an explosion of experimentation by Indian Classical musicians who wanted to expand their horizons and reach new audiences.
In this scenario some of us who had been wandering and finding our paths in different spaces and styles of music, met each other and converged to form a band which we believed would transcend pre conceived boundaries and make music that would come straight from the heart and speak to the soul.
Amidst deep discussions on the meaning of life, hot cups of tea and some inspirational jamming - Advaita was born. Right from the word go, it seemed we were on to something special. It was spacey, psychedelic, rustic and earthy yet sprinkled with all those electronically produced sounds and to us it all felt very spiritual. Though the mix was eclectic and our references were varied, we all had one thing in common – the desire to make music that made you want to close your eyes and pay attention.
As it turned out we started receiving attention straight of the bat – the audiences in Delhi and people from the media hailed the Advaita sound as something new and fresh. Soon the gigs began to flow and our journey had begun. It was never going to be easy with such a large and varied ensemble of musicians, and we also had more than a few line up changes in the initial years but we plugged on and things only got better and better.
Its been one heck of a ride. We’ve had the pleasure of recording two full lengths albums at the incredible Yash Raj studios with India’s craziest rockstar – Mr. Shantanu Hudlikar. We got be part of the Soundpad project recording with one of the world’s most reputed producers – John Leckie and later touring the UK in a pink coloured luxury tour bus! We’ve had the joy of playing in front of audiences all across this beautiful country as well as many other countries of the world. We went snorkeling in the Maldives and played with lion cubs in South Africa). Yep .. its truly been a rollercoaster of a ride and we’ve got no plans of getting off!
We still feel the same burning desire to find harmony and resonance in seemingly different musical systems and sounds and to touch upon that which is primordial and indivisible. Advaita means non duality – there is no difference between the perceiver and the perceived – the jiva (being) and the atman (universal spirit). It is this all encompassing philosophy which drives our music and everything in our lives.
We speak in ragas and taals, modes and time signatures. But in the end all that matters is that there is a story behind every song.
"Ujwal is in many ways a pioneer as a vocalist who has bridged the world of Indian classical music with other more contemporary styles of music."
His impeccable tans and intricate rhythmic improvisation have enthralled audience around the world. Ujwal has cultivated his deep knowledge of traditional ragas, his excellent Tabla skills, and his innate musical sensitivity to weave together musical genres seamlessly as can be heard on several of Advaita's tracks. Inspired by his mother, renowned Kathak Exponent and vocalist, Guru Urmila Nagar, Ujwal is a leading example of a pure classical vocalist with a global presence.
He enjoys performing arts in all its forms including concerts, theater, movies and especially smooth landing flights.