Poster 01/04: Adithi Hebbar

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Carnatic fusion is a cultural practice that has emerged over the last few decades, as a way to present the mainstream Carnatic classical, to a wider audience, in a more accessible and palatable manner. In my research, I intend to look closely at the trends and attitudes within Carnatic fusion practice, through the case studies of three Carnatic fusion performers: Mahesh Raghavan, Jagadis Natarajan and P.V. Bose. The existing research on Carnatic fusion is scarce and fails to connect it to the larger debates on globalisation and identity. Thus, my paper not only aims at exploring trends within Carnatic fusion but also, to connect these trends to larger debates on globalisation and identity. The research method employed is case study, and the data analysed has been gathered primarily through interviews and secondary data. Through multiple interviews with the artists themselves, as well as their PR persons, the following study describes and contextualises Carnatic fusion music within discussions regarding globalisation and identity formation. Some of the themes that have been raised include the extent of the use of social media in promoting Carnatic fusion, glocalisation, A. R. Rahman as a primary figure of influence for young artists, religion, and many more. In addition, it also addresses  T. M. Krishna’s (an acclaimed Carnatic singer) critique that Carnatic fusion music is our desire to access everything while remaining indifferent to its context. The paper concludes that Carnatic fusion music is a manifestation of the multiple identities we have inhabited in a globalised world. The many aspects of their own music that the artists connect to their individual experiences, make them relatable and even aspirational to their audiences. It connects aspects like performativity, democratisation, secularism, individualism, etc., into the way we understand the realms of identity and globalisation within Carnatic fusion music. 

Keywords : carnatic fusion, globalisation, identity, democratisation, performativity