The fusion duo of instrumentalist Kartik Shah and vocalist Nirali Kartik aka Maati Baani is a popular act when it comes to the Indian fusion pop scene. Subverting genres with every new release, Maati Baani is also known for helping cross-cultural collaborations.
However, these stellar guests are not just for shock value and all of the collaborators seem to fit in the song effortlessly. Their new single O Re Jiya is no exception to this.
O Re Jiya starts off on an energetic note, thanks to Konnakkol Somashekar Jois’s fast-paced vocals. For the unacquainted, Jois practices the Carnatic artform of Konnakkol i.e. the art of performing percussion syllables vocally.
He is soon joined by some breezy bass and clarinet, performed by Paata Chakaberia and Shankar Tucker respectively. As the song picks up pace, percussionist Amit Mishra and Jois seem to match each other’s speed with intensity.
The Hindustani vocal parts are performed by Nirali Kartik as usual while Kartik Shah handles the keys and the guitar. Kannada rapper SIRI turns out to be an unexpected guest. Her verse is mellower than her usual jams and somehow goes perfectly well with the instrumental ensemble.
That’s the beauty of the setup Maati Baani tends to put up together. In some way or the other, the duo brings out the best of its collaborators. Otherwise, it is a risk to bring out such diverse guests on one track. Despite boasting immense talent, the plan might fail with a chaotic mishmash of several genres.
But somehow, Maati Baani has managed to retain their brand of classical fusion and they are, in fact, getting better with every new release. O Re Jiya is the first release from their upcoming album Folklore meaning that there’s a lot of potential in store.
Verdict: Maati Baani delivers on its cross-cultural fusion brand as usual.