Sanjay Divecha — the acclaimed guitarist/composer whose musical career spans over three decades — is back with a new album. Launched in Mumbai on 4 August, Sanjay Divecha and the Secret mixes a global sound with Indian classical and folk music.
Divecha graduated from the Guitar Institute of Technology, Los Angeles, in 1989. He then spent over 15 years in LA, playing with iconic artists like Angelique Kidjo and Carlos Santana.
While his years in LA deepened his knowledge of genres like jazz, Brazilian, African, R&B and gospel music, from 2003 onwards, when he returned to India, he also continued to explore Carnatic and Hindustani music.
Divecha took some time off after the release of his album to chat with about his music.
Tell us about your experience with the Hindi film industry and the music scene in Bollywood.
I live in Mumbai and am part of the music community here — both the indie scene and the Bollywood industry. Although I have done some composition and arranging for the industry, I usually end up working as a session guitar player for other music composers. For my musical vision, though I find it limiting. Hence, I feel fortunate that I can dedicate time to composing my own expression.
What needs to be done to tap exceptional talent in our country as far as music is concerned?
Contemporary Western music is a relatively new concept in our culture, especially when it comes to music education. That’s changing slowly with some new music schools. It’s necessary for musicians to be well trained and develop good skills. Secondly, we need platforms that can give musicians a chance to showcase their talent. We need to develop a culture that would support live music. That would bring young talent to the fore.