Remo: A Life in Words
Remo Fernandes* with Vasundhara Das
* Indicates that the speaker will be participating at the Festival via Zoom
Talented actor, an accomplished singer, a gifted composer and songwriter, an articulate speaker, and a successful entrepreneur, Vasundhara Das is a multi- faceted, multilingual personality successfully straddling many worlds. Well known for her skill in both the film and music industries, Vasundhara’s films include Hey Ram (Tamil / Hindi)), Monsoon Wedding (English), Citizen (Tamil), Ravana Prabhu (Malayalam), Lankesh Patrike (Kannada) and several others.
When it comes to playback singing, Vasundhara Das, who has trained in Hindustani classical music from an early age, has made her mark with many hit songs in Indian films. Some of her hits include Shakalaka Baby, Where’s the Party Tonight, It’s the Time to Disco, Pappu Can’t Dance, Salaame, Secret of Success and a host of songs in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada. Vasundhara has worked with composers such as A. R. Rahman, Vishal Shekhar and Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy to name a few.
She has also been involved in several independent collaborations such as Channel V Jammin’, the HIV awareness anthem – ‘Har Kadam’ for a BBC production titled Haath Se Haath Mila, Mission Ustaad – a reality TV show where well known singers composed anthems for the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, Arya, Global Rhythms, Nylon Soundz, The Shah Hussain Project – an Artist in Residence Collaboration with Mir Mukhtiyar Ali, and many others. She continues her journey in the Indie Music space writing and composing music that is meaningful to her.
Vasundhara performs extensively on stage, in solo appearances as well as along with her band. Her independently released album titled The Shah Hussain Project Volume 1 is inspired by the Sufi poetry of Shah Hussain, in which she collaborates with Mir Mukhtiyar Ali, Roberto Narain and other talented musicians from across the country, and was premiered at the prestigious INK Conference in association with TED on a live web cast across the world.
As a speaker, she has spoken at conferences like INK Talks in association with TED, Confederation of Indian Industries’ Conference for Women Entrepreneurs, AIMA’s 7th National Brand Conference, TEDx NMAMIT, TEDx IIT Kanpur and The Mentor Conclave.
As an entrepreneur, Vasundhara, along with partner Roberto Narain, are the pioneers of the drum circle movement in Corporate India and run DRUMJAM, a company that uses the medium of music and rhythm for corporate training, team building and community building. Drumjam has the largest inventory of drums and percussion instruments in Asia at 20,000 instruments and has worked with leaders of industries across all sectors and has made approximately half a million people experience music through group drumming.
In addition to being a partner at Drumjam, Vasundhara is a Certified Drum Circle Facilitator & Trainer and a Circle Singing Facilitator. Along with partner Roberto Narain, she is also a Trustee of Community Drumjam Foundation, which takes the joys of drumming, singing and in-the-moment music making, to many populations, like children, kids at risk, well elderly, elderly with Parkinson’s & Dementia, patients and care givers at Hospice, differently-abled people, people on the autism spectrum and many more.
In engaging with different kinds of populations using music as a medium, Vasundhara is also moving into the Sound Healing space, exploring the use of Voice & Vibration on one’s capacity to heal oneself. To this end, she has completed her certification as a Sound Healer with Svaram, Auroville and delivers workshops titled Voice & Vibration, to help different people connect with their primary instrument of communication – the voice, in the context of healing.
Vasundhara also plays the Native American Flute and the Ukulele.