Girija Phalke Marathe plays electric guitar, composes her songs, is a fabulous singer, a mother of two kids, and she belongs to a family that has the legacy of the legend Dada Sahab Phalke.
Watching Girija Phalke Marathe play guitar will make you groove, and her songs will make you sing along too!Local Samosa was in a lyrical conversation with Girija Phalke Marathe about her journey of being a music director, a guitarist, and a singer.
Can you tell us a little about yourself? And since when did you start enjoying music?
I sing, play guitar, and compose my own songs. I started enjoying music at a very young age. I was 8 when I started playing guitar, later on, I learned Piano, Santoor, and Tabla too. I have been doing Satsangs on guitar for Art of Living since 2000.
I started composing music for albums as Bhakti sangeet and Bhavgeet, then worked for kids’ music and documentaries too. Currently, I’m teaching guitar online and also composing music.
Can you walk us through your journey of becoming a music director?
It all happened very gradually. I used to play songs composed by other musicians. After meditating for many years, I developed my creative side and started composing my own music. Now composing and singing is all I do and keep working on new ideas.
What is your direction style? Where do you find your inspiration?
Whatever matches the lyrics, I go ahead with that. I don’t follow a particular style, but I take care of the things that make a song more beautiful. Many people have inspired me, but after listening to Ajay Atul’s “Agadi Aaj” album, I think I found my inspiration.
Your song Sham Vanamali is a tribute to your great grandfather and the legend Dada Sahab Phalke, how was your experience when you were working on that song?
That song is very special because it was an instantaneous composition. On one random night, I was going through the poems of Shanta Shelke Ji, and I stumbled upon this one particular poem that grabbed my interest. It was so beautifully written that when I was reading it, I started singing it loud. It turned out to be a song and recording it was a wonderful experience as well.
How was it like to grow in a family that is well-renowned and has a legacy?
It feels wonderful because everyone in my family is musically talented, and so I am grateful to have gotten such musical exposure since a very young age.
You play electric guitar like a pro, at what age did you start learning? Your favourite musical instrument?
I started learning electric guitar at the age of 20, and for me, there’s nothing more peaceful than sitting and playing my electric guitar. And, honestly, I always end up getting lost in it. Other than the guitar, I really enjoy playing santoor and piano. They are melodious instruments.
You have composed many songs, which one is most close to your heart?
My latest song “Jhini Jhini” is my favourite and holds a special place in my heart. It was written by the great Saint Kabir, and the way it has been composed and shot, makes it even more enchanting. I think Jhini Jhini will always make me feel special, and I’m proud of it!
What comes to your mind when we say Passion project? what else we would find Girija Marathe be doing?
For me, everything I do is my passion project, but currently, I’m planning to make music videos for the songs I have already composed. Besides music, I like outdoor sports, and I love playing Badminton. Trying out new dishes and recipes is another thing I do if I’m not working on Music.
Indian musicians you look up to?
I really admire the work of the legends Madan Mohan, Khale kaka, and R D Burman. They have always influenced me, and I look up to them.
Girija Marathe, what is about Mumbai you love and adore the most?
Mumbai is a city of opportunities and has many talented musicians, which makes it the most beautiful. I love the musical vibe this city offers to everybody, and Mumbai will help you find doors if you are talented and hardworking!
If you have to perform at a spot in Mumbai or dedicated a song to a place in Mumbai, which one would that be?
I would love to perform at NCPA, It’s my favourite. Another place would be Marine Lines, and I would love to dedicate “Yeh hai Bombay Meri Jaan” to it.
You have been living in Mumbai for a while, tell us your favourite local spots!
There are many, but nothing beats Kala Ghoda, Marine Lines, NCPA, Upvan Lake, and Yeeor! They are all my favourites.
What are you planning for 2021 in terms of music?
I am planning on composing songs for movies. I am also planning to work on music videos for the songs I have composed. I have a lot in my mind, but will definitely share it at the right time!