Sagar Patel, a.k.a Kartaalistic, is a Kartaal player from Ahmedabad you should listen to!

Mishkaat Imrani
Updated On
New Update

Bringing back Rajasthan's folk instrument 'Kartaal' with his own twist, Sagar Patel, aka Kartaalistic, makes fusion music that is addicting, entertaining, and something you'd want to play on loop. 

It was a college trip to Jaisalmer in 2018 that brought Sagar and Kartaal together. While he was exploring the city with his friends, he came across 4 talented people who were playing Rajasthan's folk music. This musical squad had an instrument in their hands that was making a rhythmic 'Khat Khat' sound which left Sagar awestruck. "I had already known about Kartaal earlier and found it very fascinating. But in Jaisalmer, I got a chance to see it live. There was this group of 4 who was playing kartaal. After they finished, I requested them to let me try, and also lend me their Kartaal. They did give it to me happily and taught me the basic techniques of holding and playing it", said Sagar Patel, aka Kartaalistic, a Kartaal player and a full-time engineer from Ahmedabad.

After receiving the pair of Kartaal from them, Sagar played it for the next 2 years. He used to practice a lot and felt a connection with it. The journey of learning Kartaal wasn't easy for him, as he did not get the time to learn it from the trained Rajasthani players, and so he had to come up with his own techniques. "I'm still not an expert, but it took me 2 years to play it, how I play today. During the first lockdown, I started posting videos and the response was positive", he said.

And the response was actually great. One of his videos on the song 'Balam Ji' has over 50K views. Another one 'Tumse milke dil ka hai jo haal' has around 4 lakh views and in almost every video, you'll come across comments where people are asking about the Kartaal. "This instrument is very rare and there are few players. So, when I see people commenting that they want to learn Kartaal, it just makes me feel very happy. I get at least 10 messages in a day where people ask me to teach them this instrument", he further added.

Sagar is an engineer, he has done M.Tech, and also holds a business degree from IIM Kolkata. Kartaal, for him, is a passion, and that's why after finishing his 9-5 job, he performs in shows and records with other artists too. "I have two days in my 24 hours. The first one is from 9 to 6 and the other is from 7 to post-midnight. I always have a set of kurta pajamas in my office bag with a pair of kartaal. So on most days, I leave my office in kurta pajama and head to recordings, shows, or shoot my videos", he said.

Other than making fusion kartaal videos, Sagar also does various shows and recordings. He has worked with talented artists like Aanchal Shrivastava, Rahgir, Kushal Choksi, and has done over 30 shows in the last two years. "People get fascinated when they see me play live. Because no matter with whom you are playing, Kartaal always sounds different. Iski awaz uth kar aati hai", said Sagar.

Due to his job and tight schedule, Sagar can't teach Kartaal to people currently. But, he plans to do something about it in the future. In fact, he is working towards selling Kartaals online as people now reach out to him asking where they can get them. "I hope that it becomes popular as it is going extinct day by day. There are a few more people who've started playing kartaal and are learning it with interest. So, I want to teach people. But for now, I keep giving tips and planning to sell Kartaals online", he added.

Now, if you are also fascinated and want to learn Kartaal, then here are a few things Sagar would like you to know. "Initially, your hands will pain a lot because you have to hold one piece with your thumb, and then it gets so bad that you won't be able to play for an entire week. So it requires a lot of hard work and consistency is definitely needed", he commented.

Before ending this Kartaalistic conversation, Sagar also told Local Samosa that he adores the curiosity Kartaal sparks in people's heads. And even though it's an instrument made purely for Rajasthani folk music, he tries his best to incorporate it into different genres. "The professional players don’t play it with other genres. But, as I'm no expert like them, I try experimenting with it a lot. I did this rap song with Red Bull where we even had a beatboxer. I've played it with hip-hop, Marathi folk, Hollywood songs, and I have experimented with it to whatever extent I can. It's all about the beat and I think it worked out for me", he said.

QUICK 5 feat. Sagar Patel

  1. Your favourite place in Ahmedabad to enjoy live music: My place!!! Though it's unfortunate that the city doesn't have many such spots, you can enjoy good live music in Moto Jojo events.

  2. A city where you'd like to perform live: Delhi!! The vibe of Delhiites is just so cheerful!!!

  3. Your go-to spot for buying Kartaal: I haven't bought a new pair yet as this one is very close to my heart. Also, there are no places in Ahmedabad where you can buy Kartaal. In fact even in Jaisalmer, there are a very few shops. But yes, it's available on Amazon and if you are not getting it anywhere else, shop from there.

  4. Old Bollywood songs or the new ones: Old is gold! So it has to be the old nostalgic songs of Bollywoood.

  5. An advice you'd like to give to amatuer Kartaal players: Just be patient. The learning process can be very irritating because unlike other instruments, say for example while playing a piano you hear a beautiful meoldy even when you press a single key. But when you play kartaal, it's just the continous khat khat khat sound which is very irritating. So, patience is the key!

Also Read: Preeti Kumari from Ranchi is a real-life dancing doll who’s stealing hearts with her steps!

For more such stories follow Local Samosa on Facebook,  Instagram,  Twitter, and Telegram.

indian singers indian folk music Folk singers folk dingers in rajhasthan kartaal in india kartaal online kartaal players in india kartaal players in rajhasthan Sagar Patel sagar patel kartaal Sagar Patel kartaalistic