Bhubaneswar, Feb. 4: Odissi vocalist Rupak Parida has received a number of awards and accolades for his performances. At the Odissi Music Festival organised by the state culture and tourism department, the 27-year-old’s recital won praises even from the grand old man of Odissi music, Pandit Damodar Hota.
“When my dedication reaps results in form of applause from music-lovers, it feels encouraging. But I still believe I have a long way to go,” says Parida.
Clearly the most sought-after accompanist on vocals for Odissi dancers in the state today, Parida had never dreamt he would come so far so soon.
“My maternal grandfather Hemant Kumar Panda was a well-known violinist. Inspired by him, I started learning Hindustani music as a 10-year-old in Jaleswar, Balasore, where I grew up. Since I wanted to know more about Odisha’s rich musical heritage, my parents encouraged me to join the Utkal Sangeet Mahavidyalaya,” he says.
Groomed by the likes of Guru Ramharai Das and Bijay Kumar Jena, Parida went on to join the Utkal University of Culture in 2009 for doing his postgraduation in music. While many of his classmates preferred to teach music, he ensured that he found his way to the stage.
“I have been performing live at musical programmes and for top-notch Odissi dancers for the past five years. I have been lucky to have sung live for dancers such as Aruna Mohanty, Sujata Mohapatra, Ratikant Mohapatra and Meera Das,” said Parida, who is pursuing music on a national scholarship from the central government.
Be it Varanasi or Calcutta, the vocalist has mesmerised music lovers across the country. His performances have also found appreciation at the various international venues he has performed at. Parida has performed in the US, Australia, Japan, Fiji and several European countries.
Though content with his success as an established Odissi vocalist for dancers and solo performances, the singer feels his passion and dedication have only grown for working harder and rehearsing more.
“I will continue to strive to make Odissi music popular among the future generations,” said the youngster.