A lyrical journey

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By Performing at the Amnesty International concert at 15 was a major milestone for musician Rabbi Shergill (As told to Varuni Khosla)
  • Published 2.09.12

One of the biggest turning points in my life was the Amnesty International concert in Delhi in 1988. It was the 40th anniversary of Amnesty International and the show featured legendary artists like Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Tracy Chapman and Youssou N’Dour.

Though I was 15 then, I knew that I wanted to be a musician and this concert inspired me and set me on my musical career. Around this time I had started teaching myself the guitar too.

Getting my driving licence was another turning point for me — as it probably is for every 18-year-old who gets one. I somehow felt that I was no longer answerable to my parents and would head off for the hills on my bike on a whim. I started travelling and exploring the country a lot after this.

My third private album, called III, has been a significant milestone for me. III has nine songs, each inspired by different themes.

For me, all of this comes from an inner urge to create something different and new. I get inspired by anything and everything. One song, for instance, is inspired by the Weimar period of Germany, a time when the country saw an explosion of music, science, art and literature. For this album, I travelled to the US in July 2011 to work with award-winning mix engineer Gustavo Celis, who helped out with some tracks. Working with Celis — who has worked with artists including Beyonce, Shakira and Ricky Martin — was an amazing experience.

I intend to travel a lot in the future as I believe that travelling has a positive effect on me.