Krishna Kant Shukla attracted a diverse and welcoming crowd to his performance at the Chase Fine Arts Center Friday.
Shukla delivered many pieces of music sung in Hindi, and used instruments varying from an acoustic guitar to a set of Indian drums called the Duggi and the Dayan. Though most of his pieces were Hindu folk songs, the crowd convinced him to translate the lyrics of the song into English for the non-Hindi speaking portion of the crowd to understand.
A majority of the lyrics he uses involve nature. Most of his songs refer to wild animals being warned about important decisions that will affect some aspect of their life, which is a parallel to the Hindu culture. Shukla tries to bring in different parts of his culture into his music, to expose people to new art forms.
“Being honest with yourself and being respectful of nature are the messages my music sends” Shukla said.
“Truth and fearlessness” are what his music invokes.
Shukla has appeared on national television several times and has also been honored by the former president of India for daring to be different. By saying “daring to be different,” the former president honored Shukla because he was willing to sacrifice his lifestyle (including a physics degree) in the United States, just to pursue a career in music.
Shukla has been on the road in the United States since September, touring and entertaining audiences all over the nation. Utah State University is just another bump in the road, considering he has performed to crowds in India numbering 5,000 to 10,000 people.
Though it is hard to get a following in the United States playing music most of the people haven’t been exposed to, it doesn’t bother Shukla. He tours with the mentality that his music isn’t for entertainment purposes. His music carries many vital aspects of the Hindu culture, which brings out the very spiritual side of him, and the music he plays.
“My music runs in my blood – through my family,” Shukla said. “It’s where most of my inspiration comes from.”
Shukla also said that he’s glad he decided to start a new lifestyle and he loves touring and performing around the United States.