‘My Video Playlist’ – Debapriya Adhikary & Samanwaya Sarkar

As part of our ‘My Video Playlist’ series, we are proud to present music chosen by the brilliant Debapriya Adhikary and Samanwaya Sarkar.

Debapriya & Samanwaya are two of the most sought after names in Indian Music, having proven themselves as both soloists and a consistent duo of that rare combination of Vocals and Sitar.

1. What is the concert/recording/track you listen to the most and why?

Debapriya: It’s really tough sometimes to say what concert recording I hear the most. Yes I like to listen to more of my Guruma Girija Devi jis’ to understand her philosophy better as we know her life, her teachings, her ways of expression. At the same time listen to mine or ours (me and Samanwaya’s) recordings most of the time to work on our own flaws mostly.

Samanwaya: Though it’s very hard to say about. yet to be honest I should say that I listen mostly Dil mei uthe lehar by Ghulam Ali Khan on Pakistan Tvs YouTube channel.

2. Which artists do you watch for inspiration? What do you like about those tracks / artists / concerts?

Samanwaya: Most tracks by Ali Akbar Khan saheb and Mallikarjun Mansur. I like their approach and insight to see the music.

Debapriya: Every artiste is an inspiration with his or her artistic thoughts; music is such a canvass where everyone has their own brushes to show innovative ideas. Yet I prefer to go for authentic raga treatments as a student of music so, listen a lot of the Greats Mallikarjun Mansur ji, Ravi Shankar ji, and Pt. Ulhas Kashalkar ji and Pt. Uday Bhawalkar ji to first understand the deep meaning of a raga then obviously listen other great ones for their understanding and views to treat a raga.

3. Can you recommend a Hindustani music track that inspires you the most? Why?

Samanwaya: Chandranandan by Ali Akbar Khan saheb and Maru Bihag by Mallikarjun Mansur . Why, is tough to say…

Debapriya: Any raga by Great Ali Akbar Khan Sahab, all times great. But students should be aware of the wine before they go for getting dripped with his music. (Laughing) His imaginative mind was like long winged eagle, no limits. It inspires how he knew to go beyond boundaries within boundaries. Same with the bold Kesar Bai Ji’s unparallel Aakaar and Kishori Ji’s unparallel dimensions to think.

4. Can you recommend a Carnatic music track that inspires you the most? Why?

Debapriya: be honest I have a lesser exposure to the genre but I love listening to tracks by most of the top violinists as I felt like they have done an immense justice to the very instrument.

5. Can you share a concert recording from non-Indian musician that inspires you?

Samanwaya: Flamencos a great documentary


….Her limitless sur requires no words at all. Heartfelt Pranams to her.

6. Can you share any concerts of Film composers, or an album, or a classical artists concert which you like? Why?

Samanwaya: Tori jay jay by Amir Khan saheb in Baiju Bawra…amazing really sets a mood for the film though it doesn’t represent actual Tansen era.

Debapriya: Sohini by Bade Ghulam Khan saheb in Mughal E Azam and Ravi Shankar ji was an unparallel composer in Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali, just listening to the music itself will set your mood for the theme of the film.

7. Tell us about another artist outside the Indian genre that you like and why?

Samanwaya: Paco De Lucia, as Guitar resembles many aspects of sitar

Debapriya: Louis Armstrong. I was introduced to him by Samanwaya by my friend and a great Sitarist of this generation. He told me we always learnt about importance of utterance in thumri that we call kahan so listen how important it is here and how much justice he did to his songs. His “what a wonderful world” is just beyond…

8. Can you share a video which demonstrates a great interaction between two artists on stage, something that inspires you?

Samanwaya: Ravi Shankar Ali Akbar Hem Bihag with Allah Rakha Khan saheb.


Ravi Shankar and Ali Akbar….

9. Recommend a great music concert or recording and why you like it?

Debapriya and Samanwaya: Can’t…as there are many… Lol.

10. Can you share some videos of your guru and tell us about it?

Samanwaya: Lot of them (laughing) as it won’t fit here all my Gurus’ legacies remain untouched and unparallel in their respective fields so tough to say but as each one of the is a story in itself


Our dear Appaji, the way she is inspiring our Guru bahan Piu Mukherjee and showing even to demonstrate herself, is really inspiring.

11. Can you share some videos from your colleagues or contemporaries in India or England.

Samanwaya: Can’t; in fact as there are many working good…Yes I praise Norah’s works definitely.

Debapriya: A beautiful and meaningful collaboration between Anoushka and Norah with our loving Tanmoy Bose dada.

12. What are you doing next?

Samanwaya: It’s a surprise…will come up soon.

Debapriya: A unique International collaboration…will be revealed soon.

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