Born in his mother’s hometown of Trivandrum, India, the terra cotta-colored capital of Kerala, Ranjit Arapurakal spent his infancy in Vienna and Frankfurt before being raised in New Jersey from the age of four. Today, the versatile vocalist, composer, multi-instrumentalist and music educator is based in Goa, India, and is currently on an extended tour across Russia.
The Jersey boy started playing rock music in high school and never stopped, except for slowing down a bit to earn a bachelor’s degree in Literature with honors at Rutgers University. After graduating, he migrated to New York City where he honed his stagecraft, while working as a jazz singer, session musician, bartender, open mic host, dance accompanist for Alvin Ailey, Juilliard and several other leading dance academies, and as a music teacher for infants and their parents.
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It’s my pleasure. Kam. Thanks for reaching out.
I started singing in the church choir when I was 7 years old, and I enjoyed it from the start. But I was drawn to the mysteries of sound even before that. There was a lot of music in the house.
As a psychedelic singer/songwriter. But it changes all the time. As a multi-instrumentalist, I get to play with many different musicians in many settings. My comfort zones include funk, groove, soul, reggae and rock ‘n’ roll. And I’m delving into psychedelic rock and live techno at the moment.
I don’t have a preference. Both have their own unique charms as well as limitations. When you can communicate with other musicians the same way you can communicate with yourself, you get the best of both worlds.
Ienjoyedlisteningtoalotofyoursongs, especially “Lonavala“, “That‘sMyName” and “SincetheStart.” Whatisthesourceofyourinspirationwhencreatingatune?
The songs usually just bubble up from my subconscious or inner voice or Parramatta. Some songs are about love and some are about the environment, from fracking to the Dakota Access Pipeline. I also have a penchant for post-apocalyptic love songs, as a genre.
I have been based in Goa, on India’s west coast, for the last three years. The music scene there, as well as the audiences and the beautiful nature, are what made me stretch out what was originally meant to be a two-week holiday.
My favorite instrument is the human voice. It’s easy to transport and can touch, directly, the soul of any listener.
Lenny Kravitz, The Doors, Blues Traveler, Caetano Veloso, Michael Jackson, James Brown, Fela Kuti, Ella Fitzgerald, Stevie Wonder, Chopin, Fauré, Monteverdi, Frank Sinatra, The Band, The Beatles, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Santana, Terrence Trent D’Arby, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Gil Scott Heron, Motorhead, The Cure, Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Phish, and Dave Mathews Band, to name a few.
It’s been ages since I listened to a song. I was recently exposed to some Russian minimal techno, but these are not songs; more like moody soundscapes.
I remember my nursery school at All Saints Church in Princeton, NJ. Mrs. Weatherall had a pair of gray rabbits in a cage in the garden. And apple juice and graham crackers. It was paradise!
Most recently, carrot-ginger soup.
I see a guy who’s ready for showtime!
Aside from being born yet again on this plane of reality? Nothing.
Yes. Whether I have any ideas about how we can help save our planet. Yes, I do! I think that we need to raise awareness about pollution and sustainable habits in daily life and in industry. I believe in volunteer community clean-ups. And in sharing resources. I believe in a sustainable way of life that seeks to be in tune with nature on a local, planetary, and cosmic level. I believe that just as we can receive healing from the Earth and Nature, so can we give them healing back. And so we should!