Rahul Deshpande – Renowned vocalist belonging to light music genre

Rahul Deshpande is an Indian classical music singer and actor from Pune. He is the grandson of Vasantrao Deshpande, renowned vocalist known for his contributions towards musical dramas. Apart from giving numerous stage performances, and has also rendered his voice for playback singing. He sang for movies, Balgandharva, Katyar Kaljat Ghusali, A Month and a Week etc. He is an expert in different genres of Hindustani light music. He also appears in musical plays and wishes to revive Marathi musicals.

A prolific singer in Hindustani light music

Rahul Deshpande was born in Pune in 1979 into a musical family with strong Hindustani music lineage. His grandfather Vasantrao Deshpande was a popular figure in Maharashtra music and theatre circles. Interestingly, he got drawn towards light music genre instead of Hindustani music.

During his school studies in an English medium school, he was most drawn towards western music influences like Bryan Adams, Madonna, Jon Bon Jovi and Mariah Carey. He heard only western music at school. He had less interest in classical music. Yet to follow the legacy, he practised Indian music for 8-10 years. Pandit Gangadharbuva Pimpalkhare and Dr.Madhusudhan Patwardhan were his early gurus.

Got influenced by Kumar Gandharva

Once he happened to listen a cassette of Nirguni Abhang songs sung by Kumar Gandharva after his death and got deeply drawn towards it. Rahul started singing Kumar Gandharva’s songs, and has performed his songs in numerous concerts over the years. He also got opportunity to learn under Kumar Gandharva’s son, Mukul Shivputra for 8-9 years.

Once he was advised by Marathi writer and humourist Purushottam Laxman Deshpande, who was a close friend of his grandfather, to leave all forms of studies and concentrate on music. He was pursuing his chartered accountancy then. After that he took up music professionally. He sings khyal, thumri, dadra, natyageet, bhajan, ghazal and bhaavgeet, belonging to light music genre of Hindustani music.

Sudhir Phadke Award, Master Dinanath Mangeshkar Awards 2012, Rasikagrani Dattopant Deshpande Award etc are the major honours received by him. As a playback singer, “Khansaheb Aftab Hussain Bareliwale” is his most popular song. Songs of Katyar Kaljat Ghusali made him a household name. He also appeared in numerous Marathi plays such as “Man Apmaan”,“Saubhadra” etc.

Rahul Deshpande – Some interesting and less-known facts

1. Rahul has served as a judge for several singing reality shows on television, like Mi Honaar Superstar.

2. He made a guest appearance in the film, A Month and a Week. He did playback singing too.

3. Apart from vocals, he has also learnt tabla.

4. For the play Katyar Kaljat Ghusali, he played the role of a vocalist. The play was later adopted to film, where he did playback singing.

5. Annually he arranges the “Vasantotsav” in the memory of his late grandfather. It’s conducted under the foundation, Dr. Vasantrao Deshpande Pratishthan.“Vasantotsav Youth Award” and ” Vasantotsav Award” are given away every year too.



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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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