Monday, 5 January 2015

London born Ranjana has always felt a strong passion and curiosity about her South Asian roots. She has expressed her love of this culture through several years of training in North Indian singing, whilst immersing herself in the life and sounds of contemporary Britain. After seeing her favourite singer perform in London, Ranjana entered a new chapter of her life by starting a new phase of training with acclaimed vocalist Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty in Kolkata, India(2000).

She has recently been working on the Big Big Sing Project, led by Stephen Deazley and Eugene Skeef for the Commonwealth Games. More info on

2012 saw the launch of a new sound called Open Souls with Jason Singh (Sound artist/beatboxer)Seb Rochford (drummer/producer).The music is a soundscape, driving improvised rhythms using Indian classical compositions and contemporary music as its inspiration. Performances have included the Exhibition Road festival and The London Jazz Festival (Queen Elizabeth Hall). They're latest free single available to download on here.

Ranjana created her debut  EP, "Awakening" with Jesse Bannister and Bhupinder Singh Chaggar in 2011. They have created a sound that juxtaposes the beauty of sacred Indian vocal music with dynamic yet sensitive arrangements. She has been playing this material with some of the UK's leading musicians-Nick Ramm on keys, Liran Donin on bass and Asaf Sirkis on drums at festivals and venues including the Vortex, Greenbelt festival, Norwich Arts Centre and Dean Clough.

She performed as a guest singer with the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 2012, for a family concert of Miklós Rózsa's Jungle Book in the Royal Festival Hall. Ranjana performed in Nitin Sawhney and Akram Khan’s Svapnagata festival, and has performed and presented two concerts at the Barbican. Ranjana was part of Arohan Ahead - funded and supported by the Cultural Leadership Program and Sampad, which aim to develop and support emerging leaders in the cultural sector.

Ranjana was privileged to perform in "Opera Shots" - an experimental piece commissioned by the Royal Opera House and composed by Nitin Sawhney in 2010.

Ranjana also featured on the soundtrack to the feature film "Life Goes On", directed by Sangeeta Datta with music by Soumik Datta. 

She has worked as both an artist and educator for organisations across the UK, including the  Southbank Centre,City of London Festival, the British Museum, Serious International Music Producers and Dulwich Picture Gallery. Ranjana previously also spent five years as an education project manager for the London Symphony Orchestra.


"Ranjana Ghatak was excellent…" Suresh Menon, Pulse Magazine.

"Her voice is clean and crisp and she delivers her notes with confidence.  Her rendering of the songs demonstrates a substantial amount of training in Indian classical technique. The texture of her voice has a raw quality which gives the album a folk feel as well. " Pulseconnects
"It is not hard to see why Ghatak’s music is becoming so popular." Concrete Online

"Rising artist Ranjana Ghatak,....  Shrutinandan specialises in the fine art of transforming young talent into professional artists! This is one vocalist to watch out for in the coming years!"

Monday, 15 December 2014

Music and the Language of Love

Hi all, I thought I'd share some thoughts on my connection to language and music. Having been born and raised in  London, English is the language that I think and write in. However being born to parents from Kolkata, India - Bengali was always spoken around the house, and heard in volume when we had parties and gatherings at home. I started learning to sing at the age of 4, and I was introduced to the basics of Indian Classical singing. I don’t recall thinking or concerning myself with the fact that it was a different language to what I spoke and heard outside my home. It felt like the most natural thing in the world. I loved the way the voice moved, the circular phrasing, the devotional aspect, the beat heavy folk songs, and I loved singing the fast notation patterns that I was taught in different scales/Ragas. Move forward 15 years, and I started to question what I was singing. Why was I singing in this way? I knew I loved it but it wasn't something I felt comfortable sharing or talking about so much, as I wasn't sure how many people would 'get it'. Whilst at school I studied western classical singing, and absolutely loved singing in a choir.  Singing anthems like California dreamin'  and singing along to music I was listening to at the time felt fun and liberating!

I always felt a slight conflict about what language I should sing in. I'd spent more time learning Indian singing, but I feel more natural speaking in English. I'm sure this is something that people of mixed heritage, or people that live in a country with a language different to their mother tongue, can relate to! Now that I've started to write my own music, I have been combining both. Poetry, singing in English, Hindi, Sanskrit and Bengali, and allowing my voice to move in a way that feels real. I went to a Gabby Bernstein workshop in November of this year. And one of the first things she said, was the language of love needs no translation. It hit me so clearly, an answer that resonated. We connect to music based on how it makes us feel. We don't always need to know the details of the musical culture that we're listening to. Music/sound/vibration transcends barriers.  It's with this intention that I move forward on my journey, with the hope that I can access a clear message of love whilst singing.

I'd love to hear from you! What draws you to different styles of music? Do you always need to know what is being said? - Do comment below!

Much Love,

Ranjana x

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