My name is Ankit, thanks for visiting my page! Have you ever heard a live Shehnai at a Hindu ceremony? It's a vibe like no other! My passion is to learn, play, and show everyone that this beautiful Indian instrument still exists. I want to spread the word about it so that it is never forgotten. My way of playing the Shehnai is rather unconventional as I don’t like locking myself in the traditionalist box. In my collection, you may hear both contemporary and old songs and melodies. I mix the authentic tonal qualities of the Shehnai with modern beat production. I have four original tracks that have a very unique sound and they’re available on YouTube and other streaming platforms for you to listen to and download. My music has already earned me quite a lot of loyal fans on social media, with thousands of followers on Instagram alone. I am also the owner of the Bollywood band JashnATL where I play the keyboard and the Shehnai. But my main mission is to bring the Shehnai instrument into the mainstream and help keep it alive!
Professionally, I own and operate a pest-control marketing agency called K3 Marketing, and I also run a pest-control internet marketing podcast called PCIM Podcast. I have a great team working with me, which allows me to focus on my passion, music!
The shehnai is an ancient instrument, dating back 4,000 years. There are very few shehnai players in the world today. It’s extremely difficult to play because the tones can be “bendy”—it’s a real challenge to stay on pitch. Additionally, because it is so ancient, few modern listeners summon much interest in it.
I have always gravitated towards this instrument, though. Its richness, rawness, and soul have consistently fascinated me. My desire to play the shehnai has always trumped my ambition to make a business of it, but now that I am able to play during the most important day of people's lives, it is an incredible and satisfying feeling.
I have been learning for over eight years and only have felt comfortable performing in the last two or three years.
A Hindu wedding is a religious ceremony led by a Pandit. The shehnai is the wedding instrument, creating a sacred and traditional atmosphere. I consider myself the musician during a wedding ceremony who not only plays live shehnai but also plays the entrance songs (be it live or via MP3).
I’m sure most people would agree that live music has a vibe like no other. A live shehnai is a staple in traditional Hindu weddings and really lifts the audience to an elevated state.
Also, a live shehnai is so rare (versus a sitar or flute)!
As I mentioned above, the shehnai is an extremely rare instrument. I believe that alone sets me apart from other musicians. Maybe unfairly, the shehnai has been thought to be quite boring and traditional. My style, though, is more modern and has a fusion touch to it, and people are gravitating towards it.
Any Hindu wedding ceremony where at least the bride or groom is Hindu / Indian. I actually prefer multicultural weddings because the non-Hindu / Indian family members are in awe of the shehnai.
The DJ usually needs to provide sound speakers and monitors for us, and we handle all the music. I generally have a tabla player accompany me throughout the performance.
Remember, as much fun and as exciting as getting married is, the wedding ceremony is first and foremost a religious ceremony. The music should reflect that sentiment. Save the crazy stuff for the reception. :) For walk-in music, pick songs that have meaning to you and your significant other.
I recently wrote a blog about this topic. You can check it here: https://www.shehnaiguy.com/5-occasions-that-require-music-for-any-hindu-wedding/
The sooner the better. I am usually booked at least a few months out.
Anyone who appreciates live music is a blessing to work with. I can always tell when a client wants to book me because they genuinely love the shehnai versus their parents insisting upon it.