A life spent growing up in North Africa, UK, India and Germany. A head thinking in four different languages. And a musical background spent with musicians who would never share a stage together.
”When you spend your formative years with constantly changing backdrops, you realize at some point, that you’ll always be at home and out of place everywhere. Music was the only constant companion. One which made sense no matter what the backdrop was.”
Born to a young couple of doctors fond of traveling, T.L. (short for Tapobrata Lahiri) left India at the tender age of seven months to spend the next years of his life living between North Africa, UK, Mainland Europe and India.
”It was only when I found myself standing in the middle of a Kolkata classroom in India in my adolescent years with everyone laughing at my London accent did I realize that I was home to a very foreign country. Way more foreign than what family gatherings during holidays had ever prepared me for. And then a decade later my German friends would call me ‘Apu’ because they thought I was speaking with what they considered Indian English. One which I had worked so hard to learn to fit in with my Kolkata mates just a few years earlier. These days my Brit friends say I’m too ‘German’, because I apparently I take everything too seriously”, he says laughing, with just the slightest tinge of irony.
Based now between Germany and India, T.L. Mazumdar has been called ‘a major talent’ by Jack Douglas (Producer: Miles Davis/John Lennon/Aerosmith etc.—Quote on sonicbids.com) and ”among a handful of Indian musicians who are trying to break the Western stereo-type that they have to play sitars or tablas, or sing Bollywood and bhangra numbers” (Time-Out Magazine).
In the past decade he has played in Bangla-Rock bands, toured international Jazz-Fesivals in Asia and Europe, played for 14 million viewers on National TV with a Grammy Winning artist, collaborated with internationally renowned Producers and musicians from around the globe in a variety of genres, composed for film and theater and been included on India’s first official Anthology of Indian Electronic Artists (HUB-Indian ELectronica Yearbook Project) together with the likes of Talvin Singh, Nitin Sawhney and Karsh Kale. IMC Radio, Hamburg called him the ‘only Germany-Based representative of Indian electronic music’ .T.L.’s also been nominated for the German National Award ‘Bremer Jazzpreis 2012’ And ‘Future Sounds Jazz Award 2014.
All this while taking two degrees in Jazz Performance and Music Production/Business.
”This is my life. Bringing worlds together. The dreamer and the nerd. The cerebral and intuitive. The skeptic and the believer. The lost and found. Darkness and light. They tell me its impossible every now and then. But it’s not like I really have a choice. My only chance at retaining some amount of sanity at a social level is to break stereotypes. I’m ‘German’ of Indian origin who thinks in English and grew up on Arab food. There is no box for me. Or my music.”
Check out T.L. Mazumdar on his website or on social media via Facebook and Twitter.
Listen to the interview here or below.
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