In support of our ACE Project Grant Application
Live recording of Ghoom Charakhra in early 2022 in Sheffield, UK.
Deepa Nair Rasiya
Award winning, London-born vocalist and composer Deepa Nair Rasiya has been making waves on the World Music platform internationally and is being increasingly recognized as a pioneering and innovative composer with a deeply soul-stirring vocal style.
She is the first British Asian artiste to have won the coveted Artist Aloud Jury’s award in India for her acclaimed 2015 Sufi album DESTINATION. Having been a concert performer and recording artiste for over two and a half decades in the UK and Europe, she commenced her first ever concert tour of India in October 2018, performing at the prestigious Mahindra Kabira Festival, Paddy Fields Festival and Zee Jaipur Literature Festival with several more performances scheduled in 2019.
Building on her foundation training in Carnatic classical, Deepa has also pursued training in Hindustani music from the eminent vocalist Smt Veena Sahasrabuddhe, of the Gwalior gharana and is currently receiving further guidance from Dhrupad maestro Pandit Uday Bhawalkar.
She has recently been touring with Opera North's Orpheus, with brand new music by composer and virtuoso sitar player Jasdeep Singh Degun
We formed Mishra in 2018 from the partnership of Ford Collier (low whistle, guitar, percussion) and Kate Griffin (banjo, vocals, dobro), when we found shared interests in UK folk, Indian Classical, and other traditional music from around the world. Our debut performance was at Cambridge Folk Festival 2018, where we won the Christian Raphael Award, and used the prize money alongside a successful crowdfunding campaign to record our debut album ‘The Loft Tapes’ (2019). For the album we began playing with John Ball on tabla, who taught us Indian music at Sheffield university, and Joss Mann Hazell on double bass.
The album received critical acclaim in magazines including Songlines, who described it as “an airborne amalgam of cross-continental pollinations”. We were particularly proud of this as Songlines are a respected magazine in the world music genre, and we want to be respected as a world act, as well as in folk. We also achieved national radio play on BBC Radio 2’s Folk Show.
In 2019 we booked our first UK tour independently, selling out smaller venues. To keep touring costs down we performed as a trio of core musicians Kate and Ford with double bassist Joss. We were able to perform with the album’s quartet line up at our Cambridge Folk Festival return performance that year.
We recorded our second album ‘Reclaim’ in 2021, and added Alex Lyon on clarinet/vocals to the recording line up. We maintained critical interest, receiving reviews again in Songlines and Mojo, and further Radio 2 play. We toured again in autumn 2021 playing different cities, still taking the practical step of keeping a flexible lineup and rarely performing as a quintet.
Later in 2021 we received a commission from zerOclassikal to produce new music with Deepa Nair Rasiya. This marked a further step towards the world music scene and the collaborative approach of bands we admire such as Kefaya, with whom Deepa has previously worked. The full quintet later performed with Deepa as part of the University of Sheffield Concert series in March 2022. Deepa feels she has found the new collaborator she has been looking for in Mishra, and our 5-year goal is to bring this collaboration to wider audiences across the UK, touring, playing festivals, and recording together under ‘Mishra & Deepa Nair Rasiya’.
This year we managed to book a busy summer of festivals, frequently performing in quartet and quintet line-ups, enabled by the higher fees we can negotiate from festivals with our steadily increasing profile. We have just finished a primarily trio tour in autumn 2022, the first with our new booking agency BB Music who signed us on the strength of a performance at the English Folk Expo 2021. Mishra are also performing at the 2023 Celtic Connections festival with Deepa, having won a prestigious ‘Danny Kyle’ award.
Footage from our first performance with Deepa, comissioned by zerOclassikal in 2021, performing a 40 minute body of work exploring contemporary settings of Indian classical vocal styles. Some of this material has formed the basis for our collaboration going forward.
Tour Poster by Kate Griffin