New Release: "Kaanha, Janmashtmi Special" by Dhaval Kothari

Updated: Aug 30, 2019

In honor of Krishna Janmastmi, which celebrates the birth of Krishna, Dhaval has composed an original Gujarati song, "Kaanha, Janmashtmi Special," as a paean to Krishna's divinity.

Krishna is considered to be the Hindu god Vishnu's eighth avatar and Kaanha was one of his many names. The instrumentation of the song, in keeping with devotional Krishna music, starts with a beautiful intro by the flute accompanied by soft bells. Dhaval's vocals come in 12 seconds later with a chorus of "O Kaanha, re," followed by the first verse. 

The refrain is integral to devotional Indian music and acts as the foundation for the song, which has a moderate tempo till 2:47 when it gets faster and assumes a more energetic quality for the remaining one minute, finally subsiding in a punctuating, drawn out "O Kaanha, re." Not only is the song replete with lilting flute solos that amplify the connection with Krishna, who is often portrayed playing the flute, dressed in yellow, with a peacock feather in his crown, Dhaval's expressive singing brings a joyful cadence to this Gujarati Krishna bhajan.

To create depth and motion in the "Kaanha, Janmashtmi Special" music video, director Rachit Vohra has used varied camera angles and close ups of Dhaval balancing a tanpura on his thigh, with flautist Avdhoot Padhke to his right and percussionist Vaibhav Doshi to his left. They are seated cross-legged on a pale Persian rug in an airy room furnished with just a few potted plants, one on a carved stand.

Behind the musicians is a gossamer white curtain, backlit with daylight, adjacent to which is a brick wall with four strands of strung marigolds. Coupled with the musician's attire, instruments, and seated poses, the scene is classically Indian. To cement the Krishna connection, a fluttering peacock feather intermittently appears in the foreground during Dhaval's closeups.

Like the music video for "Aayat Mashup," Dhaval remains seated during the performance. But the feel is more atmospherically like that of the video for "Kothe Te Aa Mahiya"—uplifting and filled with light. All in all, this is a very pleasant video of a devotional song that is charming in its elemental simplicity.