Songlines Music Awards Winner

Newcomer: Raghu Dixit

Album: Raghu Dixit (Vishal & Shekhar Music)

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Raghu Dixit will be presented with his Songlines Music Award at Latitude Festival on July 16.

If Songlines were to start an awards category for the ‘Most Arresting Smiling Musician,’ then Raghu Dixit would win hands down. Fortunately Raghu's music is as joyful as his smile and within a breathtakingly short period of time, he's made quite a name for himself.

Born in the South Indian state of Karnataka, Raghu cut his musical teeth in the cult Indian rock band Antaragni (The Fire Within) and went on to write scores for two Kannada-language (his native tongue) films, propelling him to super stardom status back home.

Raghu DixitHis current band, called The Raghu Dixit Project, features electric guitar and violin - a far cry from the usual Indian folk or Bollywood music.

His album was described in Songlines as: ‘accessible, infectious, folk-rock, like a Bangalorean Waterboys.’ ‘Hey Bhagwan’ is probably the catchiest track on this year's Awards compilation and it's already become a firm favourite amongst friends and family.

Raghu is certain to gain some additional fans when he performs before the England and India cricket teams the night before their Lords test match in July.

A surprise hit at festivals like Larmer Tree last year, Raghu returned to the UK earlier this month with a stunning performance at London's Alchemy Festival, where he collaborated with four members of fellow award-winners Bellowhead.

He'll be back again with his band later this summer for a run of other festivals including Glastonbury, Latitude and Standon Calling. You can read more about Raghu in our cover feature in the next issue, out June 10.

© Jo Frost