Ojas Adhiya combines extraordinary technical aptitude with a vast knowledge base, playing with a fluency that belies his years. Born in a small Maharashtra village, he was drawn to the tabla from infancy, experimenting with the instrument at the age of two. He taught himself the 8-beat keherwa taal soon afterwards, shocking his father when he first overheard him.
Soon after he was listed in the Limca Book of Records as India’s youngest tabla artist, having debuted at the age of four. He began to accompany his parents, spiritual gurus, in their ceremonies, and aged five the family moved to Mumbai so he could study classical tabla with Shri Mridangraj of the Ajrada gharana. During his time as a student he also delved into jazz, ghazal, and Carnatic rhythm, and advises young artists to play everything they hear.
He combines exuberance with restraint, citing the influence of modern stars such as Ustad Zakir Hussain, Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Pandit Kumar Bose, and Pandit Anindo Chatterjee. Today he accompanies top Hindustani artists - including Ustad Shahid Parvez at Darbar Festival 2018 - and is firmly establishing himself as an exciting solo performer.
“You shouldn’t be conscious when you accompany. If you’re conscious you’re losing that moment - Indian classical music is all about spontaneous creativity, which is happening then and there."
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