Translating to “sea of music” in Hindi, Sangeet Saagar featured South Asian fusion a cappella groups that sang mashups of popular western and traditional South Asian music from college campuses across the nation.
Delta Sigma Iota Fraternity Inc., a South Asian-oriented organization, invited Samaa to help screen the contestants. Both N.C. State and UNC chapters of the fraternity collaborated to organize the event.
Because it gave its recommendations during the voting process, Samaa did not compete in Sangeet Saagar. Instead, the group performed at the end as an exhibition.
Of around 11 groups that submitted videos, six were selected to compete: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Ohms, Ohio State’s Dhadkan, Rutgers University’s RAAG, Case Western Reserve University’s Dhamakapella, Pennsylvania State’s Fanaa and the University of Virgina’s Ektaal.
Samaa musical director Savita Sivakumar, a senior economics and global studies double major, is inspired by the emerging enthusiasm for South Asian fusion a cappella.
“There’s a lot of South Asian fusion a cappella groups slowly growing, so it’s really nice seeing a competition so close to home — it makes it more worthwhile to see lots of people doing the same thing as you,” Sivakumar said.
Samaa executive director Karina Javalkar, a senior health policy and management and biology double major, was excited for the chance to see other national South Asian a cappella groups.
“It’s nice to know that there are other groups,” Javalkar said. “There’s not another one in North Carolina, so we’ve never met anyone else.”