Almost like a superhero representing the best of Indian and American culture, Samir Bodhi embodies a unique dual identity as an innovative musical force and a highly celebrated scholar and educator.
Samir emigrated to the U.S. in the 80s with an engineering degree and decided to stay after receiving his Masters and PhD in computer science from University of Central Florida. While building his influential reputation in academia – first at Georgia State University in Atlanta, later at Claremont Graduate University and USC – he built upon the pro guitar skills he honed in Calcutta to amass a sparkling resume in that world and in both countries as well.
His Indian-based accolades include accompanying musical legends such as Hemant Kumar, Runa Laila, Bani Thakur and Hoimonti Shukla and performing on Calcutta Television with famous artists in many prestigious venues in Calcutta. In the U.S. he performed with Ghazal Badshah Jagjit Singh, composed “Emotional Eyes,” a modern Bengali album for his wife Madhumita, and arranged and recorded the first ever Broadway-style Bengali musical “Sinbad,” performed in Los Angeles in 2006.
In addition, Samir created original music score for the 2010 independent Hollywood film “Adios Mi Amigos,”collaborated with Grammy®-nominated sarod player, Ustad Aashish Khan, Joey Sommerville (band musician for Prince), and Interscope recording artist Marty Cheyka. He also accompanied many famous Indian singers (including Suvodeep Mukherjee, who appears on “Stairway to Nirvana”), at venues in Los Angeles. In 2017, Samir composed four tunes for Madhumita and Kumar Sanu’s album “Tum Bin: The Musical Experience,” which was released to great media fanfare in Mumbai.
Samir’s array of achievements in academia include being Professor and Fletcher Jones Chair of Design, Technology & Management at CGU’s Center for Information Systems & Technology (CISAT), and serving as an Adjunct Professor of Design and Innovation at the USC Jimmy Iovine and Andre Young Academy for Arts, Technology and the Business of Innovation (established by music industry legends Iovine and Dr. Dre).
Samir is also considered a leading technology designer and scholar in the area of healthcare informatics, design science and networking/cybersecurity. In 2017, he was awarded the Mahtama Gandhi Pravasi Samman by NRI Welfare Society in recognition of Indians who have made their country proud abroad.
Samir says, “I feel I have quite a bit of creativity in me and part of it manifests through my academic research and the other via my musical outlets. Managing projects and producing music are similar in that both are linked to creative problem solving and thinking outside the box. Whether purposeful or accidental, I bring all my scholarly training into my musical projects.”
This dynamic, spiritually inspirational debut EP reached #4 on the ZMR Top 100 radio chart, earned a Hollywood Music in Media Award (HMMA) nomination, and won Best of Asia at the 2022 InterContinental Music Awards.
His new album, “Memories of Empathy” is driven by his belief that the gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” is widening and that people’s self-absorption is reducing human empathy to a distant memory. Building on the EP’s richly textured, East-meets-West sonic and rhythmic aesthetic, the collection features three tracks co-produced by guitarist/bassist Sanjoy Das and three by American multi-instrumentalist David Vito Gregoli.
Two songs, “Haves and Have Nots,” and “Affinity” are rooted in Indian ragas, while the shloka at the beginning of “Indifference” is based on the gayatri mantra. The lush, atmospheric Western influenced closing song “World of Empathy,” features legendary Indian film composer and keyboardist and “Godfather of Indian jazz” Louis Banks.
More information is available at Samir’s official website: https://www.samirbohdi.com