As original as it gets

As original as it gets

There are some musicians who wait a long while to be recognised locally, following which they keep their fingers crossed to be known nationally. And for the lucky few, 18 is as good an age as any other to kickstart their career.

New Delhi-based singer-songwriter Shantanu Pandit is becoming increasingly popular for his original folk-rock music and lyrics that are extremely mature for his age. He was recently in the City to perform at ‘Octoberfest’, one of the many music festivals he will be taking part in the next three months.

“It’s been three years since I started making music but professionally, I started getting gigs only around a year ago. It’s been a really good time for me so far and I’ve never had any difficulties,” notes the 19-year-old, who is not starry-eyed as one might expect but simply takes things as they come. 

“I’ll be participating in the ‘Aquajam Festival’ at Naukuchiatal, ‘Ragasthan Festival’ in Rajasthan and opening for Bob Geldof in Goa for ‘Think Fest’, which is all very exciting,” he shares. Given that the independent music scene in our country is only beginning to break out of its nascent stage, that’s quite a handful!

In addition to singing, he plays the acoustic guitar and harmonica, which contribute equally when he performs. His influences range from Bob Dylan and Chadwick Stokes to ‘The Tallest Man on Earth’ and Leonard Cohen.

“I listen to all sorts of music. But when it comes down to playing it, it’s generally always Western folk. I think it’s because Dylan and other folk artistes left their mark on me.

They just hit me more profoundly than the other genres of music,” shares Shantanu. “When I’m creating music on my own, I can’t help but sound that way.”
Shantanu believes in strong lyrical content and finds it safe to say that his songs reflect this belief. “I don’t know where I get my inspiration from. I just like writing songs and it’s just something I do,” he says, unable to pinpoint any one source of inspiration.

He is currently studying Philosophy at Hindu College, Delhi University. While he has no intentions of dropping out, he is firm about the fact that he will not let music take a backseat. “The music career is slowly picking up and it would be silly to let go at this point. If I could make enough money just doing music, I would,” he says.

Though he did not spend too much time in the City, he quite likes the vibe it gives out. “The weather’s pretty pleasant and the people are nice. I’m half South-Indian and so I can understand some Kannada words like ille because it’s similar to Tamil,” he wraps up, with a smile.

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